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Genre/Control

Specific tags for the title's features

Ranking

Similarity & Review

Review

Multiple Sources

Similarity

Compared to VS. Not a review!

Similarity Scale

Percentage of possible points earned scored -1 to 1 in tenths in 60 categories

Genre Controls Modes Progress Builds Stages Content Aesthetic Vibe
[edit]

Chess Survivors

Released

Possibly the best of three directly Chess related games on this list (in a genre highly related to "auto chess), try this one if you'd like to add a huge degree of strategy and puzzlement to your VS-formula. Super interesting. More classical rogue-like movement but physics based bullet heaven attacks. A solo dev project seemingly held together with duct tape, but packed with charm, this is a VS-formula twist not ot be missed. It's criminal it has so few players. No buyable meta progression besides goal based unlocks. Responsive Dev!

Bullet Heaven Chess Enemy Hell Grid-Based Movement Roguelite Survivors-like Top Down or Isometric Turn Based Hybrid
8.6 Combined Ranking Score
10/72 Ranking Position
1453/1600 Total Points
9.1 Final Review
97% Steam
8.3 Scale
9.3 Vibes
81 Steam Reviews
373/400 Review Points
8.0 Similarity Score
90% Diagnosis:
Similar
1080/1200 Comparison Points
96% Genre 7.3/8 genre
90% Simple Controls 5.6/7 move
86% Survival Modes 2.9/4 modes
88% Power Progression 3/4 level
87% Buildcrafting Depth 3.7/5 build
79% Stage Features 4/7 stage
87% Content Breadth 6.6/9 stuff
98% Aesthetics 5.8/6 style
96% Gameplay Vibe Check 9.1/10 vibe vibe

Chess Survivors Ranking Notes

- +

Scaling and Review Notes

Personal Hours Played: 2.5

Every game ranked was played, but also scaled based on research, talking to developers & your feedback. The priority with the scale's initial design was to compare similarity on relatively objective features - so it doesn't claim to include reviews of the depth and clarity you'd get at a games journalism site, nor the intensive time played you might get from player reviews on steam. We try to incorporate and link all of that along with a 'review scale' that checks for bugs. See the heatmap and breakdown! Time played noted so you can take any notes with a big grain of salt! I can't get to high level gameplay in 850+ games so I heavily research every game. Over 80 game creators let me interview or survey them! I Hope to go back and refine. Please argue or submit your own scores and reviews to be incorporated with credit into the notes and score numbers.

Added or last checked on 10/17/2023

There are three Chess inspired VS-likes on this list but this is indisputably the King. It actually fully incorporates the basics of chess and then builds on it with a fun toy theme for VS-style attacks. Mobs move like you'd expect based on their Chess pieces. An interesting mix of real time bullets and "Speed Chess" timed moves reminiscent of classic turn based rogue-likes. It's got more basic graphics and sometimes seems to be held together with duct tape, but it all doesn't matter because the gameplay feels like it actually melds Chess and Vampire Survivors in a way that teases your brain while also demanding "One More Run".

Just unlocking the second character's move style was a revelation and I can't wait to play more. I only wish it had Steam Cloud support so I could share progress to my Steam Deck. Not exactly aiming, can be played one handed with default controls but kind of more comfortable to use both - loses half a point for movement requiring confirmation.

Once saw the dev suggested a feature (pure turn based with no turn timer) and they implemented and rolled out the feature in Beta the same day, which I have literally never seen before with anything ever. Does lack exploration aspects. This one helped supply some useful example scores for the review scale scoring guide.

Chess Survivors Similarity Scale Heatmap

- +

Measured in 60 categories via likert-scale style options -1 to 1 in tenths, how does this game compare to Vampire Survivors. This allows 1200 total "points". It's easier to have a point of comparison and we just picked Vampire Survivors since it's the most popular and commonly referenced game in the subgenre. For detailed methodology read the explainer. For in depth examples at score value, see the scoring guide and for term definitions see the key.

8.0 Similarity Score
90% Diagnosis:
1080/1200 Comparison Points
Rogue-lite 1/1
Auto-Fire / Auto-Battle 0.8/1
Real Time 0.5/1
Top Down or Isometric 1/1
Direct Control of Single Avatar 1/1
Arcade Style 1/1
Bullet Heaven A (Many Player Bullets) 1/1
Bullet Heaven B (Few Enemy Bullets) 1/1
One Handed Play (w Controller) 0.9/1
Move Only 1/1
No Dash 1/1
No Trigger 0/1
No Special Move 1/1
No Aiming 0.7/1
No On-Aim / On-Fire Movement Penalty 1/1
Timed / Boss Ended Survival 1/1
Endless Mode 0/1
Organic / Unannounced Waves 1/1
High Enemy Count (Horde) 0.9/1
Level Up on XP Gain Event 1/1
Streamlined Level Choices (Simple UI) 1/1
Currency Based Meta Unlocks 0/1
Goal Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Build Crafting 0.7/1
1/1
Weapon Combination / "Evolution" 0/1
Interesting Item / Weapon / Ability Synergy 1/1
Broken / Invincible Builds Possible 1/1
Explorable Map 0/1
BIG Maps 0/1
XP on Ground 1/1
Health on Ground 1/1
Temp Powerups / Items on Ground 1/1
Treasure Chests and/or Loot Events 1/1
Vendor / Merchant on Run 0/1
Enemy Variety 0.8/1
Bosses / Elites 0.8/1
Many Interesting Characters 1/1
Many Challenges 1/1
Multiple Stages 1/1
Difficulty Modifiers 1/1
Bestiary / Lore 0/1
Achievements 1/1
Secrets 0/1
Retro / Pixel Art 1/1
Damage Numbers 1/1
Lofi Charm 1/1
Bumpin Music 0.8/1
Fun Writing 1/1
Subtle Humor 1/1
Panic & Zen Duo Vibe 0.8/1
Over the Top 1/1
"One More Run" / Short Runs 1/1
Difficulty Ramp 0.7/1
Fun Ramp 1/1
Low Price 1/1
Technical Check 0.7/1
Controls Check 0.9/1
Fun Check 1/1
Feels like VS 1/1

Chess Survivors Review Scale Heatmap

- +

The review scale is judged from -1 to 1 in 10 categories, with 200 possible "points" earned. Steam review positive percentage is worth another 100 points, and a "ten point" pure vibe review number adds extra subjectivity. Converted into points, that's 400 points total. The points aren't used directly in the ranking, though, which averages the three number scores for the final review score listed in the game line above.

9.1 Final Review
97% Positive Steam Reviews
81 Steam Reviews
9.3 Pure Vibes
8.3 Review Scale
373/400 Review Points
Not Buggy 1/1
Not Janky 0.8/1
Good UI 0.4/1
Controller and Deck 1/1
Lots of Content 1/1
Good Theme 1/1
Good Graphics and Sound 0.3/1
Fun Feel 0.9/1
Unique Twists 1/1
Vibe Check 0.9/1

Metacritic Scores

- +

This title has metacritic data! The "fuck the man" score is adjusted so each person's review is equally weighted, regardless of critic or fan status.

Critic

7.5 Converted 10 Point Score
1 Number of Critic Reviews

User

- User Review Average
- Number of User Reviews

Average

7.5 Direct Average
7.5 "Fuck The Man" Combined Mean

Chess Survivors Tag Cloud

- +

More sortable taxonomies and categories associated with the game (genre tags are available in the main game table line!) We've just started adding tags to enable more sorting options, this section will get more filled out as we go!

Release Tags

LinuxSteam DeckWindows PCReleased

Sorting Categories

Similar

Genre and Control Style Tags

Bullet HeavenChessEnemy HellGrid-Based MovementRogueliteSurvivors-likeTop Down or IsometricTurn Based Hybrid

Aesthetic Tags

2DLofiPixel Art

Setting / Story Tags

Board GameChess

Control Styles

Controller

Game Mode Tags

Unknown10m

Features and Extras

Steam Achievements

Dev/Publisher

Aarimous

Game Features

- +

Listing various features we've got info on.

Multiplayer

  • Local: No
  • Online: No
  • Player Count: 1
  • Leaderboards: ?

Steam Features

  • Steam Cloud: No
  • Steam Achievements: 35
  • Steam Leaderboards: No
  • Steam Workshop: No
  • Steam Trading Cards: No

Extras, Etc.

  • NSFW: No
  • Demo Available: No
  • DLC Available: No
  • Soundtrack Available: No

Marketing Blurb

- +

Some description of the game and its features from the creators.

"Chess Survivors is a grid based, quick-turn, roguelike where you outmaneuver and destroy an ever growing horde of chess based enemies. Combine abilities, upgrades, and relics to create game-breaking builds. Think fast, die, learn, repeat!"

"Chess based enemies and player movement" "Casual quick 10-21 minute play sessions, for busy gamers"

Run Times & Speedups

- +

Average Run Time: 10m

Run Time Notes

?

Speed Settings

?

[edit]

Spellbook Demonslayers

EA

The vibe of this one is great, from the complex system of interactions to the metal soundtrack. Has a dodge button, though, and aiming, which is useful early on but a quick toggle allows you to switch to automatic. It's a smaller arena based shooter, I think my biggest simple desire for it would be more exploration aspects and some characters/ skins to mix it up.

Arena Shooter Auto-Shooter Bullet Heaven Enemy Hell Female Protagonist Horde Survival LGBTQ Mowing Game Roguelite Survivors-like Top Down or Isometric Twin Stick Shooter Wave Survival
8.5 Combined Ranking Score
12/72 Ranking Position
1460/1600 Total Points
8.7 Final Review
84% Steam
9.2 Scale
8.4 Vibes
1014 Steam Reviews
360/400 Review Points
8.3 Similarity Score
92% Diagnosis:
Similar
1100/1200 Comparison Points
99% Genre 7.8/8 genre
83% Simple Controls 4.6/7 move
99% Survival Modes 3.9/4 modes
100% Power Progression 4/4 level
98% Buildcrafting Depth 4.8/5 build
71% Stage Features 2.9/7 stage
84% Content Breadth 6.1/9 stuff
100% Aesthetics 6/6 style
100% Gameplay Vibe Check 9.9/10 vibe vibe

Spellbook Demonslayers Ranking Notes

- +

Scaling and Review Notes

Personal Hours Played: 6.8

Every game ranked was played, but also scaled based on research, talking to developers & your feedback. The priority with the scale's initial design was to compare similarity on relatively objective features - so it doesn't claim to include reviews of the depth and clarity you'd get at a games journalism site, nor the intensive time played you might get from player reviews on steam. We try to incorporate and link all of that along with a 'review scale' that checks for bugs. See the heatmap and breakdown! Time played noted so you can take any notes with a big grain of salt! I can't get to high level gameplay in 850+ games so I heavily research every game. Over 80 game creators let me interview or survey them! I Hope to go back and refine. Please argue or submit your own scores and reviews to be incorporated with credit into the notes and score numbers.

Added or last checked on 10/19/2023

ashe-from_spellbook-demonslayers.gifWaves are kind of unannounced but enemy spawns do have a red X before they show up, hence the tiny ding. Funny trivia but if you turn off enemy outlines the ones currently spawned will keep them until you kill them, while the new spawns show up without them. Don't really feel like it's a bug because it's fun. Appreciate when these games give you the option to make a run endless at the end, which this one does. Adds shrines to the mix.

eye-from_spellbook-demonslayers.gifI really love this one, but I would like to see it have more characters even if they're reskins only of the main character. I know the books are kind of characters, but both the books and the demons just feel like items to equip and my runs generally 'look' the same to me with her in the middle. I do like her a lot, don't get me wrong, but I enjoy making a new build with a different colored dot in the middle sometimes. Like maybe I can change her clothes and dye her hair or something, normal people do that. I'm not saying that has to be an actual gameplay mechanic, the hair dying.

Maybe has secrets? I wasn't able to find any info.

Spellbook Demonslayers Similarity Scale Heatmap

- +

Measured in 60 categories via likert-scale style options -1 to 1 in tenths, how does this game compare to Vampire Survivors. This allows 1200 total "points". It's easier to have a point of comparison and we just picked Vampire Survivors since it's the most popular and commonly referenced game in the subgenre. For detailed methodology read the explainer. For in depth examples at score value, see the scoring guide and for term definitions see the key.

8.3 Similarity Score
92% Diagnosis:
1100/1200 Comparison Points
Rogue-lite 1/1
Auto-Fire / Auto-Battle 0.8/1
Real Time 1/1
Top Down or Isometric 1/1
Direct Control of Single Avatar 1/1
Arcade Style 1/1
Bullet Heaven A (Many Player Bullets) 1/1
Bullet Heaven B (Few Enemy Bullets) 1/1
One Handed Play (w Controller) 0.8/1
Move Only 0/1
No Dash 0/1
No Trigger 1/1
No Special Move 1/1
No Aiming 0.8/1
No On-Aim / On-Fire Movement Penalty 1/1
Timed / Boss Ended Survival 1/1
Endless Mode 1/1
Organic / Unannounced Waves 0.9/1
High Enemy Count (Horde) 1/1
Level Up on XP Gain Event 1/1
Streamlined Level Choices (Simple UI) 1/1
Currency Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Goal Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Build Crafting 1/1
1/1
Weapon Combination / "Evolution" 0.8/1
Interesting Item / Weapon / Ability Synergy 1/1
Broken / Invincible Builds Possible 1/1
Explorable Map -0.1/1
BIG Maps -1/1
XP on Ground 1/1
Health on Ground 1/1
Temp Powerups / Items on Ground 1/1
Treasure Chests and/or Loot Events 1/1
Vendor / Merchant on Run 0/1
Enemy Variety 0.8/1
Bosses / Elites 1/1
Many Interesting Characters 0/1
Many Challenges 1/1
Multiple Stages 0.9/1
Difficulty Modifiers 1/1
Bestiary / Lore 0.4/1
Achievements 1/1
Secrets 0/1
Retro / Pixel Art 1/1
Damage Numbers 1/1
Lofi Charm 1/1
Bumpin Music 1/1
Fun Writing 1/1
Subtle Humor 1/1
Panic & Zen Duo Vibe 1/1
Over the Top 1/1
"One More Run" / Short Runs 1/1
Difficulty Ramp 1/1
Fun Ramp 1/1
Low Price 1/1
Technical Check 0.9/1
Controls Check 1/1
Fun Check 1/1
Feels like VS 1/1

Spellbook Demonslayers Review Scale Heatmap

- +

The review scale is judged from -1 to 1 in 10 categories, with 200 possible "points" earned. Steam review positive percentage is worth another 100 points, and a "ten point" pure vibe review number adds extra subjectivity. Converted into points, that's 400 points total. The points aren't used directly in the ranking, though, which averages the three number scores for the final review score listed in the game line above.

