One of the best games of the year finally gets a boss

So far, reverse bullet-hell shooter Vampire Survivors, one of the must-play indie hits of the year, had no boss. That’s no longer the case after a recent update, which adds a new version of the latest phase of the game.

Still in early access and technically first released at twilight last year, Vampire Survivors is a Castlevania-inspired survival game. While it may seem like a top-down bullet hell shoot-’em-up, the core concept isn’t really about dodging projectiles: you’re the one shooting them down and wiping out thousands of enemies. And thanks to a handful of roguelike elements, Vampire Survivors can you easily in that “normal” five more minutes” mentality. Here is my boxIan Walker:

Vampire SurvivorsTrue power, however, is in the near-constant dopamine rush. It feels like a mobile game without all the nonsense about mobile games, or maybe one of those mindless Flash distractions you used to pick up secretly on your school’s reading room computers. Not only is it satisfying to clear the screen of bad guys, but every now and then rare, stronger enemies reward you with a treasure chest that showers you with extra items and money for unlocks with a flashy streak that rivals even the best loot boxes.

The latest update, 0.8.0 (patch notes here), overloads you with even Lake stuff, inch Vampire Survivors closer to a full release through a slew of new skills, achievements and weapons. But the biggest change is the addition of a reworked final stage, “Cappella Magna.” If you survive the 30 minutes, if polygon notes that all the foes from the stage will merge, Voltron style, into one giant reaper. that is the final boss. Once you beat it the first time, “Cappella Magna” reverts to the easier — but still very difficult — version. For your efforts, you will unlock the Great Gospel Relic, which will allow you to upgrade weapons beyond their max level.

If you haven’t played yet, Vampire Survivors is worth a spin. It is part of the PC library for Game Pass, Microsoft’s on-demand game subscription service. Or, and here’s the key, it costs $US3 ($4).