Everything about the 1.0 version of Vampire Survivors
Everything about the 1.0 version of Vampire Survivors
Everything about the 1.0 version of Vampire Survivors

Everything about the 1.0 version of Vampire Survivors

Each round of Vampire Survivors starts in exactly the same way: you feel hopeful. From there, everything follows a predictable cycle of fear and euphoria, depending on how completely lost you think you are at any given moment.

Vampire Survivors is a tricky game to categorize. It’s a bullet hell game where you personify the bullet hell as each round makes you level up and gain extra weapons for your character, while thousands of enemies attack you from all sides.


The weapons fire by themselves, so most of your interactions involve getting around the crowd of enemies with the WASD keys and waiting for everything around you to die. It’s a game of positioning. Each of these weapons is different: Holy Water drops randomly around you, killing anyone unlucky enough to be caught in the area.

Meanwhile, the Whip cuts around you in all directions, clearing a path. Each weapon will change your playstyle in different ways.

Garlic is essential and does great damage to anyone who enters a small circle around it. Another must-have item, the Wand of Fire, hurls lethal flames at the nearest enemy.

Combine them with some of the game’s utility items that do things like add health regeneration or add extra projectiles each time you fire, and you’ve got a build.

You can unlock or upgrade a new weapon or utility item every time you level up, until you have the maximum amount of weapons and utility items, and suddenly you are leveling up just to get gold or a nice juicy chicken to heal yourself .


When you start, Vampire Survivors is extremely difficult. You will rarely get past the 10 minute mark in your first few games, and it will take a few tries before you manage to get killed by Death itself at the 30 minute mark, technically the longest you can stay alive.


As you progress, you’ll quickly unlock a healthy collection of fun abilities, from simple knives that shoot like bullets in the direction you’re heading, to a powerful garlic that projects an aura that deals damage all around you, lightning bolts that hit random enemies, or even birds that circle around you and launch bombshells in a rotating zone (as birds often do).

Putting together skillsets that complement each other is where a lot of the replayability and fun comes from, and seeing so much damage come out of my character is a satisfying reward for staying alive long enough to reach this state.

vampire survivors

Sometimes the simplest and most silly games grabs our attention, even when bigger and more well-produced options clamor for attention.

That’s what happened with Vampire Survivors, a weird little game in early access that started to explode on the Steam charts despite looking a lot like the hundreds of other pixel art games that come and go every day.

With its extremely simple graphics and extremely basic map and enemy design, Vampire Survivors doesn’t seem to be as addictive as it is.

The natural desire is to get into a waiting pattern where you stand in an area and collect all the XP from every enemy you’ve killed, but if you do, you won’t be looking out for the drops that appear on screen.

These rewards give you money (the persistent progression currency) and useful things like health, flamethrowers, smart bombs, and magnets that attract all the XP crystals you’ve dropped around the map.

This creates an incentive to move, and you soon realize that moving in a wide circle gives bonuses the time they needed to respawn, while also allowing you to go back to pick up anything you’d lost or saved for later.


And yet, you will feel compelled to put in over a dozen hours trying out their many weapon and skill enhancement combinations, starting round after round trying to make it to the end and unlock every character.

You can look forward to seeing more difficulty options and layered secrets as the game continues to develop.

What’s new about it is very simple: it’s basically a shooter that lets you worry exclusively about positioning while it takes care of firing its ever-growing collection of weapons against the thousands of progressively resistant enemies that flood the screen.

It’s a smart idea that works for much longer than expected before its challenge wears off, and it looks like it has a lot of room to grow.


The maps initially available are even more rudimentary: the first is a forest with nothing but a few small clusters of trees and the occasional dead end where only a madman would get stuck inside, the second is a library with walls at the top and bottom.

You explore a few different arenas that will force you to change tactics in subtle ways: the starter forest is quite open, while the movement in the library keeps you running from left to right.

After that, a dairy factory opens up with huge buildings and deadly traps scattered around. Vampire Survivors’ main loop sees players progress through these levels, killing enemies and getting more and more powerful.

None of the individual enemies are really challenging, though some monsters are capable of taking quite a bit of damage.

The constant struggle is to keep your character’s damage output one step ahead of the rising tide of enemy flood, which increases in intensity based on the clock.

You can only do this by keeping a fast pace of killing enemies and collecting the XP crystals they drop, which allows you to level up and choose from a random selection of three or four new weapons and passive skills.

Fun and challenge

The riveting fun of Vampire Survivors comes from being so far ahead of the curve that its auto-attacks kill everything in one hit (or at least before they can hit you), turning menacing monsters into treats you find along the way.

It’s a lot like the feeling of being a Pac-Man after grabbing the powerups while munching on ghosts, but without any of the annoying walls and without the ghosts having the common sense to run away in terror.

If you fall behind, on the other hand, Vampire Survivors devolves into a bullet hell-style dodge game, desperately waiting for a screen-clearing power-up to drop and level the game before your health is drained (which can happen extremely quickly if you’re not careful).

The threat here is in the numbers, because each round of Vampire Survivors will have you killing literally thousands of enemies, often so quickly that you’ll struggle to keep up.


But it goes much further than that. Vampire Survivors is packed with little secrets, achievements, and tasks that deepen the experience, layering in extra systems to ensure you’re always fighting for something, and rewarding you with unlocks when you get there.

One of the most significant progression systems is the ability to get weapon evolutions in the game. These evolutions are fully balanced hidden weapon combinations and utility items can become super powerful weapons that will substantially increase your killing power.

Once you learn them, you can easily make them your constant goals and you’ll discover find your favorites quickly.