8.7 Final Review
84% Positive Steam Reviews
1014 Steam Reviews
8.4 Pure Vibes
9.2 Review Scale
360/400 Review Points
Not Buggy 1/1
Not Janky 0.9/1
Good UI 0.9/1
Controller and Deck 1/1
Lots of Content 0.7/1
Good Theme 1/1
Good Graphics and Sound 0.9/1
Fun Feel 1/1
Unique Twists 0.8/1
Vibe Check 1/1

Spellbook Demonslayers Tag Cloud

- +

More sortable taxonomies and categories associated with the game (genre tags are available in the main game table line!) We've just started adding tags to enable more sorting options, this section will get more filled out as we go!

Release Tags

Steam DeckWindows PCEA

Sorting Categories

Similar

Genre and Control Style Tags

Arena ShooterAuto-ShooterBullet HeavenEnemy HellFemale ProtagonistHorde SurvivalLGBTQMowing GameRogueliteSurvivors-likeTop Down or IsometricTwin Stick ShooterWave Survival

Aesthetic Tags

2DCartoonLofiMetalPixel Art

Setting / Story Tags

DemonsFantasyMagicUnderworld

Control Styles

Controller

Game Mode Tags

Unknown13m

Features and Extras

SoundtrackSteam AchievementsSteam Cloud

Dev/Publisher

ErabitXendra

Game Features

- +

Listing various features we've got info on.

Multiplayer

  • Local: No
  • Online: No
  • Player Count: 1
  • Leaderboards: ?

Steam Features

  • Steam Cloud: Yes
  • Steam Achievements: 100
  • Steam Leaderboards: No
  • Steam Workshop: No
  • Steam Trading Cards: No

Extras, Etc.

  • NSFW: No
  • Demo Available: No
  • DLC Available: No
  • Soundtrack Available: YouTube

Marketing Blurb

- +

Some description of the game and its features from the creators.

"Spellbook Demonslayers is a fast-paced roguelite bullet heaven game inspired by my favorite parts of Vampire Survivors and Path of Exile! Customize your playstyle with magic, charms, abilities, and demon summoning to become the most overpowered slayer the Library has ever seen! Do you have what it takes to destroy the demonic horde, or will the Cosmic Library be lost forever?"

Run Times & Speedups

- +

Average Run Time: 13m

Run Time Notes

?

Speed Settings

?

[edit]

Return to Abyss

DLC Released

Underworldly anime styled mowing game with some cute character designs. I like the vibe and gameplay a fair amount so far but localization isn't quite there yet, with some text layout bugs and confusing explanations. You can save game mid run to quit out, which I appreciate as a steam deck player. Overall I'm hoping to come back to this one later and find it a bit easier to navigate. It's certainly very similar to Vampire Survivors (except for the hub world) but it may not be the most notable survivors-like on the list, currently with about a 7.5 on the review.

Auto-Shooter Bullet Heaven Enemy Hell Hack and Slash Horde Survival Mowing Game Roguelite Single Stick Shooter Survivors-like Top Down or Isometric Wave Survival
8.3 Combined Ranking Score
15/72 Ranking Position
1472/1600 Total Points
7.4 Final Review
80% Steam
7.1 Scale
7.0 Vibes
811 Steam Reviews
321/400 Review Points
9.2 Similarity Score
96% Diagnosis:
Similar
1151/1200 Comparison Points
100% Genre 8/8 genre
94% Simple Controls 6.2/7 move
100% Survival Modes 4/4 modes
100% Power Progression 4/4 level
100% Buildcrafting Depth 5/5 build
98% Stage Features 6.7/7 stage
97% Content Breadth 8.5/9 stuff
83% Aesthetics 3.9/6 style
93% Gameplay Vibe Check 8.6/10 vibe vibe

Return to Abyss Ranking Notes

- +

Scaling and Review Notes

Personal Hours Played: 3.4

Every game ranked was played, but also scaled based on research, talking to developers & your feedback. The priority with the scale's initial design was to compare similarity on relatively objective features - so it doesn't claim to include reviews of the depth and clarity you'd get at a games journalism site, nor the intensive time played you might get from player reviews on steam. We try to incorporate and link all of that along with a 'review scale' that checks for bugs. See the heatmap and breakdown! Time played noted so you can take any notes with a big grain of salt! I can't get to high level gameplay in 850+ games so I heavily research every game. Over 80 game creators let me interview or survey them! I Hope to go back and refine. Please argue or submit your own scores and reviews to be incorporated with credit into the notes and score numbers.

Added or last checked on 11/16/2023

Underworldly anime styled survivors-like staring cute gals sweeping up baddies and operating out of a cafe hub world. First impressions are generally positive!

Enemies feel slow and awkward at first, because the less lofi art style kind of exposes that mechanic in the early game (some games do some great work to make the slower movement feel more natural, but I can accept it as a quirk.) It's not quite as bad as it is in some of the 3D titles and some characters like the bats feel animated quite nicely even while slowly drifting in. It's not something I spent too long worrying about as they can quickly overwhelm you. Map obstacles like lava on the ground add another level of complexity to dodging enemies.

You can save the game on quit which is pretty useful. There is a dash unlocked via in run ability selection (so possible to go without seeing at times). Sound effects are a little crunchy. There's a store in Endless Mode.

The translation issues were kind of persistent through the game, often confusing me as to basic mechanics. I think most of the meta upgrades are actually fairly typical of the genre, so the stumbling wasn't too bad, but when it came to the weapon related menus I admit I'm still not entirely sure what the options mean. I wish "drinks" (crafted difficulty modifiers) didn't limit other achievements and could be saved for later if the particular mix of positive and negative changes doesn't appeal for the next session.

I got the DLC for it, not really sure why honestly. I don't feel upset about it but it does feel a little silly in retrospect with a genre that's mostly about unlocking stuff in terms of giving you a reason for another run. Generally all the paid DLC and cosmetics and stuff is what has turned people off from other popular genres and lead them here - but it's worth noting that Vampire Survivors also has DLC now!

One reviewer seemed confused they couldn't "get the nsfw scenes" but I don't think there are supposed to be any haha. I didn't get the impression it's particularly horny. I like the art style but can't help wishing it was a pixel style or at least closer to the cut scene style in game. I hope it gets better localization and more descriptive stats, I'll be checking in to play more.

Free on Android, but with gacha transactions.

Return to Abyss Similarity Scale Heatmap

- +

Measured in 60 categories via likert-scale style options -1 to 1 in tenths, how does this game compare to Vampire Survivors. This allows 1200 total "points". It's easier to have a point of comparison and we just picked Vampire Survivors since it's the most popular and commonly referenced game in the subgenre. For detailed methodology read the explainer. For in depth examples at score value, see the scoring guide and for term definitions see the key.

9.2 Similarity Score
96% Diagnosis:
1151/1200 Comparison Points
Rogue-lite 1/1
Auto-Fire / Auto-Battle 1/1
Real Time 1/1
Top Down or Isometric 1/1
Direct Control of Single Avatar 1/1
Arcade Style 1/1
Bullet Heaven A (Many Player Bullets) 1/1
Bullet Heaven B (Few Enemy Bullets) 1/1
One Handed Play (w Controller) 1/1
Move Only 1/1
No Dash 0.2/1
No Trigger 1/1
No Special Move 1/1
No Aiming 1/1
No On-Aim / On-Fire Movement Penalty 1/1
Timed / Boss Ended Survival 1/1
Endless Mode 1/1
Organic / Unannounced Waves 1/1
High Enemy Count (Horde) 1/1
Level Up on XP Gain Event 1/1
Streamlined Level Choices (Simple UI) 1/1
Currency Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Goal Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Build Crafting 1/1
1/1
Weapon Combination / "Evolution" 1/1
Interesting Item / Weapon / Ability Synergy 1/1
Broken / Invincible Builds Possible 1/1
Explorable Map 1/1
BIG Maps 1/1
XP on Ground 1/1
Health on Ground 1/1
Temp Powerups / Items on Ground 1/1
Treasure Chests and/or Loot Events 1/1
Vendor / Merchant on Run 0.7/1
Enemy Variety 1/1
Bosses / Elites 1/1
Many Interesting Characters 1/1
Many Challenges 1/1
Multiple Stages 1/1
Difficulty Modifiers 1/1
Bestiary / Lore 0.5/1
Achievements 1/1
Secrets 1/1
Retro / Pixel Art -0.1/1
Damage Numbers 1/1
Lofi Charm 0.5/1
Bumpin Music 0.9/1
Fun Writing 0.8/1
Subtle Humor 0.8/1
Panic & Zen Duo Vibe 1/1
Over the Top 1/1
"One More Run" / Short Runs 1/1
Difficulty Ramp 0.8/1
Fun Ramp 0.8/1
Low Price 0.6/1
Technical Check 0.8/1
Controls Check 1/1
Fun Check 0.8/1
Feels like VS 1/1

Return to Abyss Review Scale Heatmap

- +

The review scale is judged from -1 to 1 in 10 categories, with 200 possible "points" earned. Steam review positive percentage is worth another 100 points, and a "ten point" pure vibe review number adds extra subjectivity. Converted into points, that's 400 points total. The points aren't used directly in the ranking, though, which averages the three number scores for the final review score listed in the game line above.

7.4 Final Review
80% Positive Steam Reviews
811 Steam Reviews
7.0 Pure Vibes
7.1 Review Scale
321/400 Review Points
Not Buggy 0.9/1
Not Janky 0.7/1
Good UI 0.2/1
Controller and Deck 0.8/1
Lots of Content 0.8/1
Good Theme 1/1
Good Graphics and Sound 0.7/1
Fun Feel 0.9/1
Unique Twists 0.2/1
Vibe Check 0.9/1

Return to Abyss Tag Cloud

- +

More sortable taxonomies and categories associated with the game (genre tags are available in the main game table line!) We've just started adding tags to enable more sorting options, this section will get more filled out as we go!

Release Tags

AndroidSteam DeckWindows PCDLCReleased

Sorting Categories

Similar

Genre and Control Style Tags

Auto-ShooterBullet HeavenEnemy HellHack and SlashHorde SurvivalMowing GameRogueliteSingle Stick ShooterSurvivors-likeTop Down or IsometricWave Survival

Aesthetic Tags

2DAnimeCartoonCute

Setting / Story Tags

FantasyHorror ThemedUnderworld

Control Styles

Auto-AimAuto-FireController

Game Mode Tags

Unknown15m

Features and Extras

Steam AchievementsSteam Cloud

Dev/Publisher

Joychasing Games

Game Features

- +

Listing various features we've got info on.

Multiplayer

  • Local: No
  • Online: No
  • Player Count: 1
  • Leaderboards: ?

Steam Features

  • Steam Cloud: Yes
  • Steam Achievements: 48
  • Steam Leaderboards: No
  • Steam Workshop: No
  • Steam Trading Cards: No

Extras, Etc.

  • NSFW: No
  • Demo Available: No
  • DLC Available: Yes
  • Soundtrack Available: No

Marketing Blurb

- +

Some description of the game and its features from the creators.

"Return to Abyss is a mowing survival game with Rogue-Lite elements, upgrade your weapons and use your fighting skills to fight through over 10,000 monsters on screen until defeat the culprit who brought chaos!"

"In the abyss, you will face thousands of abominable monsters simultaneously, and they are endless and seemingly endless! There is no need to be afraid, although there is no way to retreat, the artifact in your hand is powerful, and the bullet command room can annihilate a large number of enemies."

"12 basic weapons that can evolve into 72 different artifacts. 25 weapon accessories to choose from. 10 unique props that can be deployed to the battlefield via airdrop boxes. 15 Special Drinks That Change the Rules. 23 upgradeable items."

Control Style Notes

- +

It can often be played like a single stick shooter, but abilities enable a dash (and possibly other buttons later on? I didn't notice the dash at first.)

Many of the abilities are melee range so it makes sense that they advertise this as a Mowing Game - it forces you to move in different styles depending on your weapon.

Automated Features

Auto-Fire
Auto-Aim

Supported Controls

  • Controller: Full
  • Controller Move Only: No
  • Controller One Handed: ?
  • Mouse Only: ?
  • Keyboard Only: ?
  • Keyboard One Handed: ?

Run Times & Speedups

- +

Average Run Time: 15m

Run Time Notes

?

Speed Settings

?

[edit]

Nomad Survival

Released

One of the earlier survivors-likes on the market and one of the most directly inspired, with full scores on move-only controls (except for one class). It has some twists on build crafting and deep stats. Put together and functional, would be plenty of fun for a couple dozen hours. Problem is it doesn't stand out much now. I don't see it recommended as much this year, but I do love the no-downside 3x speed option to bust through unlocks.

Arena Shooter Auto-Shooter Bullet Heaven Enemy Hell Horde Survival Mowing Game Roguelite Single Stick Shooter Survivors-like Top Down or Isometric Wave Survival
8.3 Combined Ranking Score
16/72 Ranking Position
1462/1600 Total Points
7.9 Final Review
89% Steam
7.2 Scale
7.7 Vibes
1440 Steam Reviews
338/400 Review Points
8.7 Similarity Score
94% Diagnosis:
Similar
1124/1200 Comparison Points
100% Genre 8/8 genre
100% Simple Controls 7/7 move
88% Survival Modes 3/4 modes
100% Power Progression 4/4 level
100% Buildcrafting Depth 5/5 build
81% Stage Features 4.3/7 stage
89% Content Breadth 7/9 stuff
87% Aesthetics 4.4/6 style
95% Gameplay Vibe Check 8.9/10 vibe vibe

Nomad Survival Ranking Notes

- +

Scaling and Review Notes

Personal Hours Played: 2.1

Every game ranked was played, but also scaled based on research, talking to developers & your feedback. The priority with the scale's initial design was to compare similarity on relatively objective features - so it doesn't claim to include reviews of the depth and clarity you'd get at a games journalism site, nor the intensive time played you might get from player reviews on steam. We try to incorporate and link all of that along with a 'review scale' that checks for bugs. See the heatmap and breakdown! Time played noted so you can take any notes with a big grain of salt! I can't get to high level gameplay in 850+ games so I heavily research every game. Over 80 game creators let me interview or survey them! I Hope to go back and refine. Please argue or submit your own scores and reviews to be incorporated with credit into the notes and score numbers.

Added or last checked on 10/24/2023

One of the earlier survivors-likes on the market, it's gotten a lot better since I first played it, though it still feels a bit generic. I gotta say, after playing a ton of these and starting off slow again every time, I appreciate the option to play at 3x speed without it reducing awards or changing any other gameplay!

Overall it's kind of what you'd predict, not particularly bad but not particularly creative. Pixel graphics are serviceable, though I don't love the first few characters. Solid music. Often confusing UI, feels cluttered. Three currencies - souls, gold, gems. In general I feel like I just need one in run currency and one metaprogression currency, I'm not sure why all these games complicate it, but I guess it's for the feeling of "rare drops".

