Vampire Survivors: One of the first surprises of this 2022 is the triumph in sales of this modest action game that, with very little, makes it difficult for us to take our fingers off the pad. That the video game advances technically is never too much: better graphics, more spectacular presentations, cutting-edge technology… it’s all part of the charm of witnessing the advancement of a medium like this, in which so many artistic, technological and creative factors come together. But it is always worth remembering and keeping in mind that good game mechanics, however simple, may be the only thing a title needs to succeed. Such is the case of Vampire Survivors, one of the early sensations on Steam in 2022, which already has tens of thousands of users and an “Extremely Positive” rating after accumulating more than 2,000 positive reviews compared to twenty negative ones.
Seeing the screens and the trailer, the truth is that the game does not raise great expectations. A poorly animated sprite of what looks like a vampire slayer taken from a Castlevania moves through a crappy two-dimensional mapping while dozens of enemies come out to meet us with no other way of attacking than approaching our position. We don’t even have to attack, since it’s automatic, we just control the movement. It is an approach that we have already seen on numerous occasions, especially popular in flash given the relative simplicity and ease of use. The challenge is simply to survive as long as possible before the inevitable end, although in the case of Vampire Survivors it is seasoned with a roguelite component that comes in handy.
Simple approach, no-nonsense fun
As the canons mandate, there is a transitory and a permanent component of progression. Our character will gain levels during the game collecting gems that enemies leave when they die and at each level we will be given the choice between different improvements and abilities to enhance our offensive and defensive capacity. We don’t have control of when or where to attack, so our priority is to get a combination that helps us last longer, among numerous random options that will appear: random fireballs, knives that fly in a straight line, flying axes that draw rising bows, crosses that act like boomerangs, garlic barriers that damage the oncoming enemy, bibles that spin around us (yes, Castlevania’s influence is thinly veiled). There are also skills that increase the basic features of the character: more speed, more resistance, more attack frequency, more number of projectiles… We must add the fact that each of the selectable characters has certain innate skills that manifest as they level up. , so it is the player’s responsibility to choose what to prioritize to achieve an optimal result.