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Scope the free demo for this tasty blend of Vampire Survivors and Risk of Rain

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Soulstone Survivors is an upcoming action roguelike that just dropped a demo last month, a free prologue where you can check out the blend of wildly over-the-top builds and classes that power the bullet heaven. You know, a reverse bullet hell where you're the hell.

It comes off something like a blend of Risk of Rain and Vampire Survivors, with character classes that have their own unique abilities allowing complex builds when blended with a broad suite of generic powers. At the same time it has the core conceit of Vampire Survivors: You don't control when your abilities fire off, they just do.

Soulstone Survivors shares both games' penchant for big nasty bosses and waves of enemies, but they're more like Risk of Rain in that the varieties of baddies have their own powers to unleash on you. The bosses have special moves too, often four or five of them, and learning to dodge what's coming is a big part of play.

The demo available on Steam (opens in new tab) has three character classes, the Barbarian, the Pyromancer, and the Houndmaster. Each has their own playstyle and an unlockable secondary weapon, which starts them with a different ability and set of stats. For my part, I really loved the pyromancer, who got big buffs to damage and ability area of effect. Buffed up with speed it became an uncatchable meteor-tossing monster.

You can also customize each character with a tree of permanent, passive buffs like experience pick-up range, health, attack speed, and more like you'd expect. The clutch add to the formula, for me, was the addition of a single activated ability: A dodge. It's great for jumping out of an enemy AoE and adds just that little bit of control over the situation that I so often crave in Vampire Survivors.

I find it hard to dislike singleplayer games that are all about building some wildly broken combination of abilities and shattering the game with them. There's something about knowing that the developers want me to go absolutely hog wild that I really love.

You can find Soulstone Survivors on Steam (opens in new tab), where it'll release this year. You can also find the free demo, Soulstone Survivors: Prologue (opens in new tab), on Steam. It's developed and self-published by indie studio Game Smithing Limited.

Soulstone Survivors

(Image credit: Game Smithing Limited)

Soulstone Survivors

(Image credit: Game Smithing Limited)

Soulstone Survivors

(Image credit: Game Smithing Limited)

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.