In France, “le” means “the”, and “vamp” is short for “vampire”. Le Vamp? The Vampire. Yeah, I’ve done my homework, baby.
Name aside, if the thought of another endless runner has you – somewhat ironically – running for the hills (jumping over hazards and changing lanes as you go), fear not; Le Vamp is different enough to warrant a cheeky peek.
A little backstory for starters; why is Le Vamp running? Well, we’re not told what he’s been up to specifically, but he’s somehow managed to “upset all the important citizens of France”, including mime artists and baguette-wielding gendarmes. Sacré bleu!
As such, the aim of the game in Le Vamp is to outrun the angry mob, and survive for as long as possible. Simple.
Typically, side-scrolling endless runners have us jumping over hazards, and, er, that’s usually all there is to ‘em. Not that that’s a bad thing - Robot Unicorn Attack 2 and Ski Safari springing to mind as good examples.
Here, in Le Vamp, High Voltage Software changes it up by making the action very much swipe-based. It almost plays like a series of Quick Time Events.
For example, swiping left to right (or vice-versa; horizontally, let’s say) slices trees to make bridges over water, while an upward swipe pulls Spudzy out of the ground before he can attack. Similarly, one of the other baddies invites a downward swipe to thwart his attack.
In addition to bridges and baddies, we’ve got two flavours of pig, one containing a heart that gives Le Vamp health, and a stinky one with garlic that should be swiped off the screen ASAP.
And that’s Le Vamp in a nutshell. The action starts off pretty slow, but the pace is increasingly frantic.
Gripes? Well, the Le Vamp shop system isn’t massively deep, and I can’t say I’ve felt much sense of progress after several hours of play. The most notable additions are the ability to swipe to collect coins (instead of tapping), and an enhanced glide when Le Vamp turns into a bat.
Having said that, a recent Le Vamp update added a ton of customisation for the oddly endearing protagonist, and a handful more power-ups. And heck, it’s only 69p (63p over in Hell, or “Google Play” if you prefer).
- The swipe-based QTE-esque gameplay
- Le Vamp himself is oddly endearing
- Lots of customisation
- Pretty samey
- Not much sense of progress
- There are better endless runners out there
Summary: Le Vamp is a charming side-scrolling endless runner that ditches the usual jump mechanic in favour of frantic and abundant swiping. Definitely worth a look.
Developer: High Voltage Software
Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
Google Play requirements: Android 3.0 or above