2022 Games of the Year: Vampire Survivors

Vampire Survivors is an incredible game in its ability to have such a core focused simple game that manages to be super fun moment to moment.

This is an indie game being developed as a side hobby by one lone developer.  It shows in the art assets but not in the gameplay.  The gameplay is a tight core loop where you control a character that is trying to survivor a bunch of enemies that are vaguely vampire adjacent.

The moment to moment sees you dodging enemies while your character auto-attacks.  Defeating enemies causes them to drop experience that you need to swing back around to pick up.  Once you get enough experience, you level up and gain new abilities or more levels of your current abilities.

And that's mostly all the game is.  Sure, there are characters to unlock, abilities to figure out combos for, and gold currency to pick up that will slowly increase your characters' meta-strength over time.  But the core run always takes 30 minutes or less (most of mine have been 10-15 minutes) and provides a bunch of highly engaging fun.

The closest game I can think of to Vampire Survivors is actually Geometry wars.  It has the same kind of vibe.

I really enjoy this game.  I'm tempted to put it in the number 2 spot of my rankings but I think Halo Infinite edges it out slightly due to how much fun I had with Halo's multiplayer.  If I was purely judging Vampire Survivors against Halo Infinite's single player campaign, I would actually put Vampire Survivors above Halo.  But the multiplayer means Halo edges this one out for me.

That makes our running ranking into this:

  1. FFXIV Endwalker
  2. Halo Infinite
  3. Vampire Survivors
  4. Nobody Saves the World
  5. Unpacking
I'm not sure how much staying power Vampire Survivors has in the top 5 but it'll be at least an honorable mention from me on the Geek to Geek podcast at year end.


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