In any case, the menus aren't very pretty but good range of difficulty mods, if not as fun challenges. It seems the devs are done with updating it and on to their next game, but it has an OK amount of content. The problem is it doesn't do a lot to differentiate itself. Dev said "endless mode wouldn't be fun" which.. well, you know.

Nomad Survival Similarity Scale Heatmap

- +

Measured in 60 categories via likert-scale style options -1 to 1 in tenths, how does this game compare to Vampire Survivors. This allows 1200 total "points". It's easier to have a point of comparison and we just picked Vampire Survivors since it's the most popular and commonly referenced game in the subgenre. For detailed methodology read the explainer. For in depth examples at score value, see the scoring guide and for term definitions see the key.

8.7 Similarity Score
94% Diagnosis:
1124/1200 Comparison Points
Rogue-lite 1/1
Auto-Fire / Auto-Battle 1/1
Real Time 1/1
Top Down or Isometric 1/1
Direct Control of Single Avatar 1/1
Arcade Style 1/1
Bullet Heaven A (Many Player Bullets) 1/1
Bullet Heaven B (Few Enemy Bullets) 1/1
One Handed Play (w Controller) 1/1
Move Only 1/1
No Dash 1/1
No Trigger 1/1
No Special Move 1/1
No Aiming 1/1
No On-Aim / On-Fire Movement Penalty 1/1
Timed / Boss Ended Survival 1/1
Endless Mode 0/1
Organic / Unannounced Waves 1/1
High Enemy Count (Horde) 1/1
Level Up on XP Gain Event 1/1
Streamlined Level Choices (Simple UI) 1/1
Currency Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Goal Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Build Crafting 1/1
1/1
Weapon Combination / "Evolution" 1/1
Interesting Item / Weapon / Ability Synergy 1/1
Broken / Invincible Builds Possible 1/1
Explorable Map 0.1/1
BIG Maps 0.2/1
XP on Ground 1/1
Health on Ground 1/1
Temp Powerups / Items on Ground 1/1
Treasure Chests and/or Loot Events 1/1
Vendor / Merchant on Run 0/1
Enemy Variety 1/1
Bosses / Elites 1/1
Many Interesting Characters 1/1
Many Challenges 1/1
Multiple Stages 1/1
Difficulty Modifiers 1/1
Bestiary / Lore 0/1
Achievements 1/1
Secrets 0/1
Retro / Pixel Art 1/1
Damage Numbers 1/1
Lofi Charm 1/1
Bumpin Music 1/1
Fun Writing 0.2/1
Subtle Humor 0.2/1
Panic & Zen Duo Vibe 1/1
Over the Top 1/1
"One More Run" / Short Runs 1/1
Difficulty Ramp 1/1
Fun Ramp 1/1
Low Price 1/1
Technical Check 0.8/1
Controls Check 1/1
Fun Check 0.9/1
Feels like VS 1/1

Nomad Survival Review Scale Heatmap

- +

The review scale is judged from -1 to 1 in 10 categories, with 200 possible "points" earned. Steam review positive percentage is worth another 100 points, and a "ten point" pure vibe review number adds extra subjectivity. Converted into points, that's 400 points total. The points aren't used directly in the ranking, though, which averages the three number scores for the final review score listed in the game line above.

7.9 Final Review
89% Positive Steam Reviews
1440 Steam Reviews
7.7 Pure Vibes
7.2 Review Scale
338/400 Review Points
Not Buggy 1/1
Not Janky 0.7/1
Good UI 0.6/1
Controller and Deck 1/1
Lots of Content 1/1
Good Theme 0.3/1
Good Graphics and Sound 0.7/1
Fun Feel 1/1
Unique Twists 0.3/1
Vibe Check 0.6/1

Nomad Survival Tag Cloud

- +

More sortable taxonomies and categories associated with the game (genre tags are available in the main game table line!) We've just started adding tags to enable more sorting options, this section will get more filled out as we go!

Release Tags

Steam DeckWindows PCReleased

Sorting Categories

Similar

Genre and Control Style Tags

Arena ShooterAuto-ShooterBullet HeavenEnemy HellHorde SurvivalMowing GameRogueliteSingle Stick ShooterSurvivors-likeTop Down or IsometricWave Survival

Aesthetic Tags

2DPixel Art

Setting / Story Tags

DungeonsFantasy

Control Styles

ControllerController Move Only

Game Mode Tags

Unknown35m

Features and Extras

Soundtrack

Dev/Publisher

The Fox Knocks

Game Features

- +

Listing various features we've got info on.

Multiplayer

  • Local: No
  • Online: No
  • Player Count: 1
  • Leaderboards: ?

Steam Features

  • Steam Cloud: No
  • Steam Achievements: No
  • Steam Leaderboards: No
  • Steam Workshop: No
  • Steam Trading Cards: No

Extras, Etc.

  • NSFW: No
  • Demo Available: No
  • DLC Available: No
  • Soundtrack Available: Steam

Marketing Blurb

- +

Some description of the game and its features from the creators.

"Battle against hordes of enemies, conquer Boss encounters, and explore various character and skill combinations in this time-based auto-attacking Roguelite in your quest to become stronger and defeat the most menacing of creatures that lay in wait at the end of each run."

"You can have as many abilities as you want" "Each Character boasts a different style of play through Weapon Skills"

Run Times & Speedups

- +

Average Run Time: 35m

Run Time Notes

?

Speed Settings

?

[edit]

Scarlet Tower

EA Free Available

Perhaps the most thematically and directly inspired (non-shovelware) I've played so far, especially with regards to weapons. It tries to do a lot but comes off with the impression a lot of surface level complexity (and annoying if pretty UI) covers for less actual depth / impactful feeling gameplay. Control-wise, it has toggle-able auto-aim and auto-fire and a dash, so that bumps it down a little in the ranking despite it feeling more like VS than almost any other game on the list. Pretty, but felt too derivative vibe-wise to me.

Auto-Shooter Bullet Heaven Enemy Hell Horde Survival Mowing Game Roguelite Single Stick Shooter Survivors-like Top Down or Isometric Twin Stick Shooter Wave Survival
8.2 Combined Ranking Score
18/72 Ranking Position
1463/1600 Total Points
7.5 Final Review
86% Steam
6.9 Scale
6.9 Vibes
799 Steam Reviews
324/400 Review Points
9.0 Similarity Score
95% Diagnosis:
Similar
1139/1200 Comparison Points
99% Genre 7.8/8 genre
88% Simple Controls 5.3/7 move
100% Survival Modes 4/4 modes
100% Power Progression 4/4 level
95% Buildcrafting Depth 4.5/5 build
100% Stage Features 7/7 stage
93% Content Breadth 7.8/9 stuff
85% Aesthetics 4.2/6 style
92% Gameplay Vibe Check 8.4/10 vibe vibe

Scarlet Tower Ranking Notes

- +

Scaling and Review Notes

Personal Hours Played: 4.3

Every game ranked was played, but also scaled based on research, talking to developers & your feedback. The priority with the scale's initial design was to compare similarity on relatively objective features - so it doesn't claim to include reviews of the depth and clarity you'd get at a games journalism site, nor the intensive time played you might get from player reviews on steam. We try to incorporate and link all of that along with a 'review scale' that checks for bugs. See the heatmap and breakdown! Time played noted so you can take any notes with a big grain of salt! I can't get to high level gameplay in 850+ games so I heavily research every game. Over 80 game creators let me interview or survey them! I Hope to go back and refine. Please argue or submit your own scores and reviews to be incorporated with credit into the notes and score numbers.

Added or last checked on 10/20/2023

Feels like a "clone", though it has dash, toggleable auto-aim and menu option for auto-fire. Interesting day/night cycle concept. Aesthetically, from the vampire theme to the characters to the directly ripped off and similarly named weapons, the clone aspect may be hard to get past. Gameplay feels crafted but progression feels slow as I'm several hours in, pretty good at these games now, and still only have the first map. Looks like it has more depth than it feels it has in play. Lots of systems but I am for some reason more confused than interested in them, maybe just because of how they are spread out through different menus for unlocks.

I think there are four separate tabs for currency based unlocks, and each character has their own set of moves? It's a lot of flipping back and forth to try and figure out synergy. I have other UI quibbles, like it looks better but importantly it's annoying to get into a run by having to go use the joystick to click down to the map and then another step etc. Finally, the characters are more fully rendered but somehow also feel more generic. It's not actually bad.

If it was the only game on the market I'd 100% it. As it is, if I want more vampire survivors to the extent I want the same game visually remastered but playwise toned down, I have better options. That sounds a little harsh re-reading it, but I'm probably going to have to learn to be harsh to get through trying 600 of these.

Edit 12/21/2023: New features including Endless Mode and Bestiary bumping it significantly up the similarity scale and overall ranking.

Scarlet Tower Similarity Scale Heatmap

- +

Measured in 60 categories via likert-scale style options -1 to 1 in tenths, how does this game compare to Vampire Survivors. This allows 1200 total "points". It's easier to have a point of comparison and we just picked Vampire Survivors since it's the most popular and commonly referenced game in the subgenre. For detailed methodology read the explainer. For in depth examples at score value, see the scoring guide and for term definitions see the key.

9.0 Similarity Score
95% Diagnosis:
1139/1200 Comparison Points
Rogue-lite 1/1
Auto-Fire / Auto-Battle 0.8/1
Real Time 1/1
Top Down or Isometric 1/1
Direct Control of Single Avatar 1/1
Arcade Style 1/1
Bullet Heaven A (Many Player Bullets) 1/1
Bullet Heaven B (Few Enemy Bullets) 1/1
One Handed Play (w Controller) 0.8/1
Move Only 0.8/1
No Dash 0/1
No Trigger 0.9/1
No Special Move 1/1
No Aiming 0.8/1
No On-Aim / On-Fire Movement Penalty 1/1
Timed / Boss Ended Survival 1/1
Endless Mode 1/1
Organic / Unannounced Waves 1/1
High Enemy Count (Horde) 1/1
Level Up on XP Gain Event 1/1
Streamlined Level Choices (Simple UI) 1/1
Currency Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Goal Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Build Crafting 1/1
1/1
Weapon Combination / "Evolution" 1/1
Interesting Item / Weapon / Ability Synergy 1/1
Broken / Invincible Builds Possible 0.5/1
Explorable Map 1/1
BIG Maps 1/1
XP on Ground 1/1
Health on Ground 1/1
Temp Powerups / Items on Ground 1/1
Treasure Chests and/or Loot Events 1/1
Vendor / Merchant on Run 1/1
Enemy Variety 1/1
Bosses / Elites 1/1
Many Interesting Characters 0.8/1
Many Challenges 1/1
Multiple Stages 1/1
Difficulty Modifiers 1/1
Bestiary / Lore 1/1
Achievements 1/1
Secrets 0/1
Retro / Pixel Art 1/1
Damage Numbers 1/1
Lofi Charm 0.8/1
Bumpin Music 1/1
Fun Writing 0.3/1
Subtle Humor 0.1/1
Panic & Zen Duo Vibe 1/1
Over the Top 0.9/1
"One More Run" / Short Runs 1/1
Difficulty Ramp 0.8/1
Fun Ramp 0.8/1
Low Price 1/1
Technical Check 1/1
Controls Check 1/1
Fun Check 0.8/1
Feels like VS 1/1

Scarlet Tower Review Scale Heatmap

- +

The review scale is judged from -1 to 1 in 10 categories, with 200 possible "points" earned. Steam review positive percentage is worth another 100 points, and a "ten point" pure vibe review number adds extra subjectivity. Converted into points, that's 400 points total. The points aren't used directly in the ranking, though, which averages the three number scores for the final review score listed in the game line above.

7.5 Final Review
86% Positive Steam Reviews
799 Steam Reviews
6.9 Pure Vibes
6.9 Review Scale
324/400 Review Points
Not Buggy 1/1
Not Janky 1/1
Good UI 0.6/1
Controller and Deck 1/1
Lots of Content 0.8/1
Good Theme 0.2/1
Good Graphics and Sound 1/1
Fun Feel 0.7/1
Unique Twists 0.1/1
Vibe Check 0.5/1

Scarlet Tower Tag Cloud

- +

More sortable taxonomies and categories associated with the game (genre tags are available in the main game table line!) We've just started adding tags to enable more sorting options, this section will get more filled out as we go!

Release Tags

itch.ioSteam DeckWindows PCEAFree Available

Sorting Categories

Similar

Genre and Control Style Tags

Auto-ShooterBullet HeavenEnemy HellHorde SurvivalMowing GameRogueliteSingle Stick ShooterSurvivors-likeTop Down or IsometricTwin Stick ShooterWave Survival

Aesthetic Tags

2DPixel ArtSerious

Setting / Story Tags

FantasyHorror ThemedVampires

Control Styles

Controller

Game Mode Tags

Unknown24m

Features and Extras

Steam AchievementsSteam Cloud

Dev/Publisher

Pyxeralia LLC

Game Features

- +

Listing various features we've got info on.

Multiplayer

  • Local: No
  • Online: No
  • Player Count: 1
  • Leaderboards: ?

Steam Features

  • Steam Cloud: Yes
  • Steam Achievements: 60
  • Steam Leaderboards: No
  • Steam Workshop: No
  • Steam Trading Cards: No

Extras, Etc.

  • NSFW: No
  • Demo Available: on itch.io
  • DLC Available: No
  • Soundtrack Available: No

Marketing Blurb

- +

Some description of the game and its features from the creators.

"Hunt during the day, be hunted during the NIGHT! Scarlet Tower is a gothic horror casual game with roguelike and RPG elements, like talent trees, classes, familiars and more!"

"Look for relics and vendors that only spawn at night.Characters with unique customizable passives. Procedural Map Generation."

Run Times & Speedups

- +

Average Run Time: 24m

Run Time Notes

?

Speed Settings

?

[edit]

Yet Another Zombie Survivors

EA

What my partner called "a survivors for the Call of Duty demographic", this zombie slaying take has some of the more complex 3D graphics in this genre, but manages to keep things fast, simple and snappy despite the "realism". While we're a little burnt on zombies and the aesthetic doesn't appeal as much to us and resulted in some quibbles ("taller" and easier to get hit, gems floating so hard to identify position) for some people this likely appeals to you in a way games with pixel graphics simply never will. Could use more content but it's pretty fully developed for Early Access and I'm looking forward to coming back on release.

