Vampire Survivors is my perfect Apple Arcade game

Vampire Survivors
(Image credit: poncle)

To say I’ve played Vampire Survivors feels like somewhat of an understatement. I’ve beaten runs on Steam Deck, iPhone, and Xbox, with multiple characters, unlocking many of the game’s secrets, and testing every single character. At this point, I’d say I’ve beaten the game, and don’t feel nearly done with it. As one of the most popular Steam Deck titles, it feels perfect to play on the go and an iPhone is maybe the best possible way to play it. 

For the uninitiated, Vampire Survivors is a “bullet hell” roguelike, where you take control of vampire hunters who take out fiends of the night and upgrade characters over a level, getting new weapons, powers, and more. After you lose or win, you can use gold to buy permanent upgrades for future runs. Part of what makes it different from other bullet hells is you don’t actually shoot at enemies as you might expect — instead, your character automatically attacks whatever enemy is closest. You only control movement, and this makes it an incredibly approachable game. There’s a defined skill ceiling in picking the right upgrade routes and dodging enemies but you only need to control a single thing to start a run. 

As well as being approachable and easy to sink your teeth into, Vampire Survivors also launched on Steam in early access for a mere $2.99. This is not only a great price but means regions like Brazil and Argentina, which are normally priced out of traditional games thanks to inflation costs, can play it. So you now know why the game is so popular but why does this make it perfect for Apple Arcade? 

You can try it right now

Vampire Survivors+ is coming to Apple Arcade on August 1st, just a few weeks from now. However, you can play the full game for free, without DLCs on the App Store right now. If you want the game’s DLCs, you can pay to play them separately. The game also comes with ads to get more coins and revives. Though these ads aren’t overly obtrusive, they can still be a bit of an annoying distraction from the game itself. When it launches on Apple Arcade, Vampire Survivors+ comes with the first two DLCs and will be entirely ad-free. It is unclear if the other DLCs will be coming at a later date or if there’s a way to buy them. 

Having played the game extensively on my iPhone, the levels lend themselves well to the large screen of my iPhone 15 Pro Max and, given many stages have a degree of verticality to them, iPhones being taller than they are wide helps out. 99% of the time, if I had to choose between touch controls or a physical controller, I would choose the latter. However, Vampire Survivors can be played with a single hand, meaning I can take it out while waiting for a bus or lounging on the sofa. The game plays very well on console and Steam but it can be a bit cumbersome to pull out such a big controller for something so casual. I’ve already sunk upwards of 100 hours on the game but, when it launches on Apple Arcade, I can see that number getting much higher. 

Apple gift card

Apple gift card

Want to give someone the gift of Apple Arcade so that they can play Vampire Survivors for themself next month? If so, an Apple gift card is a great way to do so. 

More from iMore

James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.