Weapon evolutions are also predictable, never changing the path you need to take into building them. The near constant stream of knives becomes a steady stream of knives, the holy crosses that boomerang around you become swords, capable of dealing critical damage.


A great opportunity to advance in power comes from killing bosses, which rewards the player with a treasure chest that can contain one, three, or even five random upgrades for skills you’ve already acquired.

This is also the only opportunity to unlock “evolved” versions of your weapons, which are only available if you choose an ability to go along with it (e.g. the Magic Wand can be upgraded to fire continuously if you have the Empty Tome) and learning these combos becomes essential to maximize your firepower.

The way their abilities combine isn’t as full of delightful surprises as the combos in something like The Binding of Isaac, but there’s plenty to experience.

Subverting expectations

There’s no telling it any other way: Vampire Survivors sure doesn’t look like much. The pixelated 2D character sprites look plucked from a long-forgotten generic fantasy game from the early 90s and are barely animated, with the most interesting part being that some of them have a nice disintegration effect as they die.

It’s as simple as it gets, while still managing to be as readable as it needs to be, so you can tell what’s going on during the total chaos that’s about to ensue.

vampire survivors

This becomes the essence of each round, trying to stack as many evolved weapons as possible to survive long enough to seek out the relics and quests that can lead you to real progression in the meta.


Actually playing the game seems perfect, but there are some problems. Unfortunately, the bumpy art and lacking story can disappoint in many ways, particularly in levels like the Factory, which appears to be using a completely different art style to the rest of the game, as you alternate between being attacked by rather realistic skeleton sprites, or giant spinning heads or walking plants.

A larger portion of the game is just going to be like that.


Vampire Survivors came out of nowhere, launching on Steam’s early access platform made by a single developer and then pushed to a full 1.0 release in less than a year.

From early access to 1.0 release version

That’s impressive no matter which way you look at it, but it feels like with the fast pace, it’s slipping on some of the aesthetics.













And all maps are boundless: you can travel in a single direction for an entire 30-minute match and never hit a wall, which is awkward spatially and can be annoying when you’re trying to remember where you left off a collection of health items you didn’t need the moment they showed up.

It’s a shame because it’s easily one of the best games of the year and it misses a perfect score because the mix of enemies, levels and characters feels lacking, as if the assets are randomly allocated.

The game has greatly improved in terms of art direction cohesion, in addition to having its soundtrack completely renewed for version 1.0, and there’s no reason to believe they are not going to keep improving.


The 11 different playable characters you can unlock offer at least some additional replayability, offering different starting weapons and small stat bonuses.

For example, the Arca Ladonna, whose weapon reload time decreases as she levels up.

The Donmario starts off being orbited by Bibles and has a bonus to duration and projectile speed.

vampire survivors

Devidamente aprimorado, ele pode se transformar em uma serra quase literal que corta multidões de inimigos com facilidade.

Properly enhanced, he can transform into an almost literal saw that cuts through crowds of enemies with ease.

Almost all character starting bonuses are upgrades that you can pick up during a round. However, if you accumulate them, you can create some insanely powerful builds.


Enemies are also quite basic in their behavior, despite their huge range. There are bats, which you see at the start of a match, mummies, witches, werewolves, and dozens of other types of monsters.

Enemies charge towards you at varying speeds until you or they are defeated.


In fact, the only distinguishing factors other than their appearance are their speed and how much damage they absorb before evaporating.

They are effectively just homing projectiles with hit points, and most are little tougher than melted butter. None of them shoot you, which is good because there are so many that would likely become overwhelming quickly.


Bosses offer an interesting variety in gameplay, coming with rewards you can’t get in other ways.

That’s less than 1% of the enemies you’ll face, however, they are more than welcome when it appears. You’ll see occasional swarms of fast-moving bats or ghosts that slice across the screen much more frequently.

Most of these fast enemies die quickly, but if the screen is full, they can push tougher monsters closer to you.

Sometimes you will be surrounded by extremely durable plants that slowly approach you, and every now and then explosive enemies will attack you.

Vampire Survivors would break your monotony if there were more of these enemies with unique behaviors.



Even so, you’ll spend over a dozen hours unlocking all the achievements, and there is a public beta where new features are being released.

We are not even close to finishing playing Vampire Survivors and we can’t wait to tell you what’s changed in a few months.

What can eventually drain Vampire Survivors of their challenge is the persistent progression unlocks.

You can buy them at the end of each match with the gold you accumulate from exploring the map.

This allows you to boost various passive skills, either with damage mitigation or movement speed, and even give each weapon an extra projectile.

Of course, the most visual enhancements are the coolest to unlock. Seeing them in action in the next match is wonderful.

Even the third map, which gives enemies +50% health, eventually becomes easy enough for you to consistently go all the way.

Unless, of course, you are deliberately undermining yourself with your skill choices, which takes some of the excitement out of the game.


The reasons for your run to end are several. It could be that you made bad choices in the build or a mistake when attacking the hordes of enemies. Even if you don’t make a mistake, in 30 minutes Death itself appears to take you away.

Still, each time you are finally defeated, each round of Vampire Survivors ends in exactly the same way. You feel like going back and doing better, starting the cycle all over again.

This is the perfect game for short breaks, offering short but satisfying runs that will devour your entire life if you let it.

Vampire Survivors is one of the best games of the year, disappointing only by a weak soundtrack and some confusing art.

Vampire Survivors 1.0 released on October 20 for PC.

Are you going to check this game out?

If Vampire Survivors looks like your thing, go check it out! And if a friend of yours nerds convincing, share this article with them!

By Equipe Apptuts

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