Arena Shooter Auto-Shooter Bullet Heaven Enemy Hell Horde Survival Party Based Roguelite Single Stick Shooter Survivors-like Top Down or Isometric Wave Survival
8.2 Combined Ranking Score
19/72 Ranking Position
1431/1600 Total Points
8.3 Final Review
90% Steam
7.8 Scale
8.1 Vibes
4499 Steam Reviews
349/400 Review Points
8.0 Similarity Score
90% Diagnosis:
Similar
1082/1200 Comparison Points
99% Genre 7.9/8 genre
100% Simple Controls 7/7 move
99% Survival Modes 3.9/4 modes
100% Power Progression 4/4 level
85% Buildcrafting Depth 3.5/5 build
77% Stage Features 3.8/7 stage
84% Content Breadth 6.1/9 stuff
73% Aesthetics 2.8/6 style
97% Gameplay Vibe Check 9.3/10 vibe vibe

Yet Another Zombie Survivors Ranking Notes

- +

Scaling and Review Notes

Personal Hours Played: 3.0

Every game ranked was played, but also scaled based on research, talking to developers & your feedback. The priority with the scale's initial design was to compare similarity on relatively objective features - so it doesn't claim to include reviews of the depth and clarity you'd get at a games journalism site, nor the intensive time played you might get from player reviews on steam. We try to incorporate and link all of that along with a 'review scale' that checks for bugs. See the heatmap and breakdown! Time played noted so you can take any notes with a big grain of salt! I can't get to high level gameplay in 850+ games so I heavily research every game. Over 80 game creators let me interview or survey them! I Hope to go back and refine. Please argue or submit your own scores and reviews to be incorporated with credit into the notes and score numbers.

Added or last checked on 11/5/2023

A zombie themed survivors-like notable for being one of the best with 3D art style. Despite the very 'realistic' 3D graphics (and they're not actually attempting to be, favoring simple style that reminds me of PS3 era shooters), it keeps the arcade vibe, fast pace and almost all of the gameplay style of Vampire Survivors, making you focus on moving away from some things (enemies) and towards others (your leveling resource) as the primary strategy. I think they could have done more complex graphics but decided not to, favoring ability to stack enemy density.

It notes in the menu that the optional manual aim and fire were implemented at the request of the community (pretty cool) but the game was not designed around them. That auto-first design and explicit noting, plus that it's enabled by default, gets it full points in those categories despite the presence of other options. Weapons "evolve" but not in the combine two to get something weird way.

Technically you control a group of "survivors" (really seems more like a military unit but I guess if you're shooting this many guns that makes sense) but we're going to call it 1 for Direct Control of Single Avatar since you don't individually trigger any of their abilities, for the most part it's just an aesthetic representation of how there could be so many attacks on screen.

Due to the engine there's never quite as many enemies or attacks on screen, but it still feels fairly over the top and invincible builds are possible in endless mode. Due to the style of weapons it's not as common for each survivor to cause you to move in different ways, which is something I like about other games I call mowing games. Due to the "realism" it also never quite seems to get as creative, though it does pretty well inside the genre. While it seems obvious in retrospect, the helicopter strike for example felt fresh mechanically and visually. Like the best abilities in these games it changes the way you move, in this case kiting huge crowds in as straight a line as possible.

Kind of wish one of the gals was available in the first three characters as the realistic style makes the masculine first three even more apparent (and overall masculine vibe) even though technically the game has a better balance than many on this list. I originally had a longer rant on it but it doesn't feel fair to leave it when many on the list have no girl characters.

My partner said they dislike that the gems float so they can't tell exactly where they are and hit enemies more, something I hadn't noticed. In general the more isometric viewpoint and "correct" height characters makes it more easy to hit enemies. Overall this one is pretty solid if you like the presentation and I didn't feel ready to move on when I had to.

Yet Another Zombie Survivors Similarity Scale Heatmap

- +

Measured in 60 categories via likert-scale style options -1 to 1 in tenths, how does this game compare to Vampire Survivors. This allows 1200 total "points". It's easier to have a point of comparison and we just picked Vampire Survivors since it's the most popular and commonly referenced game in the subgenre. For detailed methodology read the explainer. For in depth examples at score value, see the scoring guide and for term definitions see the key.

8.0 Similarity Score
90% Diagnosis:
1082/1200 Comparison Points
Rogue-lite 1/1
Auto-Fire / Auto-Battle 1/1
Real Time 1/1
Top Down or Isometric 1/1
Direct Control of Single Avatar 1/1
Arcade Style 1/1
Bullet Heaven A (Many Player Bullets) 1/1
Bullet Heaven B (Few Enemy Bullets) 0.9/1
One Handed Play (w Controller) 1/1
Move Only 1/1
No Dash 1/1
No Trigger 1/1
No Special Move 1/1
No Aiming 1/1
No On-Aim / On-Fire Movement Penalty 1/1
Timed / Boss Ended Survival 1/1
Endless Mode 1/1
Organic / Unannounced Waves 1/1
High Enemy Count (Horde) 0.9/1
Level Up on XP Gain Event 1/1
Streamlined Level Choices (Simple UI) 1/1
Currency Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Goal Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Build Crafting 1/1
1/1
Weapon Combination / "Evolution" 0.5/1
Interesting Item / Weapon / Ability Synergy 0/1
Broken / Invincible Builds Possible 1/1
Explorable Map 0.3/1
BIG Maps -0.5/1
XP on Ground 1/1
Health on Ground 1/1
Temp Powerups / Items on Ground 1/1
Treasure Chests and/or Loot Events 1/1
Vendor / Merchant on Run 0/1
Enemy Variety 1/1
Bosses / Elites 1/1
Many Interesting Characters 1/1
Many Challenges 0.4/1
Multiple Stages 0.2/1
Difficulty Modifiers 0.5/1
Bestiary / Lore 0/1
Achievements 1/1
Secrets 1/1
Retro / Pixel Art -0.5/1
Damage Numbers 1/1
Lofi Charm 0.1/1
Bumpin Music 1/1
Fun Writing 0.2/1
Subtle Humor 1/1
Panic & Zen Duo Vibe 1/1
Over the Top 0.8/1
"One More Run" / Short Runs 1/1
Difficulty Ramp 1/1
Fun Ramp 0.8/1
Low Price 0.7/1
Technical Check 1/1
Controls Check 1/1
Fun Check 1/1
Feels like VS 0.9/1

Yet Another Zombie Survivors Review Scale Heatmap

- +

The review scale is judged from -1 to 1 in 10 categories, with 200 possible "points" earned. Steam review positive percentage is worth another 100 points, and a "ten point" pure vibe review number adds extra subjectivity. Converted into points, that's 400 points total. The points aren't used directly in the ranking, though, which averages the three number scores for the final review score listed in the game line above.

8.3 Final Review
90% Positive Steam Reviews
4499 Steam Reviews
8.1 Pure Vibes
7.8 Review Scale
349/400 Review Points
Not Buggy 1/1
Not Janky 0.7/1
Good UI 0.6/1
Controller and Deck 1/1
Lots of Content 0.4/1
Good Theme 0.6/1
Good Graphics and Sound 0.9/1
Fun Feel 1/1
Unique Twists 0.7/1
Vibe Check 0.9/1

Metacritic Scores

- +

This title has metacritic data! The "fuck the man" score is adjusted so each person's review is equally weighted, regardless of critic or fan status.

Critic

- Converted 10 Point Score
- Number of Critic Reviews

User

8.0 User Review Average
1 Number of User Reviews

Average

8.0 Direct Average
8.0 "Fuck The Man" Combined Mean

Yet Another Zombie Survivors Tag Cloud

- +

More sortable taxonomies and categories associated with the game (genre tags are available in the main game table line!) We've just started adding tags to enable more sorting options, this section will get more filled out as we go!

Release Tags

LinuxSteam DeckWindows PCEA

Sorting Categories

Similar

Genre and Control Style Tags

Arena ShooterAuto-ShooterBullet HeavenEnemy HellHorde SurvivalParty BasedRogueliteSingle Stick ShooterSurvivors-likeTop Down or IsometricWave Survival

Aesthetic Tags

3DRealisticSerious

Setting / Story Tags

Horror ThemedMilitaryZombies

Control Styles

ControllerController 1 HandedController Move OnlyMouse Only

Game Mode Tags

Unknown20m

Features and Extras

Steam AchievementsSteam Cloud

Dev/Publisher

Awesome Games Studio

Game Features

- +

Listing various features we've got info on.

Multiplayer

  • Local: No
  • Online: No
  • Player Count: 1
  • Leaderboards: ?

Steam Features

  • Steam Cloud: Yes
  • Steam Achievements: 70
  • Steam Leaderboards: No
  • Steam Workshop: No
  • Steam Trading Cards: No

Extras, Etc.

  • NSFW: No
  • Demo Available: No
  • DLC Available: No
  • Soundtrack Available: No

Marketing Blurb

- +

Some description of the game and its features from the creators.

Same dev, I think, as Yet Another Zombie Defense HD.

"The Horde is coming but you're ready to fight it! Assemble your team and decide upon their enhancements to find the most efficient synergies against thousands of the undead. Survive. Then evolve. Then break all the limits in this deceivingly simple but addictive reverse bullet hell."

"Forget about things like complicated controls or hour-long cutscenes — jump right into the fray and watch the fireworks! It's a game that everyone will enjoy, no matter their gaming experience, as the characters you command aim and shoot on their own. Just drop onto the couch and bask in your endorphin rising from a survivors-like gameplay loop!"

Run Times & Speedups

- +

Average Run Time: 20m

Run Time Notes

?

Speed Settings

?

[edit]

Nova Drift

EA

Different. A great pick if you you want to pull the trigger in space. Despite not sharing all the features, it can really scratch the "over the top" survivors-like itch with beautiful neon screenwipes. More asteroids influenced than "twin stick" influenced. I personally find the drift physics quite engaging once I've gotten going. Really fun game.

Arena Shooter Asteroids-like Bullet Heaven Bullet Hell Content Rich Mowing Game Roguelite Top Down or Isometric Wave Shooter Wave Survival
8.2 Combined Ranking Score
21/72 Ranking Position
1386/1600 Total Points
9.8 Final Review
96% Steam
9.7 Scale
10.0 Vibes
9217 Steam Reviews
393/400 Review Points
6.6 Similarity Score
83% Diagnosis:
Different
993/1200 Comparison Points
88% Genre 6.1/8 genre
54% Simple Controls 0.5/7 move
88% Survival Modes 3/4 modes
88% Power Progression 3/4 level
100% Buildcrafting Depth 5/5 build
57% Stage Features 1/7 stage
91% Content Breadth 7.3/9 stuff
88% Aesthetics 4.5/6 style
91% Gameplay Vibe Check 8.2/10 vibe vibe

Nova Drift Ranking Notes

- +

Scaling and Review Notes

Personal Hours Played: 20.1

Every game ranked was played, but also scaled based on research, talking to developers & your feedback. The priority with the scale's initial design was to compare similarity on relatively objective features - so it doesn't claim to include reviews of the depth and clarity you'd get at a games journalism site, nor the intensive time played you might get from player reviews on steam. We try to incorporate and link all of that along with a 'review scale' that checks for bugs. See the heatmap and breakdown! Time played noted so you can take any notes with a big grain of salt! I can't get to high level gameplay in 850+ games so I heavily research every game. Over 80 game creators let me interview or survey them! I Hope to go back and refine. Please argue or submit your own scores and reviews to be incorporated with credit into the notes and score numbers.

Added or last checked on 10/13/2023

This one came out before VS but has been refined throughout the boom. An excellent space shooter (the creator says they're not space ships but biomechanical life) which is themed with leveling like VS and over the top combos, but also does rely on trigger and propulsion and a blink ability which we'll call a dodge in the VS-like rating. The cargo trains essentially fill the treasure chest role. We'll call the ship gears selected on starting the run a "character" select.

So it may satisfy build crafters, but not zen one handed players (though it really got me into its own zone). Not exactly a twin stick shooter - it's a "drift" style game in the vein of Asteroids. Still in early access somehow, will apparently have a campaign too on release. Don't take my lack of notes as a lack of enthusiasm, I don't have many complaints. Try this one!

This is one of my favorite games on the list and unfortunately just doesn't have full review notes because I put in most of my time before it was "research." I fully intend to come back and shove 100 hours into this title, though, so I will make more notes.

I can't believe it's still in Early Access lol but let's let him cook.

Nova Drift Similarity Scale Heatmap

- +

Measured in 60 categories via likert-scale style options -1 to 1 in tenths, how does this game compare to Vampire Survivors. This allows 1200 total "points". It's easier to have a point of comparison and we just picked Vampire Survivors since it's the most popular and commonly referenced game in the subgenre. For detailed methodology read the explainer. For in depth examples at score value, see the scoring guide and for term definitions see the key.

6.6 Similarity Score
83% Diagnosis:
993/1200 Comparison Points
Rogue-lite 1/1
Auto-Fire / Auto-Battle 0.1/1
Real Time 1/1
Top Down or Isometric 1/1
Direct Control of Single Avatar 1/1
Arcade Style 1/1
Bullet Heaven A (Many Player Bullets) 1/1
Bullet Heaven B (Few Enemy Bullets) 0/1
One Handed Play (w Controller) 0/1
Move Only -0.5/1
No Dash 0/1
No Trigger -0.8/1
No Special Move 0/1
No Aiming 0.8/1
No On-Aim / On-Fire Movement Penalty 1/1
Timed / Boss Ended Survival EA/1
Endless Mode 1/1
Organic / Unannounced Waves 1/1
High Enemy Count (Horde) 1/1
Level Up on XP Gain Event 1/1
Streamlined Level Choices (Simple UI) 1/1
Currency Based Meta Unlocks 0/1
Goal Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Build Crafting 1/1
1/1
Weapon Combination / "Evolution" 1/1
Interesting Item / Weapon / Ability Synergy 1/1
Broken / Invincible Builds Possible 1/1
Explorable Map -1/1
BIG Maps -1/1
XP on Ground 1/1
Health on Ground 0/1
Temp Powerups / Items on Ground 1/1
Treasure Chests and/or Loot Events 1/1
Vendor / Merchant on Run 0/1
Enemy Variety 1/1
Bosses / Elites 1/1
Many Interesting Characters 1/1
Many Challenges 1/1
Multiple Stages 0/1
Difficulty Modifiers 1/1
Bestiary / Lore 0.3/1
Achievements 1/1
Secrets 1/1
Retro / Pixel Art 1/1
Damage Numbers 1/1
Lofi Charm 1/1
Bumpin Music 1/1
Fun Writing 0.5/1
Subtle Humor 0/1
Panic & Zen Duo Vibe 1/1
Over the Top 1/1
"One More Run" / Short Runs 1/1
Difficulty Ramp 1/1
Fun Ramp 1/1
Low Price 0.2/1
Technical Check 1/1
Controls Check 1/1
Fun Check 1/1
Feels like VS 0.7/1

Nova Drift Review Scale Heatmap

- +

The review scale is judged from -1 to 1 in 10 categories, with 200 possible "points" earned. Steam review positive percentage is worth another 100 points, and a "ten point" pure vibe review number adds extra subjectivity. Converted into points, that's 400 points total. The points aren't used directly in the ranking, though, which averages the three number scores for the final review score listed in the game line above.

