The Demon Throttle Instruction Manual Kicks So Much Ass

Finally, some good food.

My copy of Demon Throttle, the physical-only Switch game from Doinksoft and Devolver Digital, finally arrived the other day. The game itself is great — a hard-as-nails vertical scrolling shooter with a fantastic presentation. But the most pleasant surprise of Demon Throttle is the instruction manual. The fact that the game even comes with one was nice enough, but the people behind the title went above and beyond, producing a charming little booklet that elevates the entire package.

Demon Throttle

Opening the manual, you’re greeted with a page similar to those in old Nintendo instruction booklets with a Special Reserve Games seal of quality. From there, there’s nearly 30 full-color pages to pore over — a bit of narrative setting up the game, an explanation of the controls, and more. Characters chime in with little speech bubbles to comment on things, there are some cute sketches of the developers at the back, and there is, of course, a notes section.

Demon Throttle

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things about instruction manuals for games was getting a preview of all of the stuff later on in the game. In that vein, Demon Throttle shows you each of its stages, as well as some illustrations and names of enemies. In this case, that’s cool because I still haven’t reached the final stage of the game. Having those little peeks of what lies ahead always gave me motivation to try and reach those areas, and it does the same thing here.

The whole manual is filled with charming little illustrations of items and characters interspersed with in-game art, giving it a truly authentic feeling. And there’s even a nod to the infamous feature of StarTropics, which required that players dip a letter that came with the game into water to reveal a code. Here, there’s an image of a crystal ball with a heat-sensitive layer applied — rubbing your finger over the image reveals an in-game code.

Demon Throttle

Games have moved away from instruction manuals and towards tutorialization, and I guess that’s mostly fine. But it’s nice to see a title like Demon Throttle commit to the bit and provide the full experience you’d get when you bought a game back in the 80s or 90s. In an era of easy access to games via online storefronts, little details like the ones found in the Demon Throttle manual make physical releases feel worth it.

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