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Time Survivors is the most completely absurd Vampire Survivors-like yet

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Time Survivors just released on Steam and like many horde survival games it takes the idea of Vampire Survivors, and puts a few little different ideas into the mix and it's probably the most insane one yet. My time has been testing it with Proton 8 where it works great on Desktop Linux (Kubuntu 23.10) and Steam Deck.

Lunar Chili, the developer, say it is the "most historically inaccurate roguelike ever made", although they're stretching the term roguelike there. Apart from some odd wording (probably translation issues) and some balancing needing to be done, it's actually a whole lot of fun — and really quite challenging, more so than most in the VS knock-off genre. I say knock-off lovingly, because I do enjoy all these games very much, but VS clearly started a whole specific thing here.

The characters of course are completely ridiculous, as are some of their abilities. The enemies make absolutely no sense either. You'll be coming up against flying skulls, giant multi-headed fire-breathing dogs, dinosaurs, big flying golden gargoyles, massive flesh-eating plants and it seems whatever the hell they felt like putting in the game. Don't go into this one expecting anything to make sense, and that's what I love about this one. It's so ridiculous and stupid with the setting it just works, it's fun and that's the important thing.

Not many games you can say you played as Abraham Lincoln fighting off zombies and rats while throwing around a Yo-yo and a Flail. Oh and your special ability as Abe is to throw down some Cherry Blossom trees to block enemies, because yeah - that makes sense? Everything in the game is like that just pure absurdity.

Upgrades for days too, with quite an interesting system. You can upgrade each character, each weapon...and so on. And certain types of upgrades need different resources, so you'll be on the hunt on each map for more than just gold.

You even have map-based mini-events to do as well, like a Time Circle where you have to stay inside a blue zone while a big clock hand moves around it. However, invincible Time Guardians that look suspiciously like butterflies are flying around trying to hit you while you're in the zone. On top of that there's special challenges that you get by finding relics, that will give you a boost if you manage to purge their effects like killing 200 creatures, but each creature death shoots out a bunch of deadly petals. Or survive for 60 seconds while giant snakes made of skulls filling up the screen come after you.

Total madness.

At one point I turned into a giant. Giant Abe! Stomping all over everything.

Game Features:

  • Play as epic historic characters, each with their unique ability.
  • Historically inaccurate stages such as the Stone Age, the Dark Age, Ancient Egypt, and more full of enemies, secrets, mini bosses and end-stage boss.
  • Skill-tree based meta progression for all elements in the game.
  • Hundreds of different weapons, buffs, Cursed Relics, Powerups, and unlockables to choose from for a unique experience every run.
  • Casual quick 20 minute play sessions + plenty of quests and secrets to discover.
  • A Sandbox mode to test any overpowered build and train against any enemy.

If you love these survivor-like horde survival games, it seems Time Survivors is one you need to try.

For desktop Linux everything worked as expected, but for Steam Deck (and gamepads) the experienced needs to be improved. The developers say they test it themselves, and on their Steam forum they claim "Yes, Time Survivors is compatible with Steam Deck." but it only has partial controller support with some parts like the unlock screen not working with gamepad at all. I had to switch Steam Input to keyboard+mouse for it to work well on Steam Deck and be playable. Which is fine, as the controls are incredibly simple. Apart from that though, on Steam Deck (OLED), the only time I saw performance drop was taking down a big enemy where lots of gold spawned, while there were tons of other enemies but that came back up quickly.

You can buy it on Steam.

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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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I chuckled when the trailer got to playing as Vincent Van Gogh. And Nero.
hardpenguin Jan 19
Well, even Vampire Survivors sports the Steam tag for "Action Roguelike". You could say that survivor-like is a subgenre of action roguelike, which is a mash up of two other genres.
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