636: Vampire Survivors

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JaySevenZero
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636: Vampire Survivors

Post by JaySevenZero »

Here's where you can contribute your thoughts and opinions for Vampire Survivors for potential inclusion in the forthcoming podcast.

A friendly reminder that where the feedback for the podcast is concerned, we love it - but keeping it brief is appreciated. We do want to include a breadth of opinions where appropriate, but no-one wants a discussion podcast that’s mostly reading out essays. Better to save yourself time and cut to the chase if you can.
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DaMonth
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Re: 636: Vampire Survivors

Post by DaMonth »

I accidentally ruined this game for myself. In retrospect, it probably saved me 400 hours, but after a little bit, I decided to try out all the unlock cheats and it basically immediately stopped being fun right after because I didn't earn all the funny little crazy characters I was playing, whoops.
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Seph
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Re: 636: Vampire Survivors

Post by Seph »

I like that this game exists because, with just the most basic of controls and aims, it showed that a game can be insanely popular and successful if it creates something that people enjoy. Vampire Survivors is basically a pay-to-win mobile game with all the predatory monetary nonsense taken out, but it has the same addictive feedback loop that's present in all these exploitative tricks that make you keep playing.

Vampire Survivors is a nice little fun game you put on after a long day to de-stress or if you have 30 minutes to spare and know you'll get a complete experience. No two runs of this game are the same and the fact you can pick it up and play without having to study a complex wiki is likely key to its success. The art style is charming and the whole package has a quirky sense of humour. Basically, it focuses on the core aspect that games aim for: be fun.

The value of the video game BAFTAs is debatable, but the fact this game beat off the likes of Elden Ring and God of War: Ragnarök is testament to its appeal and success. Is it better than those games? Not really, but I appreciate the statement of making what is essentially a hobby project your game of the year. It's a nice message to send to independent developers, and I'd rather see more of this than giving everything to AAA companies.
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oni-link
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Re: 636: Vampire Survivors

Post by oni-link »

Vampire Survivors is one of the best "podcast games" ever made.

The simple controls and relatively slow gameplay speed make it the perfect game to play while listening to your favourite podcast

The unlocks come thick and fast, so you always have something new to play with, and getting a build that obliterates all around you never gets old, even if it means the game pretty much plays itself at that point
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Tolkientaters
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Re: 636: Vampire Survivors

Post by Tolkientaters »

This game is pure dopamine and I love it. It's the leveling and build aspects of an ARPG or mobile game condensed into an (initial) half hour session.

I 100 percentaged this game the year it came out and got most of the unlocks from the DLC because it's got just enough gameplay and mild strategy to be engaging and relaxing. I enjoy the cheap castlevania inspired atheistic. On the No Clip documentary (which is definitely worth a watch) the creator described it as having an intentional "shitty" look, but I find it really endearing and I like the music.

The creator's history making casino animations definitely comes through and I'm glad he got success with what initially started as a basic game draft. I didn't expect it, but this was one of my favorite games the year it was released.
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NoMoreSpearows
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Re: 636: Vampire Survivors

Post by NoMoreSpearows »

There must be something wrong with me, because every time I do a run of Vampire Survivors I have to force myself to stay awake.

It's active enough. There are plenty of stakes (pun not intended). But around the ten-minute mark or so, I find myself dozing off or otherwise struggling to remain invested. Do I need to turn the music back on, or set new goals for myself so I feel a sense of wanting to continue regardless of my physical state?

If nothing else, I now have a means of getting me to feel sleepy in a time in my life where sleep is harder to find, so in that sense I should be nothing but grateful towards Vampire Survivors. There's no shame in accomplishing a goal you aren't setting out to reach.
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ashman86
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Re: 636: Vampire Survivors

Post by ashman86 »

Vampire Survivors is a cool game with some lovely art and music and a ton of secrets to unlock over time. It's also the kind of game I play for 4-5 hours before setting it down and never picking it up again.

I think it's an interesting exploration of just how simple you can make a game's controls while keeping the gameplay engaging, and the result was that the game was wildly accessible. Even my non-gaming wife got hooked on Vampire Survivors for a while and would fire up the Xbox to make a run or two in the evenings. Her own engagement with the game paralleled mine in some surprising ways, given our drastically different backgrounds with video games. At first, we were both enthralled and totally hooked. I sang the game's praises to virtually everyone I talked to.

