We’re getting the weekend started early. Two of our favorite shows are back, and we’re digging a breakout hit vampire game that’s being called a “bullet heaven” and is only $3 on Steam.
Vampire Survivors is an unlikely hit
Indie developer Luca Galante’s Vampire Survivors is one of the most unlikely breakout hits of the year. The influential roguelike shoot-‘em-up has been called a “bullet heaven,”' in contrast to the bullet hell-style manic shooters in which you must dodge a near-endless stream of projectiles. In Vampire Survivors, the projectiles come from you as you maneuver away from small armies of enemies. The game shoots for you, while most of the fun comes from traversing custom maps and unlocking and upgrading unique characters. It’s hard to describe the appeal without trying the game yourself, but at just $3 on Steam, it’s well worth a try. The game was also added to Game Pass for PC last month.
‘The Umbrella Academy’ is overwhelming (in a good way)
The adaptation of My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way’s peculiar superhero graphic novel series returned this week for a third season. After season two’s time travel shenanigans, “The Umbrella Academy” has officially strayed into alternate universe territory, rife with some headache-inducing paradoxes: It’s all getting a bit overwhelming. Thankfully, the third season is grounded by some excellent performances, most notably by Elliot Page, who worked with writer Thomas Page McBee to incorporate his real-world transition into the fictional narrative.
The rise and fall of Axie Infinity
To many casual observers, Axie Infinity looks like a wondrous success story, one of the first play-to-earn games to successfully deploy all the blockchain bells and whistles of Web3 like NFTs, cryptocurrency and virtual land. But the lesser-known story of its downfall over the past six months is a much more important tale, and one told in precise detail by Rest of World’s Darren Loucaides in an excellent feature published this week. The piece, flush with interviews with the company’s founders, tells the story of how Axie Infinity developer Sky Mavis rose to fame as a poster child of the blockchain gaming movement, and the perils of a fledgling industry rife with hacks and scams and intertwined with an uncontrollable and volatile financial market.
The final season of ‘Peaky Blinders’ is here
The sixth and final season of Steven Knight’s historical crime drama “Peaky Blinders” is here, having aired in its entirety on the BBC and appeared on Netflix earlier this month. Like prior seasons, season six can seem at first glance like a too-quick six episodes, especially given the length of Netflix’s many other series. But “Peaky Blinders” packs extraordinary amounts of depth into each of those hours as it explores the machinations of Thomas Shelby and his once-scrappy and now terrifyingly powerful criminal organization. If you’ve never watched it, now is a good time to dive in before Knight’s planned feature film wraps the series for good.
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