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HoloCure - whom amongst the vtubers will survive?


Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)


Most people at this point are at least peripherally aware of Vampire Survivors and the genre it represents--not as its innovator, but certainly as its foremost success story. Success tends to come with admiration and imitation, so here we have a project that claims in no coy terms its direct influences, as it celebrates both its design model and the license that serves as its subject matter. HoloCure is professional pixel artist and animator Kay Yu's fan game opus dedicated to the talents and fan culture of vtuber agency Hololive, in all its inside baseball glory if you possess that working context. Even if you don't, the game's appeal is clear, as the aesthetic touches that have carried works like River City Girls are present in full force here, in a break from the rudimentary and anti-embellished exteriors of its peers. You don't have to know anything about the individual Hololive streamers depicted to enjoy what's accomplished here as the level of craft is capable of captivating through its inherent merits and not just through fan-friendly referentiality. The differences that stand out in the formula--every character having their unique starting weapon instead of drawing from a mostly common pool; the use of meter for an also-specific special attack--aren't monumental but do much to spotlight the cast and render their playstyles distinct from one another. Nothing feels out of place or ill-considered, and that's a great accomplishment for what's essentially a demo build.


HoloCure is free to play on itch. It will likely remain free as it's a passion project by a talented fan for other fans to play (including Hololive members themselves, who stream Vampire Survivors as much as anybody and have picked this up in turn--the dynamics of modern-day fandom are weird and occasionally wonderful). The current build has five initial characters with six more to unlock, all drawing from the English branch of the agency--the Japanese and Indonesian branches are to follow, with Gamers evidently next in line, featuring more than a few fan-favourites. There is only one stage at the moment, but the dopamine rush endemic to this game type paired with the aesthetic and mechanical excellence already lend the game a lot of longevity in this preliminary form--the general public seems to agree, as the game's surprise popularity has lead to temporary deactivation of its leaderboards due to mass traffic. It'll be fun to see where it goes from here, and I recommend trying it for your own.



Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
Update 0.4 is live! It adds:
  • a stupendous nine new playable characters, consisting of generations 0 (Sora, AZKi, Roboco, Suisei, Miko) and Gamers (Fubuki, Mio, Korone, Okayu). Each character in this game's schema involves a wholly unique primary weapon and three similarly unique passives to anchor their respective playstyles. The game debuted with a roster of 11, so in just this one update it's almost doubled the play diversity available.
  • a new stage, the Holo Office. With its own BGM, enemy waves, midboss and endboss, the stage variety has now literally doubled, as there was only the one before. It's a more constrained, more horizontal stage than the initial open plain--very Vampire Survivors, once again.
  • a great deal of common weapons and passive power-ups; not having yet unlocked them all, but the armory points to at least a dozen new additions to diversify loadouts. They, like every single ability, object or concept in the game, are drawn from the dizzying annals of Hololore to the delight of those that can spot the references.
  • a launcher through which the game can be installed, so further updates will be taken care of through it instead of manually unpacking .zip files into the game folder.
  • a myriad of other tweaks and additions in the margins, which I'm not sure if they're part of this update or happened somewhere before. For one, the game now has controller support, which comes very welcome thanks to its strafe-heavy control scheme. There's a pity system with the gacha unlocks where enough misses accrue a resource that can be redeemed for the thing you're actually angling for. Several player characters have alternate outfits in the form of different sprites, just as they do with their vtuber avatars on which said designs are based; multiple prior enemy sprites have similarly been redesigned or shuffled around to better fit their related source designs. There's just a lot of ongoing work put into the game, showcasing how seriously it's being taken as a pure passion project.
Initially making a sell for the game was a halfway wasted effort since it's difficult to get people interested in a one-stage game, but with updates like this that gradually complement the game's extremely compelling fundamentals with playable material it's becoming less and less of a "for fans only" proposition. It certainly helps if you're invested to begin with, but as a representative game in its genre HoloCure is shaping up to be exceptionally good by most metrics. Try it out!