But then the novelty wears off, and there just isn't enough game there to hold your attention unless you're the right kind of player.
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sheeldz
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Re: 636: Vampire Survivors

Post by sheeldz »

Vampire Survivors is game that boils down the bare essentials of what makes games work, in my brain, and then concentrates it up like a bottle of Robinson's squash. The gentle "what am I doing" curve that moves up towards "ah, I get it" to the final "oh, right, now I get it!" it is pure perfection, and whilst there could be arguments about how much of a game it is after certain levels, and the fact you could level the criticism "it's just the same every time" at the game doesn't diminish what is basically video game crack cocaine.

Not since the Virtua Tennis and Crazy Taxi era of gaming has there been a more potent "one more go" game in my life, to the point that where I'd say "one more run" and 26 minutes later, having failed to reach 30 minutes, just having another "one more go" until the wee hours.

Playing it on the Xbox and also via the Xbox Cloud Gaming (with touch controls) the game has been the perfect always installed "I'll just have a wee blast on it".
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designermatt
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Re: 636: Vampire Survivors

Post by designermatt »

After reading a few articles about this unassuming little game, I was curious to try it and see if it was really as addictive as people said. It arrived on Netflix last year and so I was able to finally try it on iPhone. As strange and ugly as it looks, the core loop really did get it's hooks into me, and I couldn't get enough of carving my way through the undead hordes. It just seemed to just get more and more ridiculous with each power-up, until your character became an unstoppable, death-dealing force, swamped by hundreds of enemies but still holding their own, until finally, finally, they were overwhelmed. Very much a "one more go" sort of game!
I quickly rinsed it, collecting every character and power-up, before losing interest once I realised there was no more progression to be had or anything new to unlock. So after two weeks of intense play, I drifted off on to other games. Vampire Survivors is brilliant fun for a while, but not enough to keep me coming back long-term.
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Buskalilly
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Re: 636: Vampire Survivors

Post by Buskalilly »

I go through cycles of being really addicted to this game, then forgetting it exists for months at a time. I've mostly played on my smartphone though, so perhaps to play along for the show I'll get it on a machine I actually like playing games on.
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Re: 636: Vampire Survivors

Post by BearFishPie »

Buskalilly wrote: February 7th, 2024, 1:45 am I go through cycles of being really addicted to this game, then forgetting it exists for months at a time. I've mostly played on my smartphone though, so perhaps to play along for the show I'll get it on a machine I actually like playing games on.
I've had a similar experience with it. I didn't have high expectations about playing it on mobile, presuming the control scheme of a surely moderately complex PC game would be hobbled somewhat on touchscreen, but as it was free on iOS (at least when I picked it up) I figured what the hell, then got severely hooked on it for about a couple of weeks before hitting the cycle you've described.
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Alex79
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Re: 636: Vampire Survivors

Post by Alex79 »

I first heard of Vampire Survivors on the IGN podcast when Joe Skrebels spoke about it for several weeks in a row. I was intrigued, but didn't have a PC to play it on. When it finally came to Xbox I downloaded it straight away and got stuck in. I love the way the game looks, as if the sprites have been lifted directly from a NES Castlevania game or something, and it's very telling that the lead developer had a background in fruit machines because the game very much has that addictive quality, and the lights and sounds when you open a chest tickle all the right receptors in the brain. The game is a lot of fun, and although I've not beaten it yet I do very much enjoy having the odd hour here on there, most often on Switch or mobile these days, seeing how much more more I can unlock. Also, let's just have a moment to appreciate how generous the developers are. The amount of content you get for a couple of quid is staggering, and even the DLC costs the player peanuts. Nice to see.
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Shmerebere
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Re: 636: Vampire Survivors

Post by Shmerebere »

It’s a pay to win mobile game with the micro transactions removed. Which isn’t a bad thing!
I have sank a few dozen hours into this, mostly as a distraction after playing something else, the fact you don’t have to press any actual buttons, just simply steer your Surviror around is actually quite a pleasing switch off. I dip in every now and then for half an hour , just like a mobile game. On my switch. Which is kinda mobile.
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Girard
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Re: 636: Vampire Survivors

Post by Girard »

I fiddled with the pre-release free browser version a little bit, and it was engaging but didn't really suck me in. However, when the mobile version debuted a year or so later, I got its hooks in me good! Mary a restroom break went by where I wasn't surviving vampires.

I managed to complete the 'campaign' (such as it was) while I was still enjoying the game a lot - a sign that it was well-calibrated not to overstay it's welcome (though if I'd wanted to, I certainly could have spent many more hours unlocking secrets).
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