Saturday Morning Gaming: Vampire Survivors
Back in January, Russell recommended Vampire Survivors as part of his year in review. I figured… eh, what the heck. It’s five bucks. Why not?
Vampire Survivors is a game that you’d think wouldn’t work. It’s a one-joystick game. Like, you move around. That’s it. You have weapons to use, sure, but they get used automatically. You start with a guy who has a whip. He cracks it every second. You don’t have to push a button. It cracks itself. (But you have to wait a whole second for it to crack again).
So you just run around and try to time it so that you’re standing in front of a monster when the whip cracks. If you do it right, you’ll do damage to the monster and the monster will drop an XP gem. Get enough XP gems, and you can upgrade your whip or get a new weapon (or a new skill like picking up XP gems from farther away). Seriously. You start out as a weenie.
When you upgrade your whip the first time, it cracks in front of you and then, a split second later, behind you. So now you have the ability to hit monsters in front and behind (run away! run away!). As you go up more and more levels, you can get a second weapon. A wand that shoots magic missiles. A wand that shoots fireballs. A crucifix that hits a near monster and then boomerangs in the opposite direction. Garlic that does damage to anyone within a few in-game feet of you.
Every minute, the game upgrades the monsters you’re fighting so you need to go up levels as quickly as you can. But once you start having fully upgraded weapons, they start doing a *LOT* of damage.
Eventually, you become a *VERY* bad Mama Jama indeed.
The feeling of going from being a hero yelling “RUN AWAY!” to being one that wipes out entire swaths of monsters just by walking around is surprisingly fun.
And then, after you die, you can purchase more upgrades for yourself or unlock new characters to play.
Oh, and you might find that you’ve unlocked a new area:
Sometimes, the game throws a boss at you in the middle of the horde of monsters chasing you and, if you kill this boss, you might get a chest to open. Open it, and it’ll give you a random upgrade to equipment you have as well as some coins to spend unlocking stuff after you die.
It’s a game that will have you saying “one more game, one more map, one more run, oh, I just need 200 more gold to unlock the garlic guy… just one more game.”
As it turns out, the game was made buy a guy who designed slot machines. You know what? It feels like it. When I hit the levels around level 50 or higher, there is so much noise and so much clinking and beeping and flashing that I get confused and excited and it feels like walking onto the slots floor at any given casino on the Strip.
I mean, it’s a game that doesn’t even have an attack button! You just move your guy around with your joystick!
But one more game, one more game, one more game.
Get this: IT’S FIVE BUCKS. Which is absolutely *NUTS*. If you like games *AT ALL*, you should check this one out and boggle at how it shouldn’t work. But it does.
So… what are you playing?
(Featured image is the opening screen of the game. All screenshots taken by the author.)