Please Help: I’m Addicted To Vampire Survivors And It’s Ruining My Life

Please Help: I’m Addicted To Vampire Survivors And It’s Ruining My Life

I’ve gotten addicted to an game called Vampire Survivors.

Vampire Survivors is an endless sprite-based roguelike with Castlevania vibes. The core of the game is moving your character around a large square map as a growing number of enemies slowly close in around them. Every few seconds, your character will make an attack. When you kill enemies, they have a chance to drop a small blue crystal. Picking up these crystals fills a level-up bar, and each level-up nets you fresh offensive or defensive upgrades.

Like any roguelike, the goal is to see how long you can survive before the mob finally takes you down. What begins as a slow-paced wander around a field with a whip rapidly becomes a frantic sprint to stay ahead of a screen-filling mob.

There’s barely any brainpower required. It’s controlled entirely with the arrow keys. All you have to do is move your character around. No thoughts, only devil chopping. Every time you effortlessly carve a path through a giant swarm of bats provides another pleasurable jolt of the good brain juices.

That simplicity, that lack of needing to think too hard about what I’m doing, is a big part of why I can’t stop playing it, and it’s becoming a problem.  It’s too easy to open and noodle around on. You become a thrall to it. Hours drop off the clock and you can’t account for your whereabouts.

Vampire Survivors is so good that it’s eating into my leisure time and my weekends. A healthy person would try to spend time away from the games they spend their week talking and thinking about. Clearly, I am not that person, because I can feel it calling to me even now. I could go outside. I could go for a hike or to the gym. Do literally anything to avoid staring at a screen. I deleted the bookmark in the vain hope it might curb the cravings.

“One more run,” I mutter to myself, typing in the URL from memory. “One more run and then I’ll actually go and live my life.”

The game is free to play on Itch if you’re feeling adventurous. You can get it on Steam and other platforms too.

Just be careful. You might become a thrall to it too.


  • I tried the demo and got hooked on trying to beat the first level and exploring all the weapons and combinations of skills.
    It’s a really fun little game and I’ve been avoiding getting the full version because I know I’ll get sucked in too.

  • Well the game dev said he used to work on poker machines… so he put in the same designs visual and audio cues that trap people into one button bandits.

    Its scarey to think what would happen if this dev built a gatchas.

  • Not actually endless (at least in the dirt cheap and highly worthwhile Steam version) – if you survive 30 minutes then at that point and for every minute thereafter a hyperactive and nigh-invulnerable grim reaper will dash onto the field and promptly eviscerate you (barring any freeze cheese from specific builds engineered to counter it). It’s a nice little limiter mechanic so the “one more run” thing stops being so problematic once you’ve brute-forced all the unlocks.

    If you really want a troublesomely endless option then check out Magic Survival – the free mobile game that inspired it. 😉

  • I adore the game, literally the best 26 hours I’ve ever spent for the price of a cup of coffee, but having picked up all the achievements and just about maxed out the in-game power ups I’m largely done until the next set of achievements launch. I will need a touch more than a visceral endorphin rush to keep me interested over the longer term.

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