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New Pathfinder video game will deliver Vampire Survivors gameplay in a fantasy RPG wrapper

Bullet hell, sans bullets.

Key art from Pathfinder: Gallowspire Survivors video game
Image credit: BKOM Studios/Paizo

Another video game based on the Pathfinder tabletop RPG was announced over the weekend that looks to capitalise on the success and popularity of the fast and frenetic Vampire Survivors.

Pathfinder: Gallowspire Survivors is the creation of design outfit BKOM Studios in collaboration with tabletop publisher Paizo, which also handles the sci-fi RPG Starfinder. This is the second title BKOM and Paizo will create together, and the Steam page describes Gallowspire Survivors as a “roguelite bullet hell survivor set in the world of Pathfinder”.

If you’re not familiar with snappy video game subgenre buckets, that might just sound like word soup. But for anyone who has played Vampire Survivors, the indie surprise hit that gripped online gaming communities last year, it’s a clear statement of purpose - ‘do you want exactly that but painted in classic fantasy colours?’

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Players will choose amongst three characters - the Fighter, Rogue or Wizard and wade into a seemingly endless avalanche of creatures in a bid to reinvigorate the seals on the magical prison that holds the Lich-emperor Tar-Baphon. One successful crusade through his minions and up Gallowspire Tower is not enough, thus justifying the run-based nature of this video game.

If you’ve never seen a Survivors-lite (please don’t actually use this) played, it can seem overwhelming. Players essentially move in a desperate sprint through a sea of foes while their automated spells/swords/arrows cleave through the ranks and hopefully clear enough space to survive. As they level up, players will choose amongst three abilities to augment their destructive capabilities, eventually accruing a fairly unique build - though it only lasts as long as the player can stay alive.

At the eventual end of a run, talent points can be used to permanently unlock or upgrade traits that will affect every successive run. There is no backwards progress, and failure just means starting again from a marginally stronger position.

Screenshot from Pathfinder: Gallowspire Survivors video game
Image: BKOM Studios/Paizo | Image credit: BKOM Studios/Paizo

Pathfinder: Gallowspire will put its own spin on the thriving subgenre by allowing players to bring a second class with them as a companion, along with a quest system, multiple bosses and five tiers of difficulty as players gradually master Gallowspire’s treacheries.

BKOM Studios previously worked with the other big name in fantasy tabletop, Dungeons & Dragons on 2017’s Tales from Candlekeep: Tomb of Annihilation, as well as other video games such as Sunday Gold and Overloot. Known more for their work in turn-based strategy games, Gallowspire Survivors will be their first roguelite title.

Pathfinder: Gallowspire Survivors will hit Steam sometime in 2023, though a press release from BKOM did not specify a date. Those more interested in Pathfinder’s take on a hack-and-slash video game in the Diablo and Torchlight style should check out the upcoming Abomination Vaults, also from BKOM Studios.

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