By Guest Reviewer – Chris Turton
If Tim Burton made a PC strategy game, this would be it. Vampires is a great addictive title from CBE Software, the guys who brought you Ghost in the Sheet and J.U.L.I.A.
This crazy puzzle clicker really stands out in simplicity and ingenuity. Your goal is to guide a ravenous horde of Bella Lugosi stereotypes from a maze of hazardous rays of light, blender pitfalls, wells, explosive cannons and frenzy pike-on-wheels riding lunatics down to their crypts before day breaks, it is a unique gaming experience on a small level. Sometimes the gameplay can be a little frustrating primarily because of how tough the game is, vampires have different personalities including ones that will only turn left and ones that will only turn right, (you know this by their tea flask held in the appropriate hand!) regularly leading them to their own demise.
Once you get more into the game and the maps become much more elaborate your goals too seem to be clearer, however when you have four or five vampires all with different routes and blinded goals getting them all safely to their beds can be a point-and-click nightmare. Sometimes you will have to protect one set of vamps whilst you strategically move your other little vamps towards their crypt. I could not be any more thankful for the tutorials, fact is, and sadly you will vaporize…a lot.
Vampires is a tough game. You have to think out your strategy before pressing that start button, and your mouse needs to be responsive to get those pathways setup right and avoid an abundance of traps. Enemies include vampire hunters, garlic guns and cannons. Working out the route of your little vamps is really an art form. You are judged on the amount of path rotations, and the time it takes to get them back to the crypt, getting the gold award for each level is truly a skilful and much practiced art! It would be great if you could make changes to your pathways before your little vampires start but sadly no actions can be done until your press the play button, meaning sometimes you have to be mega quick with your nimble fingers!
Powerups are not exactly plentiful, you can place garlic to avoid your smart suited terrors from going down the wrong path as well as thick spider webs too slow you down and avoid nasty cannon fire, you also have the power of the Queen Vampires. There are three of them. All with different special powers and abilities.
Vampires is an enjoyable game, but it can be highly frustrating, particularly as you get further into the levels and using a range of power ups and skills to narrowly avoid cannons blowing you up or being chased by the pikes on wheels! It has been years since I have stumbled across a game with such ingenuity, yet the simplicity of Vampires is something to be admired, despite the big death rate you will inevitably encounter, you will definitely get addicted!
Is It Worth Your Money?
Strategy and planning are the core principles of this title and working your way to those golden awards will take time and patience. Vampires! is a quality game, with 65 levels and you will be glued to your monitor for hours.