Defend the night in Vampire Season

By Pete Davison Comment

Vampire Season is a new real-time strategy game for iOS from publisher 6waves and developer Brainz Games. The new title is available now as a free Universal download for iPhone and iPad from the App Store.

Vampire Season casts players in the role of an omniscient entity tasked with commanding the undead hordes as they attempt to defend Dracula’s coffin from attack. On each level, players have a selection of monsters which can be used to defend their dark master, each of which costs either “fear” or “style” points to summon, both of which regenerate over time. Different monsters have different statistics, strengths and weaknesses, as do the enemies — basic vampire units, for example, are good solid defending units until enemy vampire hunters show up and kill them in one shot. Likewise, certain units’ benefits include providing bonuses to nearby forces rather than being strong in their own right. The game is paced well, introducing these units gradually so the player has a chance to get to know all of them before having to make difficult decisions as to which are the best ones to take into a given level.

Players also have access to a selection of magic spells which may be used at regular intervals — these vary in functionality from healing allies to freezing monsters in place for a moment. Dracula also has an “ultimate spell” which ends every level by obliterating all enemies on the map — this is unleashed either when the player survives long enough to reach a three-star rating, or when the coffin is about to be destroyed.

The game is free-to-play and ad-free, monetizing primarily through the sales of in-game currency. This is used to purchase permanent upgrades to the player’s forces and magic spells as well as acquire consumable items to make difficult levels significantly easier. Coins are earned at a slow rate through play, but in order to acquire all of the upgrades it will be all but necessary for players to make use of in-app purchases — the player is also regularly nagged via popups on the shop screen to purchase additional coins. Levels are completable without upgrades, but it will get significantly more difficult to do so as the game progresses.

Vampire Season is a high quality game with great production values. Its 3D in-game graphics are clear and animate smoothly, while between levels some entertaining and amusing cutscenes give a sense of unfolding — if rather silly — narrative to the proceedings. It feels like a highly-polished game, in short, and it will likely attract many players due to its price point. Given the resistance to progress-throttling in-app purchases seen in many App Store reviews recently, however, it’s possible that some players would have preferred to game to be a paid app with a more generous income rate on the coins.

Vampire Season is not currently ranked on the App Store leaderboards due to its recent release. Check back shortly to follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for iOS and social games and developers.