Vampire Survivors developer Poncle is giving us a bit of a two-for-one with its minimalist survival RPG’s latest free update, combining sufficiently spooksome chills for Halloween and all the snow-speckled wintery fun you might reasonably require when things start to get a bit jollier later on. It’s called the Chilling Update (because of all the snow, yes?) and it’s available now.
The Chilling Update – also known as v1.7.0 – introduces a new playable character, a new bonus stage, a new evolving weapon, two new relics, six new EXTRA achievements, and a new music track. If that’s enough information to get you salivating and you’d rather avoid spoiling the fun before diving in, stop reading now – otherwise it’s time to go through all the above in more detail, starting with the new stage, Whiteout.
Whiteout is described a “20-minute bonus stage” in Poncle’s patch notes, and it’s unlocked by picking up a total of 20 Orologions. Once inside, players will encounter snowmen insistent on blocking their path, and face enemies which, according to Poncle, move very slowly and are particularly susceptible to fire. “So for most of it,” the studio explains, “there isn’t anything particularly challenging” – although you might want to save your spicy sausage for the boss.
Whiteout also hosts the new Antidote relic and Glass Fandango weapon. The first enables players to buy the Defang PowerUp – a “very cheap” PowerUp that slightly reduces difficulty and makes some enemies (given a green tint) unable to deal damage.
As for the Glass Fandango, it “attacks faster and in the faced direction when moving, and with standard delay and all around when standing still”. It also deals extra damage to frozen enemies and gains bonus area during the time-freeze triggered by Orologions. Poncle notes it can be used in every other run by levelling it to Level 7, and will evolve into Celestial Voulge when wielded with max Wings.
This fancied-up version deals continuous damage, and has a chance to deal critical hits and freeze enemies. It’ll also switch up the Glass Fandango’s time-freeze so enemies appear frozen and deal no damage but keep moving toward the player.
The Chilling Update also introduces a second Relic, the Chaos Altemanna, enabling O’Sole Meeo to morph when reaching Level 80, providing a few minor stat boosts and evolving its Celestial Dusting into Profusione D’Amore – which shoots bouncing flowers and will occasionally spawn floating leaves that can cause a chain-reaction of explosions.
And finally, there’s a new character, She-Moon Eeta, a “slightly defensive” character with high armour and movement speed that starts with the Glass Fandango. She has a CriticalHP skill that triggers when dropping below 25 per cent Max Health, causing a 10-second time-freeze, and it’ll only recharge when the character recovers all HP.
And that’s your lot for the Chilling Update, although Poncle does note players looking for a bit of extra spookiness can, as was the case last Halloween, cast the spell ‘spoopyseason’ to unlock special skins for Mortaccio, Yatta Cavallo, Bianca Ramba, and O’Sole. It also says it’s hoping to have Vampire Survivors’ next big feature – Adventures – ready in “less than a month”.
Adventures are said to remix base game content and add a bit of extra “flavour” through new stage progression and descriptions. There’ll also be a special Adventure for each DLC.
Before all that, though, you’ve got Vampire Survivors’ Whiteout update to enjoy; it’s out now on all platforms apart from Switch, where approval has apparently been blocked by Nintendo because of the term “Flashing VFX” in the Options menu. “We wanted to always release patches globally, because we know how frustrating it is to receive updates late only because your platform of choice is not the main one,” Poncle writes, “But with this level of silliness, in return it becomes unfair to all other players to hold back a release because a single platform is that slow”. Hopefully Switch players will get their fix of Whiteout soon.