Demons to Diamonds is a fixed shooter game for the Atari 2600 that can be played in both single-player and multiplayer modes. In the game, players control a laser base at the bottom of a multi-row playfield. They use a paddle controller to move the base from side to side and the action button to fire a laser beam vertically up the playfield. The player can control the beam’s distance by releasing the button at the desired height.
Demons appear at various rows on the playfield and move horizontally. Players must shoot demons whose color matches their gun. If successful, the demon transforms into a diamond, which can be shot for additional points. However, shooting a demon of a different color turns it into a skull that can fire laser beams at the player. The skull cannot be destroyed but disappears after a short time.
Points are earned based on the distance between the base and the target, with one point for each demon and ten points for each diamond shot. In multiplayer mode, the second player controls a laser base at the top of the screen, firing from top to bottom. Both players can shoot diamonds, and skulls can shoot laser beams in both directions. In some game variations, players can shoot their opponent’s laser gun to deplete their extra lives.
Players begin with five lives, losing one if hit by a laser beam fired by a skull or an opponent, depending on the game variation. The game ends when all lives are lost, and in multiplayer versions, the surviving player receives a bonus for each remaining life.