This new roguelike has enough hordes to rival Vampire Survivors, and it's already got 20,000 Steam reviews

A character select screen in 20 Minutes Till Dawn
(Image credit: Flanne)

Vampire Survivor’s mix of big hordes, roguelike elements, and auto-shooter action was successful enough to attract multiple awards and a massive fanbase. Now the hit indie has some legitimate competition with the recently released 20 Minutes Till Dawn.

20 Minutes Till Dawn popped into early access a year ago but launched in full just last month. The top-down pixel shooter surrounds your character with enough Lovecraftian horrors to fill the screen, and forces you to survive for 20 minutes until - you guessed it - dawn. New characters, weapons, and runes are unlockable after earning more gems, letting you customise builds to your liking. And death pushes you back to the first minute.

That certainly sounds similar enough to Vampire Survivor’s compulsive formula, but 20 Minutes Till Dawn sets itself apart in some major ways. For one, you’ll need to aim most weapons, choose when to fire, and reload when it’s safe. There’s also a prominent dodge roll move for more precise and quick movement. Unlike Vampire Survivors, the action doesn’t happen automatically, apart from a few passive skills, including lightning that strikes at nearby foes or scythes that spin around to cut through threats.

20 Minutes Till Dawn’s familiar but unique formula seems to have worked a treat on roguelike fans, as the game currently has an Overwhelmingly Positive rating on Steam based on over 20,000 user reviews. “If you’re ten minutes in and can still see the screen,” said one review, “you’re playing the game wrong.” That’s definitely a good sign for fellow Vampire Survivor fans. 

The game’s full 1.0 release added three unique variants (or evolutions) to every single weapon, including the new funky watering gun. Alongside a blast of other additions, 20 Minutes Till Dawn now has over 50 upgrades and dozens of builds to experiment with. 

20 Minutes Till Dawn is usually available to buy for £4.29/$5 on Steam, but it currently enjoys a 20% discount thanks to the Steam Summer Sale

For more, check out the other upcoming indie games of 2023 and beyond.

Freelance contributor

Kaan freelances for various websites including Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, and this one, Gamesradar. He particularly enjoys writing about spooky indies, throwback RPGs, and anything that's vaguely silly. Also has an English Literature and Film Studies degree that he'll soon forget.