Vampire Survivors

Hoovering Up Gems in Vampire Survivors Is My New Happy Place


I’m always on the lookout for the next indie title to obsess over and while away my precious hours, and oh boy, have I found a goodie in the form of Poncle’s insanely addictive roguelite shoot-’em-up, Vampire Survivors.

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Blending minimalist auto-shooting with a deceptively deep assortment of permanent progression upgrades, Vampire Survivors is an absolute gem for those looking for a retro pick-up-and-play experience. It features a multitude of distinctive weapons, a host of unique unlockable characters, and a surprisingly sticky core progression system all wrapped up in an appealing 8-bit Castlevania-esque aesthetic.

Vampire Survivors is so addictive
Image Source: Poncle via Twinfinite

Like many of the best video games out there, the aim of the game is simple: survive ever-increasing waves of monsters from a 2D isometric perspective as you mow ’em down with a growing arsenal of weaponry. In essence, it’s a perpetual horde mode with an eclectic bestiary bursting with creepy, nightmarish terrors. Survive for 30 minutes, and you’ll beat that specific level, which will unlock more levels, weapons, characters, abilities, and so forth.

While the moment-to-moment shmup gameplay is rock-solid, the true hook that’ll really get you chomping at the bit and fizzing at the bunghole is Vampire Survivors’ marvelous weapon and ability progression systems, which feel consistently meaningful. This is effectively a two-pronged design with an array of permanent upgrades you can unlock between rounds, as well as an in-game system that allows you to unlock and upgrade your weapons and abilities on the fly as you defeat more enemies and collect more gems.

Vampire Survivors is awesome
Image Source: Poncle via Twinfinite

Speaking of which, you’ll soon realize that these precious stones are your new best friends so you’ll be constantly on the hunt for them, hoovering them up with vivacious glee. Seriously, sucking up those wee gems is like my new happy place, and makes my ol’ lizard brain all warm and fuzzy inside. Oh, and then throw in some treasure chests that net you upgrades and coins, too. It’s all pretty darn satisfying!

The weapons you’ll be upgrading, meanwhile, are extremely distinct from one another, with some more powerful than others. For instance, the Garlic or the King Bible will surround your character in a circular motion dealing damage to nearby foes, which is super useful. Meanwhile, Peachone is a cute little birdie that auto-fires at enemies at range in a circular zone, which is one of the less effective armaments you can pick up. Soon, you’ll learn what weaponry works best for you, and you’ll be laying waste to hordes upon hordes of monstrous critters in no time. Fun times!

Image Source: Poncle via Twinfinite

Thing is, and this is what makes Vampire Survivors really zing, you’ll soon grow so powerful that you’ll be wreaking havoc on screenfuls of these dastardly monstrosities at the same time, which is pretty awe-inspiring. Combine this with the relatively short time it takes to beat a run (around 30 minutes) and throw in its constantly evolving slate of playable characters, upgradeable weapons and abilities, and its myriad of unlockable relics and levels, and you’re left with a real gem that offers a ton of bang for your buck.

Not only is Vampire Survivors available on Game Pass right now, but it’s also a steal at just $4.99 on PC and Xbox, so you’ve got no excuse to not at least give it a try. Because if you’re anything like me, you’ll fall for it hook, line, and sinker. Oh, but don’t just take my word for it. Vampire Survivors was literally the most-played title on the Steam Deck for two months on the trot so I can’t be the only one, right? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some vampiric business to attend to…


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Image of Dylan Chaundy
Dylan Chaundy
Dylan is a Senior Writer at Twinfinite and has been with the site for over two years, and in the games media industry for over a decade. He typically covers horror, RPGs, shooters, Roblox, indie titles and movies, and loves reading, pizza and skateboarding; ideally, at the same time. He has a degree in English Literature from Aberystwyth University, Wales. He thinks FTL may be the most perfect game ever created.