Demon Front is a 2002 arcade game developed and manufactured by Taiwanese company International Games System. It is a scrolling run-and-gun shooter that is basically a shameless clone of Metal Slug, but with a few unique ideas of its own.
You can play either single player or two player simultaneous and can choose between four different characters at the start of the game. There are three different buttons on the arcade cabinet – shoot, jump, and shield – and the basic idea is to run left to right, blasting everything that gets in your way.
One unique feature is that each of the four characters brings along a pet with them that can be used to attack enemies or used as a shield. Holding down the shoot button charges the player’s pet and when released the pet will make an attacking charge for a number of seconds. Pressing the shield button will turn the pet into a permanent shield, until the shield button is either pressed again, or until the pet takes a certain amount of damage, in which case it disappears.
Occasionally you’ll encounter gun or rocket emplacements, or locked doors, that require concentrated attacks to get rid of. There are boss fights and sub-bosses, and sections where the scrolling stops until you’ve dealt with a specific enemy or blockage.
The gameplay in Demon Front is fairly standard stuff, but the graphics are beautiful and the action is varied enough to make you want to see what comes next. Since you can put more coins in and continue indefinitely it’s fairly easy to play through the entire game in an emulator.
Demon Front was never converted to home systems and is available only as an arcade game. It’s a pretty good party game for multiple players and is definitely a game to try out if you’re a fan of the Metal Slug series, or just like side-scrolling shooters.