Video games
No replies? Well sorry to be basic but I can’t wait to take Best Dog out for a spin. vTubers kept me sane over the pandemic.


Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)
Looks like I underestimated the update. There is in fact a third stage, a hard mode version of stage 1. It alters practically everything about it aside from the base scenery: different palette for a different time of day, different BGM, different enemy waves and patterns, different enemies themselves, and a different and unique boss. Heck of a surprise.


Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)


Update 0.5 is live. It notably adds:
  • generations 1 (Aki, Haato, Mel, Matsuri) and 2 (Choco, Shion, Subaru, Ayame, Aqua) as playable with their respective individual weapons and skills.
  • two new stages, a brand new one and a hard mode variant on a prior one
  • three new substantial mechanic subsystems that I haven't even explored yet
  • an achievement system with associated in-game rewards for completed goals
  • new weapons, items, and collaborations
  • new costumes
  • various balance and interface changes
And generally just many different adjustments, as this is a rapidly evolving game and it shows; the portrait art on the title screen above didn't exist prior to this version, for example. I don't know about a competition, but Kay Yu is setting some kinda standard with all this work, regardless of points of comparison.


Sabe, Inattentive Type
(he "Sabe" / she "Kali")
Impressions after playing a couple hours:
  • Stickers are fun! A little power-creepy! But clever, and suggest a couple of niche builds to try (main weapon only + damage for empty weapon slots??)
  • Achievements are also a nice addition. Clear objectives to unlock things, (y)
  • Enchantments? I unlocked them but haven't seen one appear.
  • "Suggested upgrades" per difficulty level is funny. I was going to try to get by only purchasing feature unlocks (I also turn G.Rank bonuses off), but I guess I'll pick up these recommendations as well.
  • Some weapons are highlighted in blue and have a stat buff, depending on what character you're using. I kinda want to know the "why" behind it. Is it for character theme? Giving a boost to items that otherwise don't really synergize with a character's kit, to encourage variety? hrm.

  • Subaru: her kit is unfocused--long range single projectile main weapon, random AoE, and tanking?--but I had no trouble clearing a stage with her.
  • Shion: Teleportation! Kinda hard to use it strategically though, with the timing of it. I game-overed pretty quick trying to figure her out.
  • Choco: I'm a sucker for turning heals into attacks (I like Fauna too). Combining crit + heal is a good mechanical niche, she feels well designed. Charm mechanic needs some visual polish, it looks glitchy when a charmed enemy sticks to and engages an opponent.
  • Aqua: Theme is on point. She's an introvert, so she performs best at distance from enemies and gets a speed boost to help her run away! Feels weird to play, though. Damage buff when the board's clear enough to keep 100px (or whatever it is) from nearest foe feels like a winmoar mechanic.

Unlocked Ayame but haven't gotten to try her yet.


Sabe, Inattentive Type
(he "Sabe" / she "Kali")
I am a derp, the blue highlighted weaponry is the Enchantments system! Once that's unlocked, weapons will randomly be offered with enchantments during level up, or they can be added or rerolled using an anvil.
When you fuse weapons into a collab, the enchantments from both weapons attach to the new weapon! You can't add a second enchantment otherwise; if you don't get enchantments onto both component weapons, that collab is stuck at a max of one.


Oh! Create!
(they/them, she/her)

For various unforeseen reasons, the HoloCure launcher over on Itch has been taken down, which (along with Kay Yu apparently meeting with Cover representatives and getting the go-ahead earlier in the year) has resulted in the game getting a Steam release, which originally wasn't in the plans. It sounds logistics and usability-driven reorienting of the game's future, as people would have to manually keep up with updates now that the launcher is no longer an option. The Steam release of the game will coincide whenever the next update happens, and saves will be transferable from the Itch version. The preview images on Steam showcase the upcoming Indonesian members and... fishing? Farming?? Room decorating??? As always, the development team is reaching for the stars in everything they pack into the game.