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Vampire Survivors meets Newgrounds in this Steam Next Fest demo

Brotato stars one hot potato

A heavily armed potato beats up aliens in a Brotato demo screenshot.
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Blobfish

The auto-attacking action of Vampire Survivors and rude 'tude of Flash games combines in Brotato, an upcoming indie game with a free demo available in the Steam Next Fest right now. We play as a potato dodging around waves of aliens while blasting them with sticks, stones, guns, knives, rocket launchers, and weird mutations. I mean it as a great compliment when I say the roguelikelike arena survive 'em up feels like a Newgrounds game.

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Pick a class for your potato and your starting weapon then off you go into a small arena, your weapons automatically aiming and attacking as you dodge the waves of spawning enemies. Grab XP and coins from their guts then, between waves, you can pick new perks and purchase new weapons and items. Soon, your spud has gone from meekly poking with a stick to roaming around with a shotgun, cactus club, flamethrower, rocket launcher, pistol, and magic wand, wearing a dead hedgehog on its head and jabbed full of syringes as it spews murder.

It's pretty fun! Vampire Survivors split into waves, all wrapped up in the 'tude of Newgrounds-era edginess and silliness with the look of Flash games like The Binding Of Isaac and some nods to Nuclear Throne.

I've made some weird and fun builds, and classes do encourage leaning into synergies with particular weapons, perks, and items, (though you can pick an all-rounder if you want). Extreme melee mutilation. Bullets galore. Elemental effects sparking all over. Six fists, punching wildly. Pretty good violence.

My big gripe: with little (maybe even no?) grace period of invulnerability after taking a hit, a run can go from great to over in a splitsecond. Not every game needs to behave the same way but it feels weird and, worse, not fun. It sucks to power through low levels and finally pull together an interesting build then make one miscalculation and need to start over with nothing. It's enough that I think I wouldn't stick with Brotato long-term. The dev does still seem to be tweaking, adding, and overhauling systems, so fingers crossed.

You can download the Next Fest demo from Steam. The plan is to release the full game "in the next few months", priced at $3-5.

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