Vampire Survivors is a time survival game with basic gameplay and roguelite themes. There is nowhere to hide, all you can do is try to survive a cursed night.
The gameplay loop is straightforward: kill monsters, collect the experience-point gems they drop to level up, and try to piece together a character build powerful enough to keep up with the game's increasing difficulty. Survive for 30 minutes and you've won (the reaper appears and kills you at the end of a successful run, but you've still won).
But here's the catch: In Vampire Survivors, there are only two things you can do: move your character around and choose which skills to acquire and develop as you level up. It's up to you to position your hero to remain out of harm's way and be in the proper position to hit enemy targets while your character's weapons- you start with one but get more as a run progresses- fire automatically at a fixed rate. Weapons can be used to fire at random adversaries, the nearest enemy, or in a specific or random direction. In essence, the gameplay consists of walking around the screen as opponents saunter near your position.
You are given a choice of three things from a selection of weaponry and passive items each time you level up. You may occasionally receive four if your luck stat is high enough. For example, use the whip to strike foes in front of you who are within melee range. On a subsequent level-up, choose the same item once more to enhance it. The whip gets its first boost when you get a second whip that swings behind you. You can upgrade it to produce more whips per swing, which will increase their size and damage. The magic wand, on the other hand, can be modified to launch more projectiles faster and at the nearest enemy. Choose the Empty Tome to increase all of your weapons' rate of fire, or go for the Duplicator to launch more projectiles with each strike. It's crucial to choose passive items and weapons that complement one another because each item has a different improvement path.