I love video games, but I’m at a vital point where I can’t find anything that hooks me. It may happen to you like me: you have Resident Evil 4 Remake, there is Hogwarts Legacy halfway through, you have an immense desire to play Age of Empires II for the millionth time… but when you start, it does not fill you up. Right now I am recovering a little the passion and the game that has helped me is the one I least expected: Vampire Survivors.
When you see a screenshot of the game you think “this is one of these free games without any background”, and after the first hour of play I thought the same thing (you can even play it for free in the browser, what game allows you that?). However, if you continue a bit you will discover a super complex game that is addictive and, above all, fun. He’s so, so good he just won a Bafta and if you didn’t know him you’re going to hate me because he’s going to eat up all your free time.
Vampire Survivors is ideal for any situation (as long as you have half an hour free)
First of all, I am not going to give you an analysis of Vampire Survivors. My partner Frankie from Vidaextra already spoke at length about the game on his day. In fact, I love the title of the text of him: “the bubble wrap of the new millennium”. In very few words it describes a game with great precision.
When you read this text, I invite you to take a look at the analysis of Vidaextra, but now we are going with what I want to tell you, and it is how such a simple game made me remember that games have to be, above all, fun.
When The Last of Us Part 1 falls into my hands (it’s one of my favorite games, although the PC version has gone bad, very bad), or any game with a strong narrative, I enjoy it like nobody else. It has great gameplay, it’s deep… but I have a problem after having been analyzing video games since 2007.
And it is that… I analyze them. I am focused on what it does well, on what it does not so well, on seeing the graphics, learning about the music, the background and I forget to have fun. It’s happening to me with Hogwarts Legacy. I like their world, but it’s easy to see the seams and that prevents me from enjoying myself.
However, like Vampire Survivors it is, at least in its outermost shell, plainer than a potato, the barrier to entry is zero. You put the game, choose a character and play. At the beginning you don’t have to understand anything, you don’t have to look at the deeper mechanics or know the characteristics of your character (because you only have one at the beginning). All that will come later.
And the gameplay allows everyone, Even those who have never played a video game can enjoy. When you choose a character, all you have to do is decide where it moves. Enemies will surround you, you must dodge them and, with your attacks, you will destroy them as well as breaking elements on the stage.
These elements hide gold coins, objects on some occasions, and chickens with which we recover health. And the enemies, when they die, drop gems that, depending on their color, fill us with more or less an experience bar. When we accumulate experience we level up and we must choose a series of bonuses, weapon evolution or new weapons and everything, everything is passive.
That is, if we choose shields, they recharge themselves when they run out and the weapons fire/hit automatically based on a system of percentages and times. We only have to worry about dodging the hordes of enemieswhose number and difficulty increases as the game goes by, and try to reach the 30th minute. At that moment death will come and… kill us.
In the first games, we will go as a chicken without a head. However, little by little we will learn that certain weapons and their evolutions, when combined, create new and more powerful weapons. We will get used to the weapons and choosing more powerful combinationswe will be unlocking challenges on the maps, as well as characters, earning gold to buy both permanent improvements and new heroes and, ultimately, understanding the complexity of the game.
And, I repeat, all this with one hand because in its mobile version it is played vertically and only with the thumb. It’s… ideal, but the half-hour games take it away from being a title to play on short journeys.
Once you start a game, you won’t want to stop. However, although the mobile version freaks me out, the one I’m hooked on is the Xbox one, specifically the one that I can play on my mobile with Game Pass.
You will be able to connect a controller like the Razer Kishi, but it is perfectly compatible with touch controls and this version is horizontal. I think, visually, it makes more sense this way to go through the maps, but it also has Xbox achievements and, if you’re a player on the platform, you’ll appreciate them.
It’s perfect, there’s no more
That Vampire Survivors has won the Bafta for ‘Best Game of the Year’ and ‘Best Design’ in a year in which he has competed against titans like Elden Ring, Horizon Forbidden West or God of War Ragnarok, it doesn’t surprise me at all.
It’s fun, it’s accessible, it’s simple to understand. However, it is also challenging, it is deep and it has hours and hours of content for those who want to discover it to the fullest. Also, something very nice is that, being a title for a single player, andn the network a kind of “competition” has been set up.
There is a metagame with player-imposed challenges like passing a certain map with certain weapons, challenges to spend 30 minutes without moving (I almost managed it once) and that type of alternative games to the base game that, perhaps, not even the creators had contemplated.
The game is premium so It doesn’t have ads or anything like that., but you can try the mobile version, very trimmed, but it lets you taste the game, both on Android from the Play Store and on iOS from the App Store. My recommendation is that you play from your mobile with Game Pass, but any way is good as long as you enjoy this great game.
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