After topping the Steam charts as recently as October, developer Poncle has unleashed Vampire Survivors onto iOS and Android for free. Unveiled at the Game Awards, be warned, once this unashamedly retro bullet-hell roguelike sinks its fangs into you, it’s hard to stop playing.
At only $5, Vampire Survivors was a surprise Steam success for London-based indie Poncle, but gamers were enamored with its satisfying action loop perfect for bite-size (sorry) play sessions. The iOS and Android release is a completely free but still provides a fully-fledged version, crucially it also has the option to play in portrait or landscape; I would recommend the latter.
The game sees players control one of a myriad of heroes as they fight off endless waves of demons, monsters, and other nasties. Combat is simple with your character automatically attacking and all the player has to worry about is movement.
So what’s the fuss about? Well, the beauty of the game comes in the roguelike elements, with players presented with a choice of game-changing items every couple of minutes.
Each run sees players start with nothing but their character's basic weapon (each unlockable hero has a unique fighting style) and power-ups accrued by repeat playthroughs. But things soon escalate to screen-filling spells and daggers flying everywhere. Basically, it’s a great way to spend 10 minutes on the bus. There’s also a free browser version, but for mobile users, the app is the way to go.
Unlike so many mobile games, Vampire Survivors features no microtransactions. There is an option to watch an advert upon death to revive, but it is hardly intrusive.
Poncle is releasing a DLC expansion titled Legacy Of Moonspell for the Steam version on December 15, and hopefully it will come to the mobile version too. For now, I thoroughly recommend you give Vampire Survivors a go on your smartphone.