In a sea of coattail riding Vampire Survivors clones, it takes something for one to stand out. HoloCure did this by being free. As in, completely free. No cost, no IAPs, no paid DLC. Free. That, and it came to my attention via a recommendation from Gaming on Linux, who I follow because apparently I’m a Linux gamer now what with the Steam Deck and all.
Anyway, the game. it’s Vampire Survivors only with anime girls and cute baddies. Apparently, all the characters you can pick are VTubers but I neither know of them nor do I care, because I’m just here for the gameplay. Which, thankfully, is excellent.
Of course, it’s very much like That Other Game. You have swarms of baddies and you attack automatically. When you kill them they leave XP capsules, and when you level up you get to select a new weapon to add to your arsenal or upgrade an existing one. Eventually you become a walking death machine, have bosses to face, and the difficulty ramps up. Same as Vampire Survivors.
The differences, aside from the characters and baddies, are pretty small. The main one is that HoloCure is properly twin-stick. You still “auto-fire” like in VS, but you can choose in which direction independently of the direction you’re moving. Levels are also shorter, generally. In VS, at 30 minutes Death comes for you and the level ends. Here, you get an end of level boss at 20 minutes, and the level only ends when you or they die, which can take some time. Most of the weapons are different to VS too, but a lot of them are just analogues. There are a few really bizarre ones though, like the potatoes that bounce around the screen.
So it’s different but the same in the ways that make it fun. What is really different is the Stardew Valley/Harvest Moon-lite side-game it has going on. Outside of playing the normal levels, you have a house you can visit and furnish, with a little farm to grow crops, a pond to catch fish, and a pen to hold, er, baddies that you have hired to farm coins for you. It’s not very in depth, but once I completed the main game (as in, had successful runs on each level and unlocked all the characters) I spent an inordinate amount of time on it.
HoloCure is an absolute bargain.