Definitely more complicated than Parse. Most probably Firebase is a more appropriate solution for demos, tutorials and examples.
There is another alternative, since Parse is open source now you can deploy the server on your own server.
If you want to play with Azure DocumentDB which will make more sense for real applications that needs scaling out in the future then check this tutorials.
You can always create a Node.js backend and connect it with any data store.
As I said, Azure is not so easy to figure out as Parse was, they made it more configurable, which might be something you’re not looking for but as soon as you get the feel you’re up and running fast.