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Scarlet Tower screenshot

Vampire Survivors-like Scarlet Tower is a true power fantasy – and it costs less than a fiver

Home » Features » Vampire Survivors-like Scarlet Tower is a true power fantasy – and it costs less than a fiver

I’m a big fan of the power fantasy. If I can become inhumanely powerful without much work, I’m there. That’s probably why I enjoy Survivors-like games so much: simply pick up the right combination of power-ups and you’re basically a God of Destruction. There’s something so satisfying about watching enemies melt away around you while you simply stand there, cackling maniacally.

Scarlet Tower is the latest Vampire Survivors clone to land on my radar, and it might have just become one of my favourites. Released on Steam in March, it’s another vampire-fuelled, Gothic-inspired roguelike that sends you out into the woods to kill, well, just about everything you encounter. With four distinct forms of currency, there are lots of ways to upgrade your character, both permanently and per run, and so, becoming ridiculously overpowered is all too easy.

What’s somewhat unique about Scarlet Tower is its day and night cycle. Half of your time will be spent during the day, where enemies aren’t as tough, allowing you to feel like a hunter even if you don’t have too many skills to begin with. When it changes to night, however, you’re supposed to feel like you’ve gone from the predator to the prey, with tougher enemies out to get you — and a couple of bosses showing their face.

Scarlet Tower screenshot
Image: Pyxeralia LLC

In theory, it’s a cool idea, but in practice it doesn’t quite work, because chances are you’re probably so powerful by the time night rolls around that it simply feels like a natural progression of difficulty anyway. Does it matter? Not one jot: it’s still ridiculously good fun slaying your way through hundreds — thousands — of enemies.

Related: 6 best games Like Vampire Survivors on PC

And I do mean thousands. There’s a counter in the top-right corner that tells you how many enemies you’ve killed. Towards the end of my run, it was jumping up by several dozen each second; my skills had become so powerful and outward-reaching that I was clearing screens with little effort. Brilliant. Isn’t that always the goal in games like this?

Scarlet Tower screenshot
Image: Pyxeralia LLC

I also love just how many ways there are to permanently upgrade yourself in Scarlet Tower. Perhaps too many: its menus are a little overwhelming at first, but with ways to tailor and improve a character’s skills while also increasing your base stats such as pick-up radius, luck, attack rate and critical hit chance, it’s nice to feel like you can make a difference. Just one successful run will net you enough currency to upgrade a substantial amount of stats, too.

I’d be remiss to mention the price of Scarlet Tower. When you’re covering games provided to you by PR, it’s not always the first thing you check. Jumping onto its Steam store page, I assumed it might be fifteen, twenty quid, which would have been reasonable enough. But no: Scarlet Tower costs just £3.99/$4.99. I had to do a double-take: there’s a heck of a lot of game here for the price of a coffee. It’s a bargain. Buy it.

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