I have had Covid for the majority of the weekend branching into today. So I stayed cooped up in my apartment and played the hell out of this week’s demo because it mirrors the best attributes of Vampire Survivors and adds a gritty dark feel to it. This week’s demo is 10 Minutes Until Dawn.
Dropped into a Lovecraftian universe you are tasked with slaying ever-increasingly brutal, Cthulu-Esq monsters until the timer at the top right hits 0:00. As opposed to the auto-attacking style of Vampire Survivors, 10 Minutes Until Dawn requires the player to utilize the left mouse to fire bullets to kill the bad guys.
Abilities are given to the player whenever they collect enough bad guy orbs to level up. The abilities offered in the demo span from elemental damage (ice, lightning, and fire) to rate of fire and damage buffs. Within the ability, the selection screen is an evolution track that shows the ultimate item if you choose to go down that specific path. Say that you go down the Rate of Fire path then you will get the ability to deal more damage and have a HUGE boost in the rate of fire. Elemental is designed to be more prolific the farther you go down the path, while the fire path boosts damage and based on your speed, how often the flames occur.
The game is gritty and dark. I really like the art direction. A few shades of gray, red, and black paint the screen. Vision is dimmed and the farther you get from the player the darker the screen becomes, but you can always see the whites of the enemy’s eyes as they travel from the darkest parts of the screen to fight you. It adds a lot to the creepy factor as sometimes you don’t know what enemy it is until it is literally in your face and about to kill you.
The music is heavy and scary sounding. It really puts you on edge as little creepy tentacle monsters lunge at you.
Overall, 10 Minutes Until Dawn makes me excited for games that evolve from Vampire Survivors. Games that take the formula that made the original so successful and tweak it ever so slightly to create a brand new game. The power-ups really work well together and create that sense of power fantasy. I played the demo for almost an hour, which is a lot for a game that only lasts ten minutes.
It’s fun, really.