I preferred Vampire Survivors, a lot (opens in new tab). Certainly, all of us preferred it a lot that it inspired a wave of imitators (opens in new tab), some with genuinely brilliant concepts and intelligent twists. Picayune Dreams (opens in new tab), although, which not too long ago received a beefy free demo on Steam, is the primary one to take that horde mode, bullet hell gameplay in a brand new route, to repurpose it as a substitute of simply following the chief (credit score to Alpha Beta Gamer (opens in new tab) for the spot).
The Vampire Survivors fundamentals are right here: you are dropped in a giant, repeating play subject the place an increasing number of harmful enemies stream in as time goes on. Beating them drops expertise pickups you utilize to degree up, with a alternative of three randomly chosen upgrades and new weapons to select from demanding improvisational construct crafting.
As an alternative of Vampire Survivors’ singular 30 minute ranges, Picayune Goals has a extra traditional roguelike development with 5 minute ranges capped with a boss, and that is the place issues get spicy. These guys blow Vampire Survivors’ boss fights away, simply full-on Touhou (opens in new tab) bullet hell baddies demanding exact, masterful motion.
I’ve solely gotten previous the primary one in every of them, a deranged area rabbit with a grudge and a few connection to your backstory. It is a way more troublesome sport than Vampire Survivors and actually calls again to traditional shmups, nonetheless attempting to protect that late-game Vampire Survivors fantasy whereas not letting the sport simply play itself after a sure level.
The entire thing’s received a type of Evangelion meets ’90s render pack look to it, and that is only a full four-quadrant hit for me (see additionally: Hylics (opens in new tab) and Dreamwild (opens in new tab)). I used to be stunned to find that the sport’s principal artist is AndyLand (opens in new tab), who can be engaged on the equally surreal and elegant journey sport, Endacopia (opens in new tab).
Picayune Goals has a killer breakcore soundtrack (opens in new tab) by composer milkypossum, and the sport already hints at a deeper lore and concerned storyline. On the threat of spoiling an excessive amount of, there was an enormous style shift for a storytelling beat after I received previous the primary boss, and this type of daring swing all the time wins me over. It jogs my memory of comparable “oh shit” moments from NieR or Undertale.
This three individual effort from AndyLand, milkypossum, and programmer Stepford (opens in new tab) is already shaping as much as be one thing particular. Should you dig shmups, surreal ’90s throwback artwork, and cryptic, cerebral storytelling like I do, you may take a look at Picayune Goals’ substantial demo and wishlist the sport on Steam (opens in new tab).
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