Vampire Survivors : The other game I've been playing where you die over and over but this one's 1/20 the price of the other

Vampire Survivor is a rogue-lite ... wait come back it's good ... if you like that sort of thing.

It sort of came out of nowhere and went from a little known extremely cheap game (think it's $2.50 at the moment) to being all over the blogosphere the youtubs the twitchers and tictacs

On the surface a very simple game you control a vampire survivor through a series of environments with their own set of enemies bosses and environmental pecularities and just have to survive collecting power ups by gathering the gems enemies drop.

You don't even have control over shooting that's automatic you just control the movement which on some weapons will also control the direction you shoot in. You have weapon upgrades you can pick up and level and you can have up to 6 of them at a time and each one has a particular type of attack and can be leveled up to 8 times with progressively more damage or more projectiles or other effects added.

Things like a whip that strikes horizontally out from the character, the knife that gets thrown in the direction the player is facing, my personal favorite garlic which surrounds the player with a dot aura. There are also a couple that add things like a temporary shield or health regen or freeze enemies.

There are then passive upgrades of which you can take 6 these can also be upgraded. They offer passive boosts like more health more damage armor faster movement more xp more projectiles and so on.

If you have the right combination of active and passive they can evolve at max level to a more powerful version of that weapon. then there are unions where if you have both of the right weapons they can combine and free up a slot. I've never had this happen so far and I think there are only two that do this.

You select a character and a stage the characters have a set starting weapon as well as some specific stats and bonuses one guy throws knives and gets an extra projectile for every weapon. Another guy gets a resurrection if they die another gets a starting boost that makes all of his projectiles massive and they gradually shrink down to normal size.

You wander the area of the map collecting gems from waves of progressively harder enemies to unlock weapons and passives and level them up. Collecting coins and other resources like health replenishing floor chicken by smashing certain scenery. Every level you get offered a set number of random skills 3 or 4 from the ones you've unlocked and you pick one of them either a new active or passive or an upgrade to one you have. As you max the levels of skills and fill up the slots you basically then just get offered a health item or some money as a reward. The timer ticks up as you go and the max time is 30min at which point it considers the level as completed and spawns a bunch of deaths who will just kill you off. In harder modes the clock can tick faster.

More challenging enemies drop chests that award one three or even five upgrades for skills you already have (it doesn't give new skills I think if it can't upgrade anything you get a large value xp crystal instead) as well as a chunk of money but they're a lot tougher. As you progress you unlock more characters and more weapons. Certain areas spawn these enemies that fence you in and try and trap you and as you progress the enemies get more and more frequent with massive numbers of enemies with increasing health and damage potentially overwhelming your ability to kill them all.

As you unlock things and characters and different stages they are then options for the next run with characters needing to be purchased for cash to unlock them. There are also a series of passive boosts you can buy to add to the bonuses you character gets.

It's one of those pick up and play for a bit maybe unlock a new skill maybe unlock a new stage or one of the more challenging modes on an existing stage. It reminds me a bit of Nova Drift another pick up and play rogue lite.

It's 2d simple sprite graphics but it throws a lot of them at you and things like particle effects and such get more and more crazy as you level up with evolved version having completely different graphics.

It's not that deep it's not that involved there's not really a story it's just a fun pick it up play the game. The graphics are nothing special it's and the controls are basically arrow keys/wsad and thats it. Most of the strategy is in which of the random skills offered you chose there are obvious synergies between certain skills and knowing the evolutions gives you things to aim for knowing later skills will be that much more powerful in the end game.

Just a cheap fun diversion you can play a bit of then do something else and for 3 dollars something that's worth trying if you feel like you might like it