9.8 Final Review
96% Positive Steam Reviews
9217 Steam Reviews
10.0 Pure Vibes
9.7 Review Scale
393/400 Review Points
Not Buggy 1/1
Not Janky 1/1
Good UI 1/1
Controller and Deck 1/1
Lots of Content 0.8/1
Good Theme 0.9/1
Good Graphics and Sound 1/1
Fun Feel 1/1
Unique Twists 1/1
Vibe Check 1/1

Metacritic Scores

- +

This title has metacritic data! The "fuck the man" score is adjusted so each person's review is equally weighted, regardless of critic or fan status.

Critic

8.0 Converted 10 Point Score
1 Number of Critic Reviews

User

- User Review Average
- Number of User Reviews

Average

8.0 Direct Average
8.0 "Fuck The Man" Combined Mean

Nova Drift Tag Cloud

- +

More sortable taxonomies and categories associated with the game (genre tags are available in the main game table line!) We've just started adding tags to enable more sorting options, this section will get more filled out as we go!

Release Tags

Directitch.ioMacSteam DeckWindows PCEA

Sorting Categories

Different

Genre and Control Style Tags

Arena ShooterAsteroids-likeBullet HeavenBullet HellContent RichMowing GameRogueliteTop Down or IsometricWave ShooterWave Survival

Aesthetic Tags

2DArtyGeometricNeonRaveRetroVector InspiredVivid

Setting / Story Tags

AbstractShip (Air/Space)Space

Control Styles

Controller

Game Mode Tags

Unknown20m

Features and Extras

SoundtrackSteam AchievementsSteam CloudSteam Leaderboards

Dev/Publisher

ChimericPixeljam

Game Features

- +

Listing various features we've got info on.

Multiplayer

  • Local: No
  • Online: No
  • Player Count: 1
  • Leaderboards: ?

Steam Features

  • Steam Cloud: Yes
  • Steam Achievements: 40
  • Steam Leaderboards: Yes
  • Steam Workshop: No
  • Steam Trading Cards: No

Extras, Etc.

  • NSFW: No
  • Demo Available: No
  • DLC Available: No
  • Soundtrack Available: Steam Bandcamp SoundCloud

Marketing Blurb

- +

Some description of the game and its features from the creators.

"Nova Drift distills the mechanical depth and strategy of an ARPG into classic arcade space combat. Control an endlessly evolving bio-mechanical ship, face legions of strange and deadly foes, and ride the wake of a dying star across the void."

"Nova Drift is a 'rogue-lite' space shooter that melds a classic arcade experience with modern action-RPG elements like theory-crafting and deep player choice." "Cunning and creativity are rewarded as you chain upgrade modules for powerful synergies, reminiscent of deck-building games."

Run Times & Speedups

- +

Average Run Time: 20m

Run Time Notes

?

Speed Settings

?

[edit]

Greedland

EA Free Available

A Crysis meets Starship Troopers meets Crimsonland survivors-like, aka a top down shooter with sci fi tech. It seemed designed to be a twin stick shooter (looks like it) but with auto-aim on it's very much was a survivors-like stuck in a mission based 2010s shooter user interface. Once you get into a run it's solid. It's not a chatty game but actually does have subtle humor sprinkled about it and while it has a dash and special move they are all mapped to the left side of the controller by default. Lots of challenges and an endless mode. It's not AAA graphics but if you want your next survivors-like to be a sci fi wave shooter on land with a 3D engine this might be the best pick I've come across yet. Still developing!

Arena Shooter Auto-Shooter Bullet Heaven Enemy Hell Horde Survival Mowing Game Roguelite Single Stick Shooter Survivors-like Top Down or Isometric Twin Stick Shooter Wave Survival
8.1 Combined Ranking Score
22/72 Ranking Position
1421/1600 Total Points
8.4 Final Review
84% Steam
8.3 Scale
8.6 Vibes
912 Steam Reviews
353/400 Review Points
7.8 Similarity Score
89% Diagnosis:
Similar
1068/1200 Comparison Points
99% Genre 7.8/8 genre
83% Simple Controls 4.6/7 move
100% Survival Modes 4/4 modes
100% Power Progression 4/4 level
98% Buildcrafting Depth 4.8/5 build
82% Stage Features 4.5/7 stage
83% Content Breadth 5.9/9 stuff
72% Aesthetics 2.6/6 style
93% Gameplay Vibe Check 8.6/10 vibe vibe

Greedland Ranking Notes

- +

Scaling and Review Notes

Personal Hours Played: 5.1

Every game ranked was played, but also scaled based on research, talking to developers & your feedback. The priority with the scale's initial design was to compare similarity on relatively objective features - so it doesn't claim to include reviews of the depth and clarity you'd get at a games journalism site, nor the intensive time played you might get from player reviews on steam. We try to incorporate and link all of that along with a 'review scale' that checks for bugs. See the heatmap and breakdown! Time played noted so you can take any notes with a big grain of salt! I can't get to high level gameplay in 850+ games so I heavily research every game. Over 80 game creators let me interview or survey them! I Hope to go back and refine. Please argue or submit your own scores and reviews to be incorporated with credit into the notes and score numbers.

Added or last checked on 11/6/2023

This survivors-like has a kind of Crysis meets Starship Troopers vibe, with perhaps the wit more on the side of Crysis (sparse, but sometimes surprises you.) Starship Troopers vibe is mostly just due to the hordes of often buggy aliens swarming towards you. Or there's the obvious inspiration: Crimsonland.

Has a ton of menus shelving all kinds of customizations like equipment, starting weapons and upgrades. While I appreciated the customization found in many of these areas the finding of them was less enjoyable. I tend to prefer that when I open a game I can just ram the A button and end up in a run of some sort. This one brings you into an upgrade menu dead end, not that uncommon perhaps, but the LB over to the map, and then zoom in, and then select mission, and then select my loadout again and then finally into the action.. feels like it could be simplified.

Lots of missions but maps aren't really different. Kind of an arena shooter, though it's not a small box. Feels more oldschool in terms of set up / grind / "missions", though it's technically the same stuff you'd unlock or do as activities in any other survivors-like.

Has quick toggle button to switch to automatic which is honestly much better than manual fire imho, especially because you don't really have to choose because you can direct the fire with the right stick whenever you feel like. (You can even unlock auto leveling if you feel like it) That's one of my preferred methods of control for single stick shooters with an aim option, though my special interest at the moment is obviously the ones that basically have no aiming and force you to move interestingly.

This one does have some of those moves like orbiting weapons and so on, so despite the stylings more often seen in first person shooters, it respects a lot of the genre conventions for more than just bullets. I thought my time so far with it was fun, never really felt like the runs were dragging and even early in the game there were actual choices that seemed varied. I appreciate the impactful feeling level options - even if the gameplay impact of getting 40% increase to attack is exactly the same as 10%, it saying 40% on the upgrade card is fun. And the game doesn't go too far, obviously 1000% feels fake.

The design, when I understand it, is often smart like that (and some seems badly translated at the moment, but it's still Early Access). Thought this was going to get a neutral score in 'subtle humor' but it actually got me laughing a few times so full point.

Perhaps because overall it feels a little dry compared to whimsical titles like Elemental Survivors, the moments of levity stand out a lot. My pod drops on a little alien and it does 666 damage and squishes it to start the level. Level 2? Two little aliens. I'm ashamed but I laughed. Less ashamed to laugh at the fact you can unequip your HUD and ability to fire in your meta-progression and customization area. Guess who accidentally did that for a second.

I think the vibe usually worked for me when I was actually in game. The UI actually in a run is solid, nice big clear level choices and so on. So many of my issues are purely with how complicated it is to get in there. Probably extra fun if you really like to grind for odd goals and challenges.

Very solid for a solo dev early access title imho. If this came out for PS3 I would have died.

Greedland Similarity Scale Heatmap

- +

Measured in 60 categories via likert-scale style options -1 to 1 in tenths, how does this game compare to Vampire Survivors. This allows 1200 total "points". It's easier to have a point of comparison and we just picked Vampire Survivors since it's the most popular and commonly referenced game in the subgenre. For detailed methodology read the explainer. For in depth examples at score value, see the scoring guide and for term definitions see the key.

7.8 Similarity Score
89% Diagnosis:
1068/1200 Comparison Points
Rogue-lite 1/1
Auto-Fire / Auto-Battle 0.8/1
Real Time 1/1
Top Down or Isometric 1/1
Direct Control of Single Avatar 1/1
Arcade Style 1/1
Bullet Heaven A (Many Player Bullets) 1/1
Bullet Heaven B (Few Enemy Bullets) 1/1
One Handed Play (w Controller) 1/1
Move Only 1/1
No Dash 0/1
No Trigger 0.8/1
No Special Move 0/1
No Aiming 0.8/1
No On-Aim / On-Fire Movement Penalty 1/1
Timed / Boss Ended Survival 1/1
Endless Mode 1/1
Organic / Unannounced Waves 1/1
High Enemy Count (Horde) 1/1
Level Up on XP Gain Event 1/1
Streamlined Level Choices (Simple UI) 1/1
Currency Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Goal Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Build Crafting 1/1
1/1
Weapon Combination / "Evolution" 1/1
Interesting Item / Weapon / Ability Synergy 0.8/1
Broken / Invincible Builds Possible 1/1
Explorable Map 0.4/1
BIG Maps 0.1/1
XP on Ground 1/1
Health on Ground 1/1
Temp Powerups / Items on Ground 1/1
Treasure Chests and/or Loot Events 1/1
Vendor / Merchant on Run 0/1
Enemy Variety 0.8/1
Bosses / Elites 0.8/1
Many Interesting Characters 0.8/1
Many Challenges 1/1
Multiple Stages 0.5/1
Difficulty Modifiers 1/1
Bestiary / Lore 0/1
Achievements 1/1
Secrets 0/1
Retro / Pixel Art 0/1
Damage Numbers 1/1
Lofi Charm 0.1/1
Bumpin Music 0.5/1
Fun Writing 0/1
Subtle Humor 1/1
Panic & Zen Duo Vibe 1/1
Over the Top 1/1
"One More Run" / Short Runs 1/1
Difficulty Ramp 0.5/1
Fun Ramp 0.6/1
Low Price 0.7/1
Technical Check 0.8/1
Controls Check 1/1
Fun Check 1/1
Feels like VS 1/1

Greedland Review Scale Heatmap

- +

The review scale is judged from -1 to 1 in 10 categories, with 200 possible "points" earned. Steam review positive percentage is worth another 100 points, and a "ten point" pure vibe review number adds extra subjectivity. Converted into points, that's 400 points total. The points aren't used directly in the ranking, though, which averages the three number scores for the final review score listed in the game line above.

8.4 Final Review
84% Positive Steam Reviews
912 Steam Reviews
8.6 Pure Vibes
8.3 Review Scale
353/400 Review Points
Not Buggy 1/1
Not Janky 0.8/1
Good UI 0.4/1
Controller and Deck 1/1
Lots of Content 0.7/1
Good Theme 0.8/1
Good Graphics and Sound 1/1
Fun Feel 1/1
Unique Twists 0.6/1
Vibe Check 1/1

Greedland Tag Cloud

- +

More sortable taxonomies and categories associated with the game (genre tags are available in the main game table line!) We've just started adding tags to enable more sorting options, this section will get more filled out as we go!

Release Tags

Steam DeckWindows PCEAFree Available

Sorting Categories

Similar

Genre and Control Style Tags

Arena ShooterAuto-ShooterBullet HeavenEnemy HellHorde SurvivalMowing GameRogueliteSingle Stick ShooterSurvivors-likeTop Down or IsometricTwin Stick ShooterWave Survival

Aesthetic Tags

3DRealistic

Setting / Story Tags

ComedyMilitarySci-fi

Control Styles

ControllerController 1 HandedController Move Only

Game Mode Tags

Unknown10m

Features and Extras

Steam AchievementsSteam CloudSteam Trading Cards

Dev/Publisher

2P GamesGamersky GamesVaMP He

Game Features

- +

Listing various features we've got info on.

Multiplayer

  • Local: Co-Op
  • Online: Co-Op (Remote Play)
  • Player Count: 2
  • Leaderboards: ?

Steam Features

  • Steam Cloud: Yes
  • Steam Achievements: 123
  • Steam Leaderboards: No
  • Steam Workshop: No
  • Steam Trading Cards: Yes

Extras, Etc.

  • NSFW: No
  • Demo Available: Yes
  • DLC Available: No
  • Soundtrack Available: No

Marketing Blurb

- +

Some description of the game and its features from the creators.

"Greedland is a top-down shooter mixed with survivor-like elements. Slaughter the monsters, break out of the siege, and welcome the dawn of victory!"

"Unleash an expansive array of powerful weapons and skills, crafting a satisfying loadout that harks back to the glory days of classic titles such as "Alien Shooter" and "Crimsonland."

"Equip yourself with the fiercest tools the Galaxy has to offer, complemented by a diverse skill set. Step into the shoes of a relentless mercenary with endless strategic possibilities. Stay tuned for powerful mechs in future updates!"

""Greedland" already boasts three challenging maps, each with its own distinctive enemy blend and formidable bosses. As the game continues to evolve, anticipate the arrival of fresh maps, new gameplay modes, and an exhilarating four-player co-op option, enriching your adventure."

Run Times & Speedups

- +

Average Run Time: 10m

Run Time Notes

?

Speed Settings

?

[edit]

Bounty of One

Free Available Released

Full release is out now! Western themed survivors-like worth checking out. Interesting mechanic where you only fire when standing still. Auto Aim is very direct and weapons tend to basically just be guns, so with the dash-stand-dash gameplay it feels kind of like a more tactical Brotato, but I think more fun feeling theme wise. However, it doesn't have the build depth of Brotato at this time. You only get one weapon and they aren't very different for most characters, so it's not as over the top as VS either.

