Vampire Survivors: Addictive as All Hell Survival Romp

Vampire Survivors the indie game

Vampires! Survivors! Vampire Survivors was one of the hit indie games of 2022, thanks to its addictive qualities and accessibility. It’s pick-up-and-play perfection.

Created by London indie studio Poncle, it’s a survival game with roguelike and bullet hell elements. And it’s as addictive as Jaffa Cakes and all the more enjoyable for it, dammit!

Let Vampire Survivors Take Over Your Very Being

Right. You can get Vampire Survivors on Steam, Android and iOS (for free), and the Xbox. Play it at your peril as, once you’re in there… you’re not going to come out for many hours.

It nods towards classics such as Castlevania on the NES with its aesthetic and themes, but this is very much modern roguelike territory here.

And Vampire Survivors became a sudden, smash indie game hit in the autumn of 2022. Many gamers commented on its minimalism and accessibility—it’s bare bones, no plot, just hurl yourself in and try to survive for as long as possible.

We think it took off the way it did, appealing to a mass gaming audience more used to AAA titles, due to that simplicity.

AAA games these days suck your blood.

A raft of disappointing major releases have launched recently, such as Forspoken and Wild Hearts, which nevertheless demand all of your time to master and get the most of.

For us, this is the ongoing joy of indie games. You pick them up, play them, and they don’t overwhelm your every waking moment.

Vampire Survivors appears to have reminded a widespread gaming audience that’s part of the appeal of gaming—fun. Short bursts of play free from “gitting gud”, ultra-hard mode grafting, 200+ hours of grinding to boast about it like a “true gamer”, worrying about whether the game has cutting-edge graphics to confirm your superiority etc.

The joy of Vampire Survivors is it’s devoid of everything that bogs down AAA gaming and so often makes it an ultra-HD, 60FPS chore.

Oh yeah, and it’s only £4 for this glory. Another massive part of the appeal.

Despite its seeming simplicity, there’s a lot of depth here. And it’s a good idea to head into the game knowing the basics—see this tutorial.

Okay, in Vampire Survivors your immediate goal is to fend off the waves of incoming vampires. You start with a basic weapon, start wiping them out, collect the gems they drop when they die, and when you get a certain amount you can upgrade your character.

You want to be killing as many vampires as possible to get those gems. But the waves come in thick and fast, so it becomes a game of thinking fast and upgrading rapidly.

You want to head in with these immediate goals:

  • Get the garlic as soon as possible and keep powering it up.
  • Power up with lightning bolts.
  • Get Peachone (the white dove weapon).
  • Keep moving, take the waves of vampires on, revel in the lunacy.

We cannot stress enough the importance of getting the garlic. Seriously, that thing will set you on course to become a killing machine.

If you’ve seen that Angry Video Game Nerd episode where James Rolfe is ranting “Get the knife!” it’s like that. You will not get far without garlic.

Get the garlic! 🧄

Vampire Survivors is fast-paced and, at the peaks of its gameplay, really becomes something to behold. The endless waves of vampires you fend off, whilst gathering the gems at a startling pace, powering up, slaying more, getting gold, upgrading the garlic, charging in at the hordes of vampires over and over…

It’s quite magnificent. Really compelling stuff and an absolute treat.

Occasionally, we did find ourselves realising it’s a little repetitive at times. The whole point is to try and survive as long as possible, but if you’re 30 minutes in doing the same thing still and it does drag a bit.

But the peaks are so high we can’t complain, as this is your classic pick-up-and-play gameplay experience so common (and fantastic) in the ’90s.

We highly recommend Vampire Survivors. It be mega.

Dispense with some gibberish!

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