Over the course of this year, more and more games have come out that are inspired by Vampire Survivors and other games like it. Boneraiser Minions, 20 Minutes Till Dawn, Brotato, Her Name Was Fire, Nomad Survival, Void Scrapper, etc. – There are many games that came out because of the popularity of Vampire Survivors and they each add their own spin to the formula.
You kill enemies that spawn around you, you get stronger, create a build of sorts and become incredibly OP.
I think that that whole gimmick of becoming incredibly overpowered by the end of the run paired with the fact that runs are short, basically summarises the whole appeal of this genre. It’s quick, fun and hard to quit. Like cigarettes.
This “genre” basically is a sub-genre of Roguelikes, I’d argue.
We’re talking about Bullet-Hell Arena-Shooters with Roguelike elements that focus on hordes of enemies trying to kill you… all while you’re practically racing against time itself as you’ll need to outpace the increasing difficulty curve.
Runs are limited in how long they take. At specific points, bosses spawn. If you’re not strong enough by that point, you’re dead.
Risk of Rain sort of implemented that as well – fighting against time and stuff… and at the same time, games like Behold already had the horde survival idea in place paired with the “you are overpowered” premise… and AK-Xolotl also kinda played into that.
Either way, “horde survival arena shooter bullet hell roguelikes” is a mouth-full and I believe that it’d be nice to have a name for all of this…
…and something that I found online was the phrase “Bullet Paradise”.
I believe this term is great. Whereas Bullet Hell games are all about surviving and dodging bullets and enemies… Bullet Paradise games are about getting stronger by being the bullet-shooter or the threat to the enemies who often just charge at you or shoot you from afar.
Whereas Bullet Hell games pit you against “bosses”, you’re the boss in a Bullet Paradise game.
That’s the idea… Obviously, it doesn’t work quite well… and it’s not a perfect definition. Some features would include:
- Short Runs
- Challenging with some depth to it through synergies and stat progression
- Enemies spawn around you on the screen
- Meta Progression and Unlocks for replayability
- Level-Ups grant you procedural upgrades that give you new ways of attacking or boost your existing stats and weapons
- Great Soundtrack (must-have)
I believe that these are features that this “genre” has. I know that games like VS are not a new genre… but more of a subgenre of roguelikes… but it’s good to have a name for it, right?
Feel free to share your thoughts and name suggestions!