Arena Shooter Auto-Shooter Enemy Hell Rogue-lite Single Stick Shooter Survivors-like Top Down or Isometric
8.1 Combined Ranking Score
23/72 Ranking Position
1410/1600 Total Points
8.6 Final Review
89% Steam
8.8 Scale
8.0 Vibes
1778 Steam Reviews
357/400 Review Points
7.6 Similarity Score
88% Diagnosis:
Similar
1053/1200 Comparison Points
93% Genre 6.9/8 genre
67% Simple Controls 2.4/7 move
96% Survival Modes 3.7/4 modes
100% Power Progression 4/4 level
89% Buildcrafting Depth 3.9/5 build
72% Stage Features 3.1/7 stage
89% Content Breadth 7/9 stuff
91% Aesthetics 4.9/6 style
97% Gameplay Vibe Check 9.4/10 vibe vibe

Bounty of One Ranking Notes

- +

Scaling and Review Notes

Personal Hours Played: 6.0

Every game ranked was played, but also scaled based on research, talking to developers & your feedback. The priority with the scale's initial design was to compare similarity on relatively objective features - so it doesn't claim to include reviews of the depth and clarity you'd get at a games journalism site, nor the intensive time played you might get from player reviews on steam. We try to incorporate and link all of that along with a 'review scale' that checks for bugs. See the heatmap and breakdown! Time played noted so you can take any notes with a big grain of salt! I can't get to high level gameplay in 850+ games so I heavily research every game. Over 80 game creators let me interview or survey them! I Hope to go back and refine. Please argue or submit your own scores and reviews to be incorporated with credit into the notes and score numbers.

Added or last checked on 11/4/2023

This western themed game is worth checking out if you want to mix it up a bit and aren't as addicted to mowing. Pretty good music. I checked this out when it first came out and wasn't sure about it, glad I came back for 1.0 thanks to this project! It has a good twist on the movement I didn't originally quite get. You only fire when you are standing still. If you're looking for a game to move around in circles for hours this might turn you off at first. But there are some builds you can make where you do exactly that and just give up on firing your weapon and that won me over on it.

You might find it slower and less exciting or more tactical and interesting, depending on your viewpoint. They intend to do a lot of updates with more characters coming etc as of the time of this review.

Major UI controller issue with unlocks seems fixed now. Something about how the content unlocks is making me feel odd, note to self to check reviews. You can do endless mode after completing a run but you don't get any rewards, dinging it in the category.

Has four player multiplayer which is pretty notable. I kind of wish it was pixel art but the cartoony art style is pretty good overall and I enjoy the goblin main character quite a lot though the others aren't as notable. I wish the weapons were more varied and over the top and the reasons to play more were more clear, but it's not a bad choice to put some time into.

Bounty of One Similarity Scale Heatmap

- +

Measured in 60 categories via likert-scale style options -1 to 1 in tenths, how does this game compare to Vampire Survivors. This allows 1200 total "points". It's easier to have a point of comparison and we just picked Vampire Survivors since it's the most popular and commonly referenced game in the subgenre. For detailed methodology read the explainer. For in depth examples at score value, see the scoring guide and for term definitions see the key.

7.6 Similarity Score
88% Diagnosis:
1053/1200 Comparison Points
Rogue-lite 1/1
Auto-Fire / Auto-Battle 0.8/1
Real Time 1/1
Top Down or Isometric 1/1
Direct Control of Single Avatar 1/1
Arcade Style 1/1
Bullet Heaven A (Many Player Bullets) 0.8/1
Bullet Heaven B (Few Enemy Bullets) 0.3/1
One Handed Play (w Controller) 0.6/1
Move Only 0.8/1
No Dash -1/1
No Trigger 1/1
No Special Move 1/1
No Aiming 1/1
No On-Aim / On-Fire Movement Penalty -1/1
Timed / Boss Ended Survival 1/1
Endless Mode 0.7/1
Organic / Unannounced Waves 1/1
High Enemy Count (Horde) 1/1
Level Up on XP Gain Event 1/1
Streamlined Level Choices (Simple UI) 1/1
Currency Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Goal Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Build Crafting 1/1
0.9/1
Weapon Combination / "Evolution" 0/1
Interesting Item / Weapon / Ability Synergy 1/1
Broken / Invincible Builds Possible 1/1
Explorable Map 0/1
BIG Maps 0.1/1
XP on Ground 1/1
Health on Ground 1/1
Temp Powerups / Items on Ground 0/1
Treasure Chests and/or Loot Events 1/1
Vendor / Merchant on Run 0/1
Enemy Variety 1/1
Bosses / Elites 1/1
Many Interesting Characters 1/1
Many Challenges 1/1
Multiple Stages 0/1
Difficulty Modifiers 1/1
Bestiary / Lore 1/1
Achievements 1/1
Secrets 0/1
Retro / Pixel Art 0.1/1
Damage Numbers 1/1
Lofi Charm 0.8/1
Bumpin Music 1/1
Fun Writing 1/1
Subtle Humor 1/1
Panic & Zen Duo Vibe 1/1
Over the Top 1/1
"One More Run" / Short Runs 1/1
Difficulty Ramp 1/1
Fun Ramp 1/1
Low Price 1/1
Technical Check 0.7/1
Controls Check 0.7/1
Fun Check 1/1
Feels like VS 1/1

Bounty of One Review Scale Heatmap

- +

The review scale is judged from -1 to 1 in 10 categories, with 200 possible "points" earned. Steam review positive percentage is worth another 100 points, and a "ten point" pure vibe review number adds extra subjectivity. Converted into points, that's 400 points total. The points aren't used directly in the ranking, though, which averages the three number scores for the final review score listed in the game line above.

8.6 Final Review
89% Positive Steam Reviews
1778 Steam Reviews
8.0 Pure Vibes
8.8 Review Scale
357/400 Review Points
Not Buggy 0.8/1
Not Janky 0.7/1
Good UI 0.8/1
Controller and Deck 0.8/1
Lots of Content 0.7/1
Good Theme 1/1
Good Graphics and Sound 1/1
Fun Feel 1/1
Unique Twists 1/1
Vibe Check 1/1

Metacritic Scores

- +

This title has metacritic data! The "fuck the man" score is adjusted so each person's review is equally weighted, regardless of critic or fan status.

Critic

6.9 Converted 10 Point Score
2 Number of Critic Reviews

User

- User Review Average
- Number of User Reviews

Average

6.9 Direct Average
6.9 "Fuck The Man" Combined Mean

Bounty of One Tag Cloud

- +

More sortable taxonomies and categories associated with the game (genre tags are available in the main game table line!) We've just started adding tags to enable more sorting options, this section will get more filled out as we go!

Release Tags

Browseritch.ioLinuxMacSteam DeckWindows PCFree AvailableReleased

Sorting Categories

Similar

Genre and Control Style Tags

Arena ShooterAuto-ShooterEnemy HellRogue-liteSingle Stick ShooterSurvivors-likeTop Down or Isometric

Aesthetic Tags

2DCartoon

Setting / Story Tags

FantasyWestern

Control Styles

Controller

Game Mode Tags

Unknown20m

Features and Extras

SoundtrackSteam AchievementsSteam CloudSteam Leaderboards

Dev/Publisher

OptizOnion

Game Features

- +

Listing various features we've got info on.

Multiplayer

  • Local: Co-Op
  • Online: Co-Op (Remote Play)
  • Player Count: 4
  • Leaderboards: ?

Steam Features

  • Steam Cloud: Yes
  • Steam Achievements: 98
  • Steam Leaderboards: Yes
  • Steam Workshop: No
  • Steam Trading Cards: No

Extras, Etc.

  • NSFW: No
  • Demo Available: itch.io prototype
  • DLC Available: No
  • Soundtrack Available: YouTube

Marketing Blurb

- +

Some description of the game and its features from the creators.

Fallen hero of the Wild West, you're wanted and in disgrace! Grab your guns, survive endless hordes of bounty hunters and fight to clear your name! Bounty of One is a fast-paced casual roguelite bullet hell for 1 to 4 players. Dash, Dodge, Shoot, Repeat!


Bounty Of One is a fast-paced casual roguelite bullet hell where mobility is key. Play solo or with your friends up to four players on the same screen or remotely with ‘Steam Play Together.’ Play with a keyboard or a gamepad."

Run Times & Speedups

- +

Average Run Time: 20m

Run Time Notes

?

Speed Settings

?

[edit]

Goobies

Free Available Released

A cute goo busting survivors-like with pretty straightforward single stick shooter gameplay. In my first impressions, it's a pretty straight up Vampire Survivors clone gameplay style. While I kind of appreciate the art style, it was a little unclear in action sometimes and eventually overall it felt a little lacking to me. Not as much depth, not as much over the top aspects, no exploration. Endless mode only afaik, but that ends up with me never feeling like I've "won". It could benefit from clear specific build related challenges. If it was the only game available, I could play a lot of it, but otherwise it feels like I'm grinding a lot of time for less payoff in terms of wacky mechanics. Many love it, try the demo!

Arena Shooter Auto-Shooter Bullet Heaven Enemy Hell Horde Survival Roguelite Single Stick Shooter Survivors-like Top Down or Isometric Twin Stick Shooter Wave Survival
8.0 Combined Ranking Score
24/72 Ranking Position
1413/1600 Total Points
8.1 Final Review
92% Steam
7.7 Scale
7.5 Vibes
1131 Steam Reviews
344/400 Review Points
7.8 Similarity Score
89% Diagnosis:
Similar
1069/1200 Comparison Points
100% Genre 8/8 genre
99% Simple Controls 6.9/7 move
88% Survival Modes 3/4 modes
100% Power Progression 4/4 level
82% Buildcrafting Depth 3.2/5 build
65% Stage Features 2.1/7 stage
85% Content Breadth 6.3/9 stuff
83% Aesthetics 4/6 style
96% Gameplay Vibe Check 9.2/10 vibe vibe

Goobies Ranking Notes

- +

Scaling and Review Notes

Personal Hours Played: 2.2

Every game ranked was played, but also scaled based on research, talking to developers & your feedback. The priority with the scale's initial design was to compare similarity on relatively objective features - so it doesn't claim to include reviews of the depth and clarity you'd get at a games journalism site, nor the intensive time played you might get from player reviews on steam. We try to incorporate and link all of that along with a 'review scale' that checks for bugs. See the heatmap and breakdown! Time played noted so you can take any notes with a big grain of salt! I can't get to high level gameplay in 850+ games so I heavily research every game. Over 80 game creators let me interview or survey them! I Hope to go back and refine. Please argue or submit your own scores and reviews to be incorporated with credit into the notes and score numbers.

Added or last checked on 11/16/2023

First impressions! This game is a pretty typical survivors-like control wise with a relatively unique "globs of goo" aesthetic look. It seems to be fairly popular and well reviewed, though I had trouble getting into it and actually bounced off it a couple times before coming back and trying to put some more time in for the review.

It's not always easy to figure out exactly why something isn't working for me or get a full view of a game I haven't put a hundred hours into, but I attempted to examine this on pretty closely since it's very popular. People seem to enjoy that it's chill and often mention the aesthetics, but I did notice many of the positive reviewers also don't seem to have a huge amount of hours in the game.

I agree it's very easy to play, the basics of moving around are enjoyable. The character designs are cute, though the top down angle doesn't show much enough of it. Personally I thought the music might be a little too upbeat.

It's got a "World of Goo" kind of style with fairly abstract arenas and gooey trees and plenty of gooey enemies. I think this resulted in it feeling a little boring to me, though, eventually, as everything is goo and most of the enemies are also the same color. It's not a quick action game so unlike other abstract shape games I spent a lot of time staring at essentially the same shapes and colors moving slowly. They also explode in a way on hit spreading goop around them that makes it very hard to tell what is a live and recently dead enemy, resulting in me getting hit or at least stressed a fair amount while trying to skirt the edges of groups.

It's endless but seems most runs end around 30 min when much harder stuff starts to show up, hence the run time we noted. There don't seem to be different stages, though it does change the stage through your run when you beat a boss. One challenge includes manual aiming, which I didn't really find fun at all, but for the most part it's an auto-shooter. It's pretty much a bullet heaven, though it does have 'avoid red circle' style enemy attacks that are fairly common as you get into it.

There are a few characters and a currency based unlock menu for metaprogression, but I found this to feel pretty grindy. I think the lack of clear interesting build related challenges (not just kill x enemies) shown for goal based unlocks can be an issue for me, giving me less reasons to play for longer hours trying different builds. I'd like to get to the high level over the top gameplay I see on YouTube but feel I likely never will since it will just take so long to get there. In my two hours checking it out I didn't unlock a new character or any major changes to the gameplay, just some minor meta upgrades and the optional challenge turning off auto-fire (which I disliked and didn't use past one run since you can't toggle it off.)


I feel like the notes here are coming out a little unfair to it since I'm trying to pin my feelings down - I see how many people like it - but personally it's just not pulling me in to play more since I have so many other options. I like more exploration and build crafting specific challenges. But the vibe is very cute and the core gameplay can be satisfying so if the art style appeals to you it may be worth sticking with it!

Goobies Similarity Scale Heatmap

- +

Measured in 60 categories via likert-scale style options -1 to 1 in tenths, how does this game compare to Vampire Survivors. This allows 1200 total "points". It's easier to have a point of comparison and we just picked Vampire Survivors since it's the most popular and commonly referenced game in the subgenre. For detailed methodology read the explainer. For in depth examples at score value, see the scoring guide and for term definitions see the key.

7.8 Similarity Score
89% Diagnosis:
1069/1200 Comparison Points
Rogue-lite 1/1
Auto-Fire / Auto-Battle 1/1
Real Time 1/1
Top Down or Isometric 1/1
Direct Control of Single Avatar 1/1
Arcade Style 1/1
Bullet Heaven A (Many Player Bullets) 1/1
Bullet Heaven B (Few Enemy Bullets) 1/1
One Handed Play (w Controller) 1/1
Move Only 1/1
No Dash 1/1
No Trigger 1/1
No Special Move 1/1
No Aiming 0.9/1
No On-Aim / On-Fire Movement Penalty 1/1
Timed / Boss Ended Survival 0/1
Endless Mode 1/1
Organic / Unannounced Waves 1/1
High Enemy Count (Horde) 1/1
Level Up on XP Gain Event 1/1
Streamlined Level Choices (Simple UI) 1/1
Currency Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Goal Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Build Crafting 0.9/1
1/1
Weapon Combination / "Evolution" 0.4/1
Interesting Item / Weapon / Ability Synergy 0.8/1
Broken / Invincible Builds Possible 0.1/1
Explorable Map -1/1
BIG Maps -0.9/1
XP on Ground 1/1
Health on Ground 1/1
Temp Powerups / Items on Ground 1/1
Treasure Chests and/or Loot Events 1/1
Vendor / Merchant on Run 0/1
Enemy Variety 0.5/1
Bosses / Elites 1/1
Many Interesting Characters 0.7/1
Many Challenges 0.1/1
Multiple Stages 0/1
Difficulty Modifiers 1/1
Bestiary / Lore 1/1
Achievements 1/1
Secrets 1/1
Retro / Pixel Art 0/1
Damage Numbers 1/1
Lofi Charm 0.5/1
Bumpin Music 1/1
Fun Writing 0.7/1
Subtle Humor 0.8/1
Panic & Zen Duo Vibe 1/1
Over the Top 0.9/1
"One More Run" / Short Runs 1/1
Difficulty Ramp 0.8/1
Fun Ramp 0.8/1
Low Price 1/1
Technical Check 0.9/1
Controls Check 1/1
Fun Check 1/1
Feels like VS 1/1

Goobies Review Scale Heatmap

- +

The review scale is judged from -1 to 1 in 10 categories, with 200 possible "points" earned. Steam review positive percentage is worth another 100 points, and a "ten point" pure vibe review number adds extra subjectivity. Converted into points, that's 400 points total. The points aren't used directly in the ranking, though, which averages the three number scores for the final review score listed in the game line above.

