Vampire Survivors [Switch] Review – Addictive Simplicity

Our Vampire Survivors review covers the pros and cons of the Switch port, as well as what we like about the game itself.

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Vampire Survivors is arguably one of the most popular indie games in recent times – and for good reason. First released on PC in 2021, the game took the world by storm with its addictive simplicity. But how does it run on the Nintendo Switch?

Vampire Survivors is a gothic bullet hell rogue-lite game that focuses heavily on your choices during a run. It’s up to you to decide what upgrades, weapons, and power-ups you need to fend off the hordes of enemies until dawn. Collect gems to boost your character and earn Gold to improve your next run. And that really all there is to it.

Made for the Nintendo Switch

screenshot from vampire survivors of hordes of enemies approaching the player during combat

Simple it may be, but Vampire Survivors is the perfect game for the Switch. We’re all aware with how the console can struggle with more demanding games, but Vampire Survivor’s straightforward gameplay means it performs brilliantly on the Nintendo Switch. It’s also a fantastic game to play in bed or while you’re commuting, so works well docked or in handheld.

This is largely due to the fact that some maps have a 30-minute or 15-minute cap. Runs can be shorter at times depending on your character’s build admittedly, but it’s still a great game to hop in and out of when you feel like it. whether you want a short burst of gameplay, or you fancy sitting there for hours earning achievements.

Tons of Progression

screenshot of vampire survivors of the pop up that alerts the player that they've opened a treasure chest, you can see hordes of enemies in the background who are paused due to the treasure chest

On the topic of achievements, I’m a big fan of the sense of progression in Vampire Survivors. On the outside, the game looks fairly simple and repetitive, but once you delve deeper you’ll realise that there are tons of things to unlock. Whether you want to upgrade every power-up, unlock all the maps, or try out new characters, it’s all available at your fingertips. You’re required to improve your power-ups and abilities to gain access to new content. This can only be done by taking part in multiple runs to farm currency – excellent for those who like a bit of grind in their games.

While this review focuses on the standard version of the game, it’s important to note that there is DLC available that bring additional maps, weapons, and characters to the table. I do want to mention that the base game has plenty to offer without the DLC, but they’re definitely worth getting if you enjoy the game.

The simplistic gameplay of Vampire Survivors may ultimately not appeal to everyone. But there’s no denying that what the game does, it does well. The controls are simple to grasp, as all you have to do is walk around the map to attack and dodge enemies. The combat may not be overly engaging, but it gives you the chance to dodge oncoming monsters while you try to pick up gems and items. In fact, I think the lack of actual combat mechanics is what makes the game so popular – it’s different. The main focus of the game is to upgrade your character’s build while you level up as quickly as possible by exploring the map.

The Addictive Gameplay

Now, I can’t write this review without mentioning the addition of a couch co-op mode. You can now join friends to defeat the hordes of monsters as you work together to obtain upgrades and gems. It’s a long-awaited feature and should bring even more players to the title and it certainly adds a ton of chaotic fun to the experience.

Due to the basic nature of the game, Vampire Survivors definitely isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. The repetitiveness doesn’t put me off, especially since there’s so much content to unlock in the base version.

Others may not be so forgiving, as your first run will be overwhelming to say the least. You’ll have a ton of enemies approaching you as you desperately try to fend them off – but it’s fast paced and undeniably manic fun. You’ll slowly get used to the upgrade system, allowing you to find the best weapons, power-ups, and abilities. Plus, the wide variety of builds and characters keeps the gameplay fresh.

In conclusion, Vampire Survivors is a gem. It’s a wonderful example of a successful indie game that has a simple concept but executes it perfectly. The catchy tunes in the background and the retro pixelated art combine to create an entertainingly addictive experience, and it’s even well priced – including all the DLC in the core price.

The good

  • Addictive gameplay
  • Fantastic soundtrack and art
  • Wide variety of builds for each character
  • Base game has tons of content
  • Chaotic fun with interesting weapons and abilities
  • Runs smoothly on the Nintendo Switch
  • Great to play in bed or while commuting

The bad

  • Gameplay loop won't be for everyone due to its repetitiveness
  • Simplistic gameplay with no combat mechanics
100 out of 100

Staff Writer
With experience writing for GameRant and in SEO copywriting, Adele loves to combine her adoration for gaming and writing. She'll talk your ear off about Final Fantasy, and if she's not typing away at her desk, she's probably playing a JRPG somewhere.