Spellbound Survivors is a near 1-to-1 clone of Vampire Survivors, with less polished mechanics, less content, and surprisingly more impressive visuals. The one aspect of Spellbound Survivors that is not inferior to Vampire Survivors is its visuals.
The build given to influencers and reviews by the developer is broken in several ways. It has not been updated in over three weeks, indicating that the developer is either ignoring feedback or is unable or unwilling to address it, which bodes ill for the future of the game, especially when it fails to sell well, giving the developer little reason to work on the game, after it has proven to be unprofitable, which is what will happen unless the developer sells it for $1 or less, considering how little content there is, and how content rich and affordable Vampire Survivors is.
In the current build made available to reviewers and influencers, mini-bosses are immortal and start spawning from the 5-minute mark, meaning that players are essentially unable to play for more than 5-10 minutes before the immortal mini-boss with its massively broken hitboxes and area of effect damage kills them, while it’s possible to dance around the first mini-boss, by the time the second boss spawns, there is no way to do so.
Spellbound Survivors has the framework of a progression system; however, with players being unable to complete runs and the average gold drop containing just one gold coin, progressing is very difficult, considering that even a massive gold bag (50g) drops only once before the mini-bosses overwhelm the player, requiring 20 perfect runs to unlock even the first tier of many unlocks, and that is assuming the 50g bag spawns, which is often not the case, with a single gold coin often spawning in its stead.
In addition, completing achievements and goals gives no reward, unlike Vampire Survivors, making such achievements feel empty and honestly not worth obtaining.
The current build provided to reviewers has just two classes and two maps, which bodes ill for the early access launch if it does indeed launch in December 2023 as planned, especially when you consider the vast amount of content in Vampire Survivors, which retails for the very low price of just $4,99.
If Spellbound Survivors is priced any higher than $1 at launch, it is already dead.
One of the things that makes action rogue-likes so popular is the huge variety of possible builds. Titless such as Vampire Surviros offer players hundreds of viable builds, unfortunates Spellbound Survivors offers just one, and players without the vortex weapon (similar to garlic from Vampire Survivors), will struggle to deal with enemies as the game progresses, already by the 5-minute mark its difficult, and even when the mini-bosses are fixed, without the Vortex ability, even better players will find themselves struggling to get very far.
While Spellbound Survivors is almost entirely comprised of what appears to be store-bought assets, they are of very high quality. For those who place visuals above gameplay, this is the one area in which Spellbound Survivors surpasses Vampire Survivors, a game known for its excellent gameplay more than its visuals, which are not only asset store fodder but unimpressive asset store fodder at that.
Spellbound Survivors is a action rogue-like video game developed and published by ToastedSquadStudios, it was released on TBA and the retail price is yet to be disclosed by the publisher.
Spellbound Survivors is available exclusively on PC.
The following peripherals are officially supported:
Spellbound Survivors is unrated and contains the following:
Spellbound Survivors looks pretty, and it’s clear the developers have invested some time and money into it (unlike some Vampire Survivors clones); however, the current build given to the press is broken, and until that changes, my first impression is that of being unimpressed.
Hopefully, Spellbound Survivors will be in better shape by the time it launches on Steam; however, with just a few weeks until its scheduled launch in December 2023 and with the developer having failed to respond to feedback or publish a patch for game-breaking issues in almost three weeks, I am not too hopeful about its chances of success.