Parents can set unfair expectations upon their offspring. Consequently, the children will rebel, and all hell breaks loose. However, when your crime is to choose a vegan path, then being banished is a little unfair. Amusingly, or not so much for the hero, this is exactly what happens in Voltaire: The Vegan Vampire.
Developed by Digitality Games and published by Freedom Games, this is a survival roguelike title. What’s more, there are elements of base building and farming, and plenty of fighting and quests to endure. On top of this, you must appease your crazy uncles, feed a deadly sea monster, and survive wave after wave of hellish creatures. In short, it packs a lot of action into a simple concept, and that’s great.
Voltaire: The Vegan Vampire tells an amusing tale.
When your father is the head of a vampire coven, you are expected to fall into line. As such, when Voltaire decides that he prefers vegetables and compassion to blood and killing, his dad isn’t happy. Therefore, it is understandable that he is chased out of their sinister castle and banished to an eerie graveyard. However, the torture doesn’t end there, as Voltaire must fight hordes of awful foes.
Alongside the banishment, you must work with your uncles to complete quests, grow vegetables, and survive each night. The gameplay loop focuses on a 7-day/night cycle. During this time, you can hunt resources, search for treasure, water your plants, and upgrade your stats. However, you must manage your hunger or you’ll faint. Subsequently, if this happens, the day ends, and the night begins.
Nighttime is when you must fight for your life! Waves of monsters will attack you, your house, and your plants. If they succeed and they destroy your abode, you fail and you must start the day again. Accordingly, this is where the roguelike element comes into force. Thankfully, though, the developers are pretty generous and you lose minimal progress.
7 days to survive.
A week is not a long time. Yet, Voltaire: The Vegan Vampire uses this timescale at its core. Consequently, you have 7 days to improve your skills, grow your defences, and prepare to battle an evil overlord. If you are successful, you may enter a portal and find a new home. Alternatively, you may stay and try to survive another week.
Whatever you do, the gameplay stays the same. Therefore, it became a little repetitive, and I yearned for more content. Furthermore, once you’ve fed the lake monster, harvested your crops, and completed oodles of quests, you’ll hope the action evolves. Sadly, though, it does not. As such, this is where Voltaire: The Vegan Vampire falls short.
Alongside this, the game doesn’t know which genre it belongs to. Disappointingly, this lack of focus impacts the gameplay. On one hand, it is a farming and resource-gathering sim. On the other, there is basic base building, tower defence, and combat. However, neither side excels, and this was frustrating. Furthermore, the lack of depth impacts any tactical nuance. Consequently, the developers must tweak their ideas slightly while adding more content and resources.
Voltaire: The Vegan Vampire looks fantastic.
Voltaire: The Vegan Vampire may lack content, but it looks absolutely fantastic. Visually, this indie title has excelled in every element. Accordingly, the stage design is interesting and varied, the characters are fun, colourful, and exciting, and the animation is smooth and well-considered. On top of this, it performs perfectly on both Steam Deck and PC. As such, I cannot find fault with the art style or execution.
The same compliment is levied towards the audio. I adored the clichéd Halloween soundtrack, the loud sound effects, and the silly nature of the theme. Moreover, the developers balanced the OTT noises with varied and interesting music. Accordingly, it set the scene without using a well-trodden or boring approach.
Though Voltaire: The Vegan Vampire is relatively simple to play, the controls could have been complex and convoluted. However, thanks to an excellent tutorial, this is easy to pick up and play, no matter the format you prefer. Furthermore, the inputs are responsive, well laid out, and easy to master.
I’ve highlighted my disdain towards the content. But there is still longevity to be had and replay value to enjoy. Thanks to a rudimentary skill tree, some minor cosmetic upgrades, and a plethora of overlords to defeat, there is enough to keep you busy. Yet, I wish there was more depth to enhance the experience further.
Voltaire: The Vegan Vampire is great, but it’s not quite there, yet.
Though I’ve bemoaned the lack of depth, I still loved what I experienced. Accordingly, Voltaire: The Vegan Vampire is a great indie game. With excellent combat, plenty of quests, and some wonderfully humorous moments, it’ll keep you entertained. Yet, without further development, I believe it’ll fall short of its full potential. As such, I recommend that you buy it here, despite its shortcomings! Life as a vegan shouldn’t be this tough. However, you must prove your father wrong by slaying every monster in sight. Therefore, learn new skills, grow weird vegetables, and survive for as long as you can.