8.1 Final Review
92% Positive Steam Reviews
1131 Steam Reviews
7.5 Pure Vibes
7.7 Review Scale
344/400 Review Points
Not Buggy 0.9/1
Not Janky 1/1
Good UI 1/1
Controller and Deck 1/1
Lots of Content 0.6/1
Good Theme 0.7/1
Good Graphics and Sound 0.8/1
Fun Feel 0.8/1
Unique Twists 0.1/1
Vibe Check 0.8/1

Goobies Tag Cloud

- +

More sortable taxonomies and categories associated with the game (genre tags are available in the main game table line!) We've just started adding tags to enable more sorting options, this section will get more filled out as we go!

Release Tags

Steam DeckWindows PCFree AvailableReleased

Sorting Categories

Similar

Genre and Control Style Tags

Arena ShooterAuto-ShooterBullet HeavenEnemy HellHorde SurvivalRogueliteSingle Stick ShooterSurvivors-likeTop Down or IsometricTwin Stick ShooterWave Survival

Aesthetic Tags

3DCell ShadedClaymationUglycute

Setting / Story Tags

Abstract

Control Styles

ControllerController 1 HandedController Move Only

Game Mode Tags

Unknown30m

Features and Extras

SoundtrackSteam AchievementsSteam Cloud

Dev/Publisher

Knifes

Game Features

- +

Listing various features we've got info on.

Multiplayer

  • Local: No
  • Online: No
  • Player Count: 1
  • Leaderboards: ?

Steam Features

  • Steam Cloud: ?
  • Steam Achievements: 43
  • Steam Leaderboards: No
  • Steam Workshop: No
  • Steam Trading Cards: No

Extras, Etc.

  • NSFW: No
  • Demo Available: Yes
  • DLC Available: No
  • Soundtrack Available: YouTube

Marketing Blurb

- +

Some description of the game and its features from the creators.

"Battle thousands of blobs in this roguelike auto-shooter. Travel from island to island, defeat bosses, collect and upgrade items to become more powerful and discover lag-inducing combos in an endless blobbath."

"Choose your champion from a diverse cast of 5 Goobies, each with their own unique passive ability and playstyle. Discover countless combinations of items by collecting over 30 of them, many of which have multiple unique upgrades. Unlock the power of up to 20 game-changing artifacts that will redefine the game's mechanics and visuals. Collect Goobie coins from each run to unlock more power all whilst keeping track of your progress and learning about the lore via the in-game encyclopedia!"

Run Times & Speedups

- +

Average Run Time: 30m

Run Time Notes

It's endless but seems most runs end around 30 min when much harder stuff starts to show up.

Speed Settings

?

[edit]

Army of Ruin

Released

Incredibly similar in game design, VS-like score dragged down by special move button, muddy 3D graphics and lack of charm. Many people love it, personally I thought it felt slower and less impactful. With so many other options to play, I kind of bounced off it and based much of the scale for high level gameplay based on research.

Auto-Shooter Bullet Heaven Enemy Hell Horde Survival Mowing Game Roguelite Survivors-like Top Down or Isometric Twin Stick Shooter Wave Survival
7.9 Combined Ranking Score
25/72 Ranking Position
1419/1600 Total Points
7.5 Final Review
88% Steam
7.3 Scale
6.3 Vibes
1578 Steam Reviews
324/400 Review Points
8.3 Similarity Score
91% Diagnosis:
Similar
1095/1200 Comparison Points
99% Genre 7.8/8 genre
81% Simple Controls 4.3/7 move
100% Survival Modes 4/4 modes
100% Power Progression 4/4 level
99% Buildcrafting Depth 4.9/5 build
91% Stage Features 5.8/7 stage
94% Content Breadth 8/9 stuff
68% Aesthetics 2.2/6 style
88% Gameplay Vibe Check 7.5/10 vibe vibe

Army of Ruin Ranking Notes

- +

Scaling and Review Notes

Personal Hours Played: 1.7

Every game ranked was played, but also scaled based on research, talking to developers & your feedback. The priority with the scale's initial design was to compare similarity on relatively objective features - so it doesn't claim to include reviews of the depth and clarity you'd get at a games journalism site, nor the intensive time played you might get from player reviews on steam. We try to incorporate and link all of that along with a 'review scale' that checks for bugs. See the heatmap and breakdown! Time played noted so you can take any notes with a big grain of salt! I can't get to high level gameplay in 850+ games so I heavily research every game. Over 80 game creators let me interview or survey them! I Hope to go back and refine. Please argue or submit your own scores and reviews to be incorporated with credit into the notes and score numbers.

Added or last checked on 10/13/2023

Bounced at first, but came back later and it feels less janky. Note: for high end computers, you'll want to check through all the advanced graphics options, some things should be disabled or set to lower levels to prevent it from looking muddy. Reddit likes this one a lot.

Seems to be a fairly straight rip but I don't like the graphics as much - anyone wanna sell me on it? Loses points in the VS-Likes for not pixel art, lofi aesthetic, or humor/originality. The nature of the 3D animation makes it feel slower even when it's moving the same speed as pixels technically.

Trying to come up with something else to write about this one. This review will get more fleshed out later as I go back through the sheet to actually review the games added earlier.

Army of Ruin Similarity Scale Heatmap

- +

Measured in 60 categories via likert-scale style options -1 to 1 in tenths, how does this game compare to Vampire Survivors. This allows 1200 total "points". It's easier to have a point of comparison and we just picked Vampire Survivors since it's the most popular and commonly referenced game in the subgenre. For detailed methodology read the explainer. For in depth examples at score value, see the scoring guide and for term definitions see the key.

8.3 Similarity Score
91% Diagnosis:
1095/1200 Comparison Points
Rogue-lite 1/1
Auto-Fire / Auto-Battle 0.8/1
Real Time 1/1
Top Down or Isometric 1/1
Direct Control of Single Avatar 1/1
Arcade Style 1/1
Bullet Heaven A (Many Player Bullets) 1/1
Bullet Heaven B (Few Enemy Bullets) 1/1
One Handed Play (w Controller) 0.6/1
Move Only 0.4/1
No Dash 1/1
No Trigger 1/1
No Special Move 0/1
No Aiming 0.5/1
No On-Aim / On-Fire Movement Penalty 0.8/1
Timed / Boss Ended Survival 1/1
Endless Mode 1/1
Organic / Unannounced Waves 1/1
High Enemy Count (Horde) 1/1
Level Up on XP Gain Event 1/1
Streamlined Level Choices (Simple UI) 1/1
Currency Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Goal Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Build Crafting 1/1
0.9/1
Weapon Combination / "Evolution" 1/1
Interesting Item / Weapon / Ability Synergy 1/1
Broken / Invincible Builds Possible 1/1
Explorable Map 1/1
BIG Maps 0.8/1
XP on Ground 1/1
Health on Ground 1/1
Temp Powerups / Items on Ground 1/1
Treasure Chests and/or Loot Events 1/1
Vendor / Merchant on Run 0/1
Enemy Variety 1/1
Bosses / Elites 1/1
Many Interesting Characters 1/1
Many Challenges 1/1
Multiple Stages 1/1
Difficulty Modifiers 1/1
Bestiary / Lore 0/1
Achievements 1/1
Secrets 1/1
Retro / Pixel Art 0/1
Damage Numbers 1/1
Lofi Charm 0.2/1
Bumpin Music 1/1
Fun Writing 0/1
Subtle Humor 0/1
Panic & Zen Duo Vibe 1/1
Over the Top 0.8/1
"One More Run" / Short Runs 1/1
Difficulty Ramp 0.7/1
Fun Ramp 0.5/1
Low Price 0.8/1
Technical Check 1/1
Controls Check 0.9/1
Fun Check 0.8/1
Feels like VS 1/1

Army of Ruin Review Scale Heatmap

- +

The review scale is judged from -1 to 1 in 10 categories, with 200 possible "points" earned. Steam review positive percentage is worth another 100 points, and a "ten point" pure vibe review number adds extra subjectivity. Converted into points, that's 400 points total. The points aren't used directly in the ranking, though, which averages the three number scores for the final review score listed in the game line above.

7.5 Final Review
88% Positive Steam Reviews
1578 Steam Reviews
6.3 Pure Vibes
7.3 Review Scale
324/400 Review Points
Not Buggy 1/1
Not Janky 1/1
Good UI 1/1
Controller and Deck 1/1
Lots of Content 1/1
Good Theme 0.5/1
Good Graphics and Sound 0.4/1
Fun Feel 0.8/1
Unique Twists 0/1
Vibe Check 0.6/1

Metacritic Scores

- +

This title has metacritic data! The "fuck the man" score is adjusted so each person's review is equally weighted, regardless of critic or fan status.

Critic

8.0 Converted 10 Point Score
2 Number of Critic Reviews

User

8.0 User Review Average
1 Number of User Reviews

Average

8.0 Direct Average
8.0 "Fuck The Man" Combined Mean

Army of Ruin Tag Cloud

- +

More sortable taxonomies and categories associated with the game (genre tags are available in the main game table line!) We've just started adding tags to enable more sorting options, this section will get more filled out as we go!

Release Tags

PS5Steam DeckSwitchWindows PCXboxReleased

Sorting Categories

Similar

Genre and Control Style Tags

Auto-ShooterBullet HeavenEnemy HellHorde SurvivalMowing GameRogueliteSurvivors-likeTop Down or IsometricTwin Stick ShooterWave Survival

Aesthetic Tags

3DSerious

Setting / Story Tags

DungeonsFantasy

Control Styles

Controller

Game Mode Tags

Unknown15m

Features and Extras

SoundtrackSteam AchievementsSteam CloudSteam Trading Cards

Dev/Publisher

Milkstone Studios

Game Features

- +

Listing various features we've got info on.

Multiplayer

  • Local: No
  • Online: No
  • Player Count: 1
  • Leaderboards: ?

Steam Features

  • Steam Cloud: Yes
  • Steam Achievements: 221
  • Steam Leaderboards: No
  • Steam Workshop: No
  • Steam Trading Cards: Yes

Extras, Etc.

  • NSFW: No
  • Demo Available: No
  • DLC Available: No
  • Soundtrack Available: Steam Bandcamp YouTube GOG Amazon Apple

Marketing Blurb

- +

Some description of the game and its features from the creators.

"Wreak havoc on countless foes with mighty weapons and deadly spells! Enhance your skills and face even greater dangers! Army of Ruin is an auto-shooter where you become the Bullet Hell."

"Hundreds of challenges await you!"

Run Times & Speedups

- +

Average Run Time: 15m

Run Time Notes

Melerion, via discord: "I found that setting aside about 30 minutes for a run (beyond early game) was sensible for me. End game, aka Endless Mode, could take 45 to 60 minutes on average - some longer, some not so much."

Speed Settings

?

[edit]

Shape Shifter: Formations

EA

A game that applies all of the survivors-like lessons to a classic abstract arena shooter format, so far seems to be very good at both. Vibes of Geometry Wars or the vintage vector shooters both are based on. I've been playing mostly with auto aim / auto shoot which I think works pretty well and makes it feel a lot more survivors-like in a way my sore hands enjoy. Build depth is pretty good for a more arcade-style title and while there isn't much setting/stage variety I don't spend much time thinking about it. I admit I'd love if there was at least an unlockable boss-free mode, since it feels full on bullet hell with them. Great vibe overall, looking forward to more content.

Arcade Arena Shooter Auto-Shooter Bullet Heaven Bullet Hell Enemy Hell Roguelite Single Stick Shooter Survivors-like Top Down or Isometric Twin Stick Shooter Wave Shooter
7.9 Combined Ranking Score
26/72 Ranking Position
1357/1600 Total Points
9.6 Final Review
100% Steam
9.5 Scale
9.2 Vibes
62 Steam Reviews
387/400 Review Points
6.2 Similarity Score
81% Diagnosis:
Similar
970/1200 Comparison Points
95% Genre 7.2/8 genre
72% Simple Controls 3.1/7 move
83% Survival Modes 2.6/4 modes
100% Power Progression 4/4 level
69% Buildcrafting Depth 1.9/5 build
50% Stage Features 0/7 stage
78% Content Breadth 5.1/9 stuff
83% Aesthetics 4/6 style
93% Gameplay Vibe Check 8.6/10 vibe vibe

Shape Shifter: Formations Ranking Notes

- +

Scaling and Review Notes

Personal Hours Played: 3.5

Every game ranked was played, but also scaled based on research, talking to developers & your feedback. The priority with the scale's initial design was to compare similarity on relatively objective features - so it doesn't claim to include reviews of the depth and clarity you'd get at a games journalism site, nor the intensive time played you might get from player reviews on steam. We try to incorporate and link all of that along with a 'review scale' that checks for bugs. See the heatmap and breakdown! Time played noted so you can take any notes with a big grain of salt! I can't get to high level gameplay in 850+ games so I heavily research every game. Over 80 game creators let me interview or survey them! I Hope to go back and refine. Please argue or submit your own scores and reviews to be incorporated with credit into the notes and score numbers.

Added or last checked on 11/14/2023

First impressions on this Early Access arcade style arena shooter are very positive. Honestly I'm super thankful for this resurgence of arcade style games so I can get stuff like this.

It's a top down shooter in a small arena, with "shape" enemies more complicated than you might see in some retro shooters but very much giving the abstract vibe. While the aesthetics are quite good in my opinion, the general direction of them is that you should concentrate entirely on the play and the play so far is worth concentrating on. I absolutely don't mind when an arcade style game doesn't have plot/setting trappings, it can still get a full score for on the review scale categories from me if it feels like the 'world' is still crafted for the experience the player is supposed to have. You know, Tron without all that talking.

I haven't yet encountered what I would really call multiple maps or stages, though the arena changes at different stages through the run. After beating a run once (referred to as "the game" in the guide accessible in the main menu), you unlock difficulty modifiers.

Has both goal based and currency based unlocks. The goal based ones are pretty solid for giving you something to do in a run, as in the best of these games (get a new ship!) and I enjoy how the refundable currency upgrades also include different play or build styles, like deciding to prioritize burn for the burn ship. Some of these games don't really understand that meta unlocks can be like offering the player interesting new puzzles and not just ways to make the game easier. The skill tree luckily isn't too baroque and easy access to it at the death screen made it easy to loop into another run.

