Let it be known: I actually spent actual money (rather than money gained from selling farmed trading cards) on this Steam game. I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. The things a Steam Deck make you do.
I’ve wanted it for some time. Yes, it looks a bit pants and yes it’s cheap and yes, yes it rips off the Castlevania aesthetic to the point of why-hasn’t-Konami-stepped-in, but there was something interesting about how you just get ridiculously overpowered and swamped by a billion baddies that meant I couldn’t not get it.
What I didn’t know, was that there a number of levels. I thought it just played out on a single one until you unavoidably get done in by the undead horde. Well, that still happens, just you’ve a number of areas to do it in. And, do them all and grab the right items and power them up in the right way, and you unlock the final boss, which I was definitely not expecting to be a thing.
As you inevitably die, play sessions end at 30 minutes whether you want them to or not (unless you’ve unlocked and enabled endless mode). Death swoops in and scythes you, and there’s no escape. Well, there probably is some escape with the right powers and upgrades, but I never managed to get it to work. With increasingly difficult waves of baddies coming in every minute you can’t relax – you have to zoom round collecting XP gems dropped by baddies to power up and keep a few steps ahead of them. With a number of different autofiring powers, from whips and fireballs to shields and spikes, several of which you can have running together, there are unending combinations of ways to kit out your character. There are loads of characters, each with additional skills or alternative starting weapons, to choose from too.
Vampire Survivors is very addictive, “suffering” from a severe case of Just One More go, and it was only because I completed it I managed to wrest myself from its grasp. Although I am very much open for more goes. There’s something about the random drops, the weapon combinations, and the Numbers That Go up which remind me a lot of Luck Be A Landlord. They’re totally different games, but they both give you the same feeling when you play them.
Oh, apparently there’s DLC. Oh no.