The wonderfully OTT bullet hell extravaganza that is Vampire Survivors has received another free update and, as has been the case since its early access release, solo developer Poncle continues to over-deliver. I spoke to him back in March about the game's unexpected (but richly deserved) success, and one of the most refreshing things was his attitude towards game balance:
"I don't care for game balance that much. It's a singleplayer game," says Luca 'Poncle' Galante (opens in new tab). "I'm more than happy for people just to go for what they have fun with."
This new patch certainly leans into that. Since launch Vampire Survivors has had one or two bonus codes, a nice homage from a dev who clearly loves Konami, but this new update adds an absolute tonne of cheat codes to the game. You enter them in the main menu and they're things like 'icanhearthecriesofcaptainplanet'. There's something quite nostalgic about all this: it's particularly nice that some of the cheat codes echo common moans or complaints about the game.
Needless to say the full list can be found easily enough, and will allow any player to essentially make themselves a screen-nuking god from the off, or skip to the big moments and bosses, or for whatever reason type 'spinnn' to see the main menu spin a bit. It's lovely to see Poncle's philosophy of 'it's a singleplayer game, sod it' find such unexpected and amusing expression, and one that will simply result in more fun for players.
In a very on-trend manner, the full patch notes (opens in new tab) come with some Vampire Survivors cats, and here's the rundown:
- 2 new characters
- 1 new relic
- 2 new achievements
- 1 new Arcana
- Incredible SECRETS
- Added a new music track in The Bone Zone
- Arcana "I - Gemini" also affects Gatti Amari and its evolution and Nduja Fritta.
Unfortunately this also fixes the never ending Nduja glitch in the Dairy Plant :(
- Arcana "V - Chaos in the Dark Night" has changed to: "Overall projectile Speed continuously changes between -50% and +50% over 10 seconds. The character starts gaining +1% projectile Speed every level."
- Arcana "XVII - Lost & Found Painting" has changed to: "Overall Duration continuously changes between -50% and +50% over 10 seconds. The character starts gaining +1% Duration every level."
- Arcana "XVIII - Boogaloo of Illusions" has changed to: "Overall Area continuously changes between -25% and +25% over 10 seconds. The character starts gaining +1% Area every level."
- On-screen keyboard for touch-screen and gamepad users.
- More spells.
Vampire Survivors has been one of the year's nicest surprises, and is a game that still sucks me in for an hour or two every so often. It's just a huge amount of fun (opens in new tab), throwaway as it might be, and one of the attractions is the carefree attitude the game has towards letting you get as overpowered as possible: something that Poncle continues to double-down on during the impressive post-launch updates. This game costs three dollars (opens in new tab), and continues to be worth every cent and more.