20 Minutes Till Dawn

20 Minutes Till Dawn

released on Sep 05, 2022

20 Minutes Till Dawn

released on Sep 05, 2022

Shoot down an ever growing horde of Lovecraftian monsters to survive the night. Choose from a variety of upgrades to create unique and game-breaking builds. Unlock a diverse cast of characters and weapons with unique powers.


Released on

Genres


More Info on IGDB


Reviews View More

Poor man's Vampire Survivors

I picked up a Steam Deck due to the recent summer sale discount, and in looking for small, snackable games from my library to install on it, I remembered that there were a bunch of Vampire Survivors clones (aka "garlic-likes") that would be perfect for the portable system. I noticed that this game finally hit its 1.0 build and figured that's as good a reason as any to revisit it and see how things have improved.

Folks, this game is exactly the same as when I last played it, only there's more characters and stages now. None of the fundamental flaws I noted in my previous review have been addressed, most notably how there's absolutely zero build variety here since you'll almost always end up with enough upgrades to pick more or less everything in the 20 minute gameplay promise. In the end, it just kind of makes the game boring, which is the worst thing a game could be.

The only time I had a smidge of fun here was when the game seemingly glitched out and disabled mouse/stick aiming, instead opting to auto-target the nearest enemy, bringing it closer to its Vampire Survivors cousin by inadvertently slimming down the game mechanics. I frame this like a mistake because I didn't adjust any gameplay settings to make this happen, and I have been unable to make it happen again since.

Oh well. The dev's next game, Emberpath looks much better at least, so hopefully this was a good learning 'n earning opportunity for 'em.

Pretty good "vampire survivors" type of game
(Note that I played on IOS [free, but some locked stuff] and I pretty much always play games on PC)

As it is, the game stands as hardly more than a barebone concept. It has interesting characters and weapons for a survivor-like, it also has a more involved gameplay than most of these games but its main flaw is that there is almost no content in any tangible way.

There are only three maps and you'll be repeating them forever, with little enemy variety and very few bosses. The only progression in this regard is an increased level of difficulty every time you clear a map but the increase is hardly noticeable and doesn't change anything other than inflating numbers.

Additionally, you pick your main weapon at the beginning of the run so there isn't much surprise through the randomness that should be the core of such a game. The number of abilities you can unlock are also limited so you'll likely see everything in a run or two. Sure you can make builds but they honestly don't change much.

The last nail in the straw, the developer made sure you can't get achievements from the sped-up 10min mode. Why do this? They're in my opinion the best way to play this kind of games and achievements are pretty much the only progression you can look forward to in this game.

Oh, and it's pretty. I was really charmed by the visuals initially but I am now mostly disappointed.

Vampire Survivors managed to hook me twice on mobile and the on the switch and even though the basic mechanics are all here, this one was not able to keep my attention for more than a couple of hours. I guess these extra tweaks that provide the special (addictive) kind of sauce to the game are necessary if the core game play loop is designed to be rather basic.

There's an argument to be made that removing all the fluff (that is designed purely to pump you full of dopamine) let's the game play stand on its own but unfortunately there isn't much there without the fluff and funnily enough this game exposes all the others for being mostly fluff as well.

horde auto-shooter or bullet heaven, its main difference is the fact that you have a gun to manually shoot, the game however is nothing exceptional and you'll most likely have a better time playing another game of the subgenre