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Star Fox meets Vampire Survivors in this new roguelite starring cat pilots

And it's out in early access now

A cat pilot smirks in her spacecraft in Whisker Squadron: Survivor's launch trailer.
Image credit: Flippfly

Countless rivals have stepped up to challenge Vampire Survivors in the bullet heaven roguelite arena - Vtuber cats, Nic Cage’s Renfield, Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor - but the recently-released Whisker Squadron: Survivor is probably the most unexpected challenger yet. That’s because it’s brave enough to ask the mind-expanding question: what if Star Fox was a Vampire Survivors-like?

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Whisker Squadron: Survivor takes Star Fox’s on-rails shooting and anthropomorphic animals in space concept, and smashes it to fit within the Survivors formula. The game zoomed into Steam early access yesterday and a launch discount slashes the price down to £10/$12 until August 28th.

During 20-30 minute runs, you’ll be funnelled through randomly-generated space corridors where the reward for blasting baddies is flashy new skills… to blast more baddies with. As great as Vampire Survivors can be, my love for the auto-shooting sub-genre has faded. Once the dopamine rush from the first two dozen runs wore off, ballooning damage points weren’t really enough to keep me interested, but I’m keen to inflate stats in something more active. Maybe this cat pilot shooter is just the thing.

The game comes from developer Flippfly, the studio behind minimalist endless dasher Race The Sun which was similarly about avoiding things at high speeds, only without the deluge of bullets. Craig Pearson (RPS in peace) had good things to say about the game ten years ago now.

Whisker Squadron: Survivor is actually the beginning of a delightful-looking series for Flippfly. The team had previously announced and started a Kickstarter campaign for the un-subtitled Whisker Squadron, which plans to be a more faithful throwback to Nintendo’s somewhat dormant series. That follow-up takes the cosmic shootouts to an open world (open space?) and is still slated to launch next year on Steam.

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