I already said a few things on Discord but I happened to glance over the demo again today and wanted to share some thoughts here as well. This is the one game that got me back into visual novels and I really hope more people will give this one a shot.
Softwar's biggest strength, IMO, is the entire visual department - the designs and GUI are really clever, and the character art style is very easily recognisable and pleasing to look at. (Basically hitting all my personal aesthetics right there, haha.) The animations and battle interface were really impressive to me too. Everything is just super neat and high quality. My interest in games of any kind is very much driven by aesthetics, and given how important visuals obviously are in a visual novel... Well, the team essentially won me over from the moment I first saw an image of Ily.
While I thought the music suited the game well, there were small parts that gave me mixed feelings. A big one is the track playing near the start that got a bit repetitive to me. Part of me thought it was fantastic because it worked great with the frustration of dealing with a persistent virus, the other part of me just got a bit too distracted by it. I loved the sound effects and Ily's voice clips, though the latter were rather quiet (or overshadowed by the music?) on default settings. The overall retro vibe is great.
I appreciate the battle system for how well it's done, particularly the visuals and little details like the voice clips. While I'm personally not a fan of these types of card battles in general, I still think they're a nice element to have here. It "feels" right to me given the setting and overall vibe of the game. In my two runs, I won both times although the first one was really close with only 30 HP left and had me wondering if I was really unlucky or if the first battle was supposed to be that way. (I liked that the following dialogue addressed how close I got to dying, lol.) I'm glad I got to help USB-chan and USB-kun... So cute...
There's nothing much I can say about the writing so far as I feel like I haven't seen enough of the story and characters yet. One thing I can say, however, is that the demo did a good job of introducing me to the world and story, and got me hooked enough to make me sad when it ended.
(Okay, another thing I can say is that I love Ily... OELVN waifu.) I'm definitely curious about where exactly this story will be going and what other characters we'll meet along the way.
tl;dr I LOVE SOFTWAR!!! and am really excited for the full release.