Speaking of ease it certainly feels harder at first but I think this is partially the classic arcade style format. I'm not sure how much content actually exists here yet with early access, but in many of the games in this lineage you're not really expected to be beating all the bosses on your first run or very quickly. At least, I tried to tell myself this as I got used to actually dodging boss bullets again.

There is a special move button and dash. It's in no way bloated, but does include some fun stuff like stats. No bestiary, but then again not a lot of enemy variety yet either. I'd love to be able to unlock an endless mode without bosses so I could truly zone out.

It's definitely not a mowing game, with very projectile based attacks. The auto-aim/auto-fire is sometimes off in a way that feels a little bugged, but for the most part does work pretty satisfyingly. I found myself doing up close strafing more than I would in a classic arcade shooter, partially because I'm trying to collect the XP drops as well. In that way, while in an aesthetic wrapping of an older wave shooter, the gameplay can feel very much like a modern survivors-like. You move towards some things and away from others, getting into a fairly zen state interrupted only by quickly selecting from a simple selection of upgrades and eventually only sorely interrupted by the arrival of an often run ending boss.

I'm a big fan of older arcade style shooters (my favorite perhaps being Super Stardust HD) and while this one is a little slower to get started because it has the metaprogression aspect I found it very much tickled that old enjoyment. The music seems to keep on the same theme and the visuals are a very satisfying mix of retro aesthetics and fairly active and busy scenery in implementation. Overall I had a lot of fun with it so far and am eager to see it get more content through Early Access.

Shape Shifter: Formations Similarity Scale Heatmap

- +

Measured in 60 categories via likert-scale style options -1 to 1 in tenths, how does this game compare to Vampire Survivors. This allows 1200 total "points". It's easier to have a point of comparison and we just picked Vampire Survivors since it's the most popular and commonly referenced game in the subgenre. For detailed methodology read the explainer. For in depth examples at score value, see the scoring guide and for term definitions see the key.

6.2 Similarity Score
81% Diagnosis:
970/1200 Comparison Points
Rogue-lite 1/1
Auto-Fire / Auto-Battle 0.8/1
Real Time 1/1
Top Down or Isometric 1/1
Direct Control of Single Avatar 1/1
Arcade Style 1/1
Bullet Heaven A (Many Player Bullets) 0.9/1
Bullet Heaven B (Few Enemy Bullets) 0.5/1
One Handed Play (w Controller) 0.5/1
Move Only 0/1
No Dash 0/1
No Trigger 0.8/1
No Special Move 0/1
No Aiming 0.8/1
No On-Aim / On-Fire Movement Penalty 1/1
Timed / Boss Ended Survival 1/1
Endless Mode Planned/1
Organic / Unannounced Waves 1/1
High Enemy Count (Horde) 0.6/1
Level Up on XP Gain Event 1/1
Streamlined Level Choices (Simple UI) 1/1
Currency Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Goal Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Build Crafting 1/1
0.9/1
Weapon Combination / "Evolution" 0/1
Interesting Item / Weapon / Ability Synergy 0.5/1
Broken / Invincible Builds Possible -0.5/1
Explorable Map -1/1
BIG Maps -1/1
XP on Ground 1/1
Health on Ground 0/1
Temp Powerups / Items on Ground 0/1
Treasure Chests and/or Loot Events 0/1
Vendor / Merchant on Run 1/1
Enemy Variety 0/1
Bosses / Elites 1/1
Many Interesting Characters 1/1
Many Challenges 1/1
Multiple Stages 0.1/1
Difficulty Modifiers 1/1
Bestiary / Lore 0/1
Achievements 1/1
Secrets 0/1
Retro / Pixel Art 1/1
Damage Numbers 1/1
Lofi Charm 0.9/1
Bumpin Music 1/1
Fun Writing 0.1/1
Subtle Humor 0/1
Panic & Zen Duo Vibe 0.8/1
Over the Top 0.8/1
"One More Run" / Short Runs 1/1
Difficulty Ramp 1/1
Fun Ramp 1/1
Low Price 1/1
Technical Check 1/1
Controls Check 1/1
Fun Check 1/1
Feels like VS 0.5/1

Shape Shifter: Formations Review Scale Heatmap

- +

The review scale is judged from -1 to 1 in 10 categories, with 200 possible "points" earned. Steam review positive percentage is worth another 100 points, and a "ten point" pure vibe review number adds extra subjectivity. Converted into points, that's 400 points total. The points aren't used directly in the ranking, though, which averages the three number scores for the final review score listed in the game line above.

9.6 Final Review
100% Positive Steam Reviews
62 Steam Reviews
9.2 Pure Vibes
9.5 Review Scale
387/400 Review Points
Not Buggy 0.9/1
Not Janky 0.9/1
Good UI 1/1
Controller and Deck 1/1
Lots of Content 0.8/1
Good Theme 1/1
Good Graphics and Sound 1/1
Fun Feel 1/1
Unique Twists 0.9/1
Vibe Check 1/1

Shape Shifter: Formations Tag Cloud

- +

More sortable taxonomies and categories associated with the game (genre tags are available in the main game table line!) We've just started adding tags to enable more sorting options, this section will get more filled out as we go!

Release Tags

Steam DeckWindows PCEA

Sorting Categories

Similar

Genre and Control Style Tags

ArcadeArena ShooterAuto-ShooterBullet HeavenBullet HellEnemy HellRogueliteSingle Stick ShooterSurvivors-likeTop Down or IsometricTwin Stick ShooterWave Shooter

Aesthetic Tags

3DGeometricNeonRaveRetroVector InspiredVivid

Setting / Story Tags

Abstract

Control Styles

Controller

Game Mode Tags

Unknown30m

Features and Extras

Steam AchievementsSteam Cloud

Dev/Publisher

Castec Studios

Game Features

- +

Listing various features we've got info on.

Multiplayer

  • Local: Co-Op
  • Online: Co-Op (Remote Play)
  • Player Count: 2
  • Leaderboards: ?

Steam Features

  • Steam Cloud: Yes
  • Steam Achievements: 86
  • Steam Leaderboards: No
  • Steam Workshop: No
  • Steam Trading Cards: No

Extras, Etc.

  • NSFW: No
  • Demo Available: No
  • DLC Available: No
  • Soundtrack Available: No

Marketing Blurb

- +

Some description of the game and its features from the creators.

"Shape Shifter: Formations is an action twin-stick shooter with rogue-lite elements, where you must destroy hordes of geometric enemies alone or with a friend. Select your ship and combine a large variety of weapons, abilities and infinitely stacking upgrades to craft your own unique build."

"Choose from a wide variety of ships each with their own unique active and passive abilities, ranging from protective barriers or invisibility, to shocking tesla towers and a burning laser. Pick the ship the suits your play style and outfit it with a weapon of your choice. Spend cores gained each run on the skill tree to provide powerful permanent upgrades."

Co-op notes: "So each player can select their own ship/weapon and receives their own choice of upgrades when levelling up. Players earn currency in each run together, but they get their own pool to spend at the shop separately. The only thing that's shared, is progression on the skill tree, but this is offset by the fact you progress through this a little quicker in co-op"

Run Times & Speedups

- +

Average Run Time: 30m

Run Time Notes

?

Speed Settings

?

[edit]

Forest Fire

Free Available Released

A Little Different. A fucked up arcade rogue-lite about setting little pixel people and hosptials on fire. Feels esepcially fucked right now but it's just so cute! Maybe this is climate change activism? Interesting twist, not a bullet heaven and perhaps not a horde survival game, but very similar enemy hell with movement focus and how it plays. It's a pretty creative and satisfying arcade game and would have been a huge hit when I was a child in an actual arcade. If you like the dodging, it could be your zone out game. However, without real build depth I feel it's likely most people will enjoy it for a few hours and not a few dozen, unless they just find it comforting. Also feel my money was well spent though. Also feel a little dirty.

Arcade Dodge Em Up Enemy Hell Roguelite Single Stick Shooter
7.8 Combined Ranking Score
28/72 Ranking Position
1366/1600 Total Points
8.8 Final Review
88% Steam
9.2 Scale
8.5 Vibes
53 Steam Reviews
365/400 Review Points
6.7 Similarity Score
83% Diagnosis:
A Little Different
1001/1200 Comparison Points
89% Genre 6.2/8 genre
84% Simple Controls 4.7/7 move
90% Survival Modes 3.2/4 modes
100% Power Progression 4/4 level
59% Buildcrafting Depth 0.9/5 build
81% Stage Features 4.4/7 stage
73% Content Breadth 4.1/9 stuff
91% Aesthetics 4.9/6 style
90% Gameplay Vibe Check 8/10 vibe vibe

Forest Fire Ranking Notes

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Scaling and Review Notes

Personal Hours Played: 1.2

Every game ranked was played, but also scaled based on research, talking to developers & your feedback. The priority with the scale's initial design was to compare similarity on relatively objective features - so it doesn't claim to include reviews of the depth and clarity you'd get at a games journalism site, nor the intensive time played you might get from player reviews on steam. We try to incorporate and link all of that along with a 'review scale' that checks for bugs. See the heatmap and breakdown! Time played noted so you can take any notes with a big grain of salt! I can't get to high level gameplay in 850+ games so I heavily research every game. Over 80 game creators let me interview or survey them! I Hope to go back and refine. Please argue or submit your own scores and reviews to be incorporated with credit into the notes and score numbers.

Added or last checked on 11/9/2023

Totally fucked up cute little game about burning tiny pixel people alive. Great twist on the movement only formula so far, where you start burnign things just by staying still for a second (though there is a special move button.) As you level up there are some skills that technically shoot, so we can call this movement focused game a single stick shooter if we want to.

We're giving it a 0 for the No Movement Penalty column since you need to stop to light things on fire, which is basically a movement penalty in terms of gameplay. But it doesn't feel bad, since the main challenge of the game is moving! You don't collect XP on the ground (you get it by setting things on fire as they burn) so it gives you a reason to balance avoiding enemies with another objecitve (like moving towards xp in other survivors-likes)

It feel Vampire Survivors influenced so I'm going to call it a survivors-like, but it doesn't really feel like wave survival just because of how it's aesthetically presented. You dodge a lot of clouds (that actually do have similar formations to many survivors-likes enemy formations) but you usually can't kill them. I think we can also call it a dodge em up. It's also certainly an "enemy hell" since there aren't really bullets, which is a term we don't use for tags but is defined in the key.

It's cute as hell and actually does some kind of cool stuff in terms of pixel simulating the fire (not really necessary and it's no Noita, but it's fun!) The main mode is based on points, not time, but it's pretty similar in play so we give it a high partial score for timed survival. You get powerups through your run but they really are just power ups and don't interact with each other for builds or change the play style much. Primary healing is by starting fire.. on ground.. but there's also heals so "heal on ground" is a full point either way.

It has the presentation of a game with a lot of unlocks, and I think it's there to keep you going if you really like the gameplay and want a reason to, but at the same time I don't think it actually has the build depth or variety in gameplay or build reasons to really chase the unlocks. It's more just like challenges with small rewards to keep you playing a generally enjoyable gameplay loop. It doesn't really feel cheap or like it's trying to trick you into seeing more depth that isn't there, but some people may be disappointed. I think it's enough to give it high scores in those categories though.

The gameplay at the start is, I think for the most part, what you get, from what I've seen of anyone playing. Which is fine for an arcade game, but means you have to like it and not expect a ramp.

I'm giving it high scores on the review, but honestly it's a little hard to review this because it's like if playing pacman made me feel like a war criminal. I think that's good? It's certainly unique. It's a fun little arcade game, but without the build depth I imagine most people will be happy with it but only play for a few hours and not a few hundred.

Forest Fire Similarity Scale Heatmap

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Measured in 60 categories via likert-scale style options -1 to 1 in tenths, how does this game compare to Vampire Survivors. This allows 1200 total "points". It's easier to have a point of comparison and we just picked Vampire Survivors since it's the most popular and commonly referenced game in the subgenre. For detailed methodology read the explainer. For in depth examples at score value, see the scoring guide and for term definitions see the key.

6.7 Similarity Score
83% Diagnosis:
1001/1200 Comparison Points
Rogue-lite 1/1
Auto-Fire / Auto-Battle 1/1
Real Time 1/1
Top Down or Isometric 1/1
Direct Control of Single Avatar 1/1
Arcade Style 1/1
Bullet Heaven A (Many Player Bullets) -0.8/1
Bullet Heaven B (Few Enemy Bullets) 1/1
One Handed Play (w Controller) 1/1
Move Only 0.8/1
No Dash 1/1
No Trigger 1/1
No Special Move 0/1
No Aiming 1/1
No On-Aim / On-Fire Movement Penalty -0.1/1
Timed / Boss Ended Survival 0.4/1
Endless Mode 1/1
Organic / Unannounced Waves 1/1
High Enemy Count (Horde) 0.8/1
Level Up on XP Gain Event 1/1
Streamlined Level Choices (Simple UI) 1/1
Currency Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Goal Based Meta Unlocks 1/1
Build Crafting 0.1/1
0.8/1
Weapon Combination / "Evolution" 0/1
Interesting Item / Weapon / Ability Synergy 0/1
Broken / Invincible Builds Possible 0/1
Explorable Map 1/1
BIG Maps 1/1
XP on Ground 0.4/1
Health on Ground 1/1
Temp Powerups / Items on Ground 1/1
Treasure Chests and/or Loot Events 0/1
Vendor / Merchant on Run 0/1
Enemy Variety 0/1
Bosses / Elites 0.5/1
Many Interesting Characters 0.6/1
Many Challenges 0.1/1
Multiple Stages 0.8/1
Difficulty Modifiers 0.1/1
Bestiary / Lore 0/1
Achievements 1/1
Secrets 1/1
Retro / Pixel Art 1/1
Damage Numbers 0/1
Lofi Charm 1/1
Bumpin Music 0.9/1
Fun Writing 1/1
Subtle Humor 1/1
Panic & Zen Duo Vibe 1/1
Over the Top 0.8/1
"One More Run" / Short Runs 1/1
Difficulty Ramp 0.2/1
Fun Ramp 0.2/1
Low Price 0.9/1
Technical Check 1/1
Controls Check 1/1
Fun Check 0.9/1
Feels like VS 0.7/1

Forest Fire Review Scale Heatmap

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The review scale is judged from -1 to 1 in 10 categories, with 200 possible "points" earned. Steam review positive percentage is worth another 100 points, and a "ten point" pure vibe review number adds extra subjectivity. Converted into points, that's 400 points total. The points aren't used directly in the ranking, though, which averages the three number scores for the final review score listed in the game line above.

8.8 Final Review
88% Positive Steam Reviews