The first DLC for Vampire Survivors offers some interesting (but diminishing) returns.

Zoom in / Welcome back, my friends, to the never-ending crowd.

In our review of Vampire survivors, we noted how it’s like you’re “always unlocking a cool new game or character to play with.” Unfortunately, this is not literally true. After dozens of hours, most players will be able to find every secret and unlock every one of the game’s many unlockable characters, maps, and weapons.

The game doesn’t immediately lose its hypnotic, epileptic appeal at that point, of course. But once you finally achieve all of the game’s many “official” goals, it becomes a bit difficult to come up with new, self-imposing challenges.

Enters Moon Legacythe first part of the official paid for DLC Vampire survivors. While we welcome any new content for one of our favorite games of the year (especially when it’s being offered for just $2), this addition seems a bit limited, especially for a game that has seen dozens of free updates since its launch in 2021 in Early Access.

Mountains of madness

As the name suggests, the highlight of this DLC is its new stage, Moonspell Mountain. The developers at Poncle boast that this map is “25 times bigger than the other maps in the game.” Vampire survivors, but it doesn’t feel that way in practice. However, the Moonspell Mountain feels more sophisticated than most of its predecessors Vampire survivors maps.

Wide-open areas like this are rarer than ever on the DLC's new Mt Moonspell map.
Zoom in / Wide-open areas like this are rarer than ever on the DLC’s new Mt Moonspell map.

On the other hand Vampire survivors Maps, getting to a specific item on your map is usually just a matter of going in the right cardinal direction for a while. This isn’t necessarily true of Moonspell, where you’ll likely run into a cliff edge or impassable walls that force you to turn back and find a new way through maze-like passages. There are plenty of dead ends to trap (or trap visiting enemies in), as well as several new “interior” areas, where entering a door causes the ceiling to fade away to allow you to see into the rooms inside.

While there are a few new enemy types in Mt. Moonspell, most of them amount to fodder that is difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish from existing enemies. But that doesn’t apply to a handful of little bosses on stage; Giant monsters with fast, long-range attacks require all your dodging and positioning skills.

wild weapons

The moonspell The new DLC weapons are a mixed bag. I particularly liked the “108 Bocce,” a group of eight brown balls that circle your character in a semi-hypnotic spiral, striking any opponent who dares get too close. Likewise, Silver Wind sends tiny white particles bouncing over your character in a particularly satisfying pattern that I never get tired of staring at. I also enjoyed Four Seasons, a weapon that sends particularly flashy fiery blasts to the four corners of the screen, forcing you to carefully position enemies at a distance.

Summon Night is a powerful new weapon that rips several vertical cuts at the bottom of the screen just above your character’s position, burning any enemy that wanders around in its continuous smoldering. I found it a bit frustrating to lay low, especially in situations where the environment makes it difficult to lure enemies on top of me. The Night Sword is less interesting, seemingly performing automatic slashes on any enemy that gets too close (and possibly stealing some health in the process).

Taking Wolverine's claws across the entire screen is incredibly satisfying.
Zoom in / Taking Wolverine’s claws across the entire screen is incredibly satisfying.

My least favorite new weapon was the Mirage Robe, which regularly leaves explosive, ghost versions of your character behind as you go. I found it very difficult to use this ability effectively, as these ghost clones only affected a small portion of the enemy squadron creeping near my previous location. I really enjoyed the weapon’s advanced shape, which lets any projectiles overwhelm enemies in a way that causes them to wander in near-random directions, opening up plenty of open space in even the most pesky of hordes.

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