One game that feels like it’s been a trend throughout all of 2022 has been Poncle’s Vampire Survivors. Launching in early access on PC around this same time last year, Vampire Survivors is a bullet hell survival game where your goal is to mow down mobs of bad guys that only increase in strength and numbers the longer you play, all the while collecting loot and new abilities to help increase your power and thus your chances to survive. Funnily enough, this was inspired by an Android mobile game called Magic Survival and due to its lack of complexity in controls and its arcade-like gameplay people have been wondering when Vampire Survivors would make its way to mobile.
The answer to that came this week, during last night’s The Game Awards in fact, when Vampire Survivors was surprise-launched for iOS and Android devices. The tricky thing is that, similar to Slay the Spire, another critical hit that people clamored for on mobile, there is no shortage of Vampire Survivors-like games that have launched on mobile over the course of this year. And also similar to the many Slay the Spire-likes that came along in the years before the original game’s eventual launch on mobile in 2020, many of these Vampire Survivors-likes are actually quite good. If you’ve been enjoying games like 20 Minutes Till Dawn, or Demon Survival, or Grimnight Heroes, or Survivor.io, or plenty of others, do you really care that the real-deal Vampire Survivors is now available on mobile?
Let me answer that for you: Yes you do care. Don’t get me wrong, there are some worthy similar games that are still worth playing, and some of them are arguably even better-suited to mobile than the actual Vampire Survivors, but to quote the great Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, “There Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing.” Something about Vampire Survivors‘ visuals, sounds, and exceptional progression loop are simply unmatched by any similar offerings on mobile. If I had any knocks against these new mobile releases it’s that some of the text and UI can be a bit tiny on an iPhone, and that runs last a bit too long compared to what I typically want from a mobile game, sometimes stretching 20 minutes or more. Both of these are extremely minor nitpicks though.
Oh, and here’s another reason you should just be playing Vampire Survivors already: It’s free. Like, free free. There are opt-in video ads for rewards but no other IAP or forced ads of any kind. It’s kind of amazing. Of course you can also read our full review of the iOS version if you for some reason need more convincing to download this free game, and if I had to personally assign it some sort of rating myself I’d go ahead and say it’s “legs fall asleep on the toilet” good. I’m not sure if Metacritic will accept that one or not, but whatever the case, stop reading this and just go get Vampire Survivors already. It’s taken me like 3 hours to write this because I keep stopping to play!