Vampire Rush Review
- Intuitive controls and interface; precise and easy tower placement/management.
- Interesting visual style; gaudy, but easy to read (i.e. difficulty shown via green, yellow, red).
- Upgradeable skills and multiple dungeons to explore and conquer.
- Too easy to die; bats and red enemies make melee combat almost impossible.
- Inconsistent enemy AI; while some choose to fight, others ignore you, making your role awkward to perform.
Vampire Rush is great to bash out some spare time, but it's far too easy to find yourself at the short end of a pointy stick if you make a simple mistake.
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Combining Action-RPG elements with Tower Defense gameplay sounds like a marriage made in heaven and while Dungeon Defenders had its execution problems on the smaller iDevices, it proved that the concept can (and for some does) really work. Vampire Rush from Chillingo and A-Steroids follows in the wake of this title and while it may not boast the same complexity and depth, the toned down gameplay makes for a much easier game to approach.
The basic gameplay consists of players controlling their character directly via a virtual analogue stick while attacking enemies directly with a string of basic attacks that combo differently depending on whether you hold the button down or tap for each strike individually. Once you've earned enough gold from defeating foes headed towards the gate you're defending you can drop one of four basic towers, upgrading them up to two times for additional firepower. Gold can also be spent on unlocking active or passive abilities including offensive and defensive spells and health upgrades. (Pro Tip: Leave some gold floating to purchase an upgrade for your gate - doing so heals it to full giving you the best bang for your buck when it's at low health)
Unfortunately the variety in the gameplay is played out early on, leaving the individual map layouts as the only major challenge to overcome as enemies can spawn at multiple points. Towers are also not allowed to be used to wall off, creating building-free zones around them, making positioning and building selection critical to success. This can get frustrating rather quickly as players must restart an entire level if they fail, which is quite easy to do considering the rather squishy nature of your character and the door he's defending. Should you manage to make your way through the main campaign you'll be rewarded with three endless 'survival' maps and while this does add some replay value, the anemic gameplay can render the mode obsolete after a few playthroughs.
Vampire Rush does an admirable job of condensing action and tower defense elements in to something compact and approachable for those unwilling to brave the depths of a game like Dungeon Defenders, but where the latter suffered from technical issues, the former simply fails to excite.