The evil Biscount Draculò is terrorizing the countryside of Southern Italy. Only a group of heroes can try to stop him, with the help of a sea of bullets of all kinds: they are the indomitable heroes of Vampire Survivors.
Developer / Publisher: poncle / poncle Price: €2,39 (Early Access) Location: Absent Multiplayer: Absent PEGI: ND Available On: PC (Steam, Early Access; itch.io, demo version) Launch date: Already available (Early Access); end 2022 – beginning 2023 (final version)
Vampire Survivors is a game from two euros. I don't say this with the intention of denigrating or belittling it, but precisely because that is its price: go to Steam and you can see it with your own eyes. Of course, the presentation of the game reflects its low budget. The sprites are quite simple, with few animations, the menus seem to come straight out of a flash game from the early 2000s, and the game structure is really basic. All that we are asked to do, in fact, is to move the chosen character while the weapons unlocked during the game automatically shoot the huge hordes that rush at us without the slightest sense of self-preservation.
IT NEEDS THE IDEA, IT NEEDS THE HEART
Put like this, the game developed by Luca "poncle" Galante it would really seem like one of those that doesn't even deserve the time spent to click "next" on the list of games recommended by Steam. But no. Vampires Survivors is an excellent demonstration of the fact that, when you have good and above all clear ideas, you don't need a high budget or complicated game plans. Because as I mentioned above, the game structure is very simple: in its current Early Access version, the only thing we are asked to do is survive thirty minutes. Not that it's easy, of course: the hordes of the Biscount Draculò don't give anyone discounts, and it will be necessary to choose with a pinch of strategy the upgrades that we will take as we level up.
THAT OF VAMPIRE SURVIVORS IS A SIMPLE IDEA, BUT ALSO VERY, VERY ADDICTIVE
As stated by the Vampire Survivors slogans, the ultimate goal is “becoming the bullet hell”. To the hordes that want to put an end to the dreams of glory of Antonio Belpaese and his fellow fighters, we must in fact oppose a wall of flying daggers, whiplashes, spinning bibles and so on and so forth. Again, it's a simple idea, just as simple (but never sloppy: you can see that there is heart behind it) is its execution. But it's also incredibly addictive, because if you know, seeing what happens if we manage to complete that build that will make us machines of destruction is a very strong incentive to press Start once again. Kind of the same feeling I was talking about in my review of Gunfire reborn, only here it is in ultra-compact form.
Ohibò, we were lucky! It won't happen often, so enjoy it when it does.
Just like Duoyi's game, Vampire Survivors also has one roguelite component. In the Early Access version, our defeat is inevitable: once we reach the half hour of the game, all the enemies on the screen will disappear and The Grim Reaper himself will come to visit us, which we will have no way of escaping. If the collection of weapons and upgrades will have to start from scratch with each game, this is not the case for gold coins: they represent a permanent currency that we can use to unlock passive upgrades valid for each character, and other playable characters. Everyone strictly inspired by Castlevania.
VAMPIRE SURVIVORS: DA IGA ALLA PUMMAROLA
While on the one hand the inspiration from the video game series created by Koji Igarashi is more than evident, on the other hand there have been some adaptations to escape the wrath of Konami: to begin with, instead of being set in a generic region of Eastern Europe The game takes place in the countryside of Southern Italy. And the protagonists are not the Belmonts but the Beautiful country: among the heroes that we can select there is Antonio with his whip, Pasqualina with the enchanted wand (bestial if associated with the Empty Tome), there is Gennaro bare-chested and with two very bad knives. And then there are the friends of the Belpaese: there are Ark e Door Care, there is the elder Poe Ratcho (whose starting weapon, rightly so, is a clove of garlic) and there's the redeemed skeleton Damn. In short, how can you not love a game with characters like this?
The final power up of the whip is called Bloody Tear. Obviously.
The answer is that obviously one cannot help but love him, especially when the gameplay formula is so successful. And we can only be pleased to see how even in Steam the game is enjoying considerable success: at the time of writing, in fact, it has 4.400 reviews in total, of which 99% are positive. So good; for our part, we will follow with keen interest the next developments in the crusade of the Belpaese against the tyrannical Biscount Draculò.