While the official way to win 20 Minutes Till Dawn is to survive 20 minutes of monster attacks, I disagree. Like in Vampire Survivors, I think the roguelikelike arcade shooter’s real victory condition is spewing so many bullets and explosions and fireballs and lightning strikes and ice shards that the framerate starts chugging. As far as I’m concerned, when the game can no longer process just how ridiculous my run is, I’ve beaten it and I win. Reader dear, I’m delighted to say I finally managed that in 20 Minutes Till Dawn. I finally won.
It took a while. Though I’d played for 12 hours (plus more in the demo before launch) and had ostensibly won all the way up to difficulty level 9, I hadn’t won in a way that mattered to me. I hadn’t yet managed to do anything so daft that even the game took one look at my screen and said, “Whew, hold on, give me a moment to catch up here.” It feels good to finally win.
All it took was dozens of fireballs and firewaves bullets and monsters and icecubes and lightning strikes gems and and explosions every second.
I’m not ragging on 20 Minutes or Vampire Survivors for this, nor their makers. This is not a problem for me. If a run in either game is daft enough to make the game exceed its means and stumble, it’s good enough to be safe, so a few dropped frames won’t make any difference. And I am, of course, staring in wide-eyed delighted at all the explosions and particles zapping around my screen. I have a good PC, too! Well done, 20 Minutes, for crushing it. It makes that shiny new hardware (owned by the company, I stress) feel justified. Raytracing be damned; what I want from a GeForce 3070 is just so many explosions.
20 Minutes Till Dawn is available on Steam Early Access at the bargain price of £2.09/€2.39/$2.99. It’s great fun. “Like Vampire Survivors but you actually shoot” is how I would describe it, or “Like Crimsonland and Nova Drift, if you know those?”