V-Hunter Puzzler Dx review

2023-05-15 by George P

  • Reviewed on

  • Platforms


  • Developer
    Yatch Studios

  • Publisher
    Yatch Studios

Vampire Hunting Puzzler

V-Hunter Puzzler Dx is a turn-based puzzle-lite game that promises challenging bite-sized brain teasers. Step into the shoes of a Van Helsing-type vampire hunter on a mission to purge, not only his age-old bloodsucking foes but also any kind of abomination that steps in his way; from goblins to zombies, to mummies, to skeletons, to fiery imps, to any other generic RPG monster you can imagine. V-Hunter will fight these enemies in grid-based arenas across five chapters as he clears a path toward his arch-nemesis, the malevolent vampire lord Alric. This short description is as deep as this tale goes so do not venture into this game expecting anything resembling an actual story as quick turn-based monster bashing is V-Hunter’s bread and butter. The game adopts a minimal approach for its gameplay loop and puzzle design, utilizing just a 4-directional movement system as its core mechanic.

Every turn the player is able to move only one tile in any direction. However, the player has to remain vigilant before performing an action as the game’s fiendish adversaries also traverse the board on their own terms. Enemy variety is one of V-Hunter’s most visible strengths. Some monsters will patrol, others may guard, and others may chase you; many have different attack patterns and others can even strike from a distance using ranged weapons or magical abilities. Most importantly, V-Hunter manages to develop appropriate pacing for unfolding its diverse range of enemy types, thus maintaining an engaging flow throughout the levels while making sure that the number of new mechanics never becomes overwhelming. The goal of every V-Hunter level is very simple: eliminate all enemies and exit through the portal. Using a clear premise and its minimal 4-directional movement as the core gameplay loop, V-Hunter allows for a fun and swift level-solving experience while simultaneously enabling an engaging flow of progression as you encounter new mechanics and new enemies.

Blandly Straightforward

It is important to highlight that V-Hunter is a very short game that I personally completed in less than two hours. The game’s short duration is partly caused by the fact that all its levels range from incredibly easy to moderately easy. While a low level of difficulty is not necessarily an issue on its own, the lack of particularly clever design or a well-thought-out vision produces a blandly straightforward experience. Brilliant level design is the hallmark of any ambitious grid-based puzzler, but V-Hunter’s is sadly lackluster for the most part. While there were a handful of instances where I could appreciate a few smart ideas and tricky level design choices, those cases were incredibly scarce

The vast majority of levels are neither great nor terrible, they are just dull and uninspired. We can pinpoint the same pattern in other design elements such as the pickable items for example which consist of the most standard and bland choices like an HP potion, a bomb, a gun, etc. But the game’s most fundamental mistake is not that the mechanics themselves are dreary but rather that they are never utilized in interesting ways. Simplistic mechanics are never an issue in a well-thought-out puzzle game because, when cleverly combined with each other and enhanced through great level design, they can evolve into deeply engaging conundrums. Unfortunately, that is not the case in V-Hunter where almost every encounter is painfully straightforward, does not require any lateral thinking, and never results in complex emergent gameplay.

Vampiric Mess

Aesthetically, V-Hunter uses simple pixel art which is cute and serviceable. However, the levels are all bland empty rooms with no hint of environmental design and nothing more than different color palettes to separate them. On top of that, there are numerous obvious issues regarding the game’s visual presentation. For example, there are multiple graphical inconsistencies, such as the fact that the particle effects do not follow the pixel art style, that make the game look less attractive and less coherent than it could have been. And while V- Hunter is the kind of experience that you play for its gameplay and not its aesthetics, effective visual presentation is still a key ingredient in any high-quality puzzle game. By utilizing visual cues, great titles in the genre are able to communicate their mechanics non-verbally in a direct and clear manner. Unfortunately, V-Hunter not only does not make us of more advanced visual communication but is not able to successfully illustrate its mechanics even through plain text (which is included at almost every level in the form of internal dialogue).

For example, there is no way to know about the radius of certain consumable items, there are no visual cues to let you know about how enemy patrol routes work, and it is not possible to predict certain lethal outcomes in some situations as the mechanic had never been previously demonstrated in any way. There are so many other such cases of inadequate communication that it would be too long of a list to include in the article. And that would be without mentioning the many visual issues and actual bugs that make level-solving even more confusing and frustrating. These aspects of problematic communication and visual inconsistency combined with relatively dull level and puzzle design result in a below-average experience with just a few redeeming qualities. It is a game that I would only recommend if you are looking to spend a few hours unwinding with a quick and casual turn-based puzzler.


V-Hunter Puzzler Dx is a grid-based puzzler that provides a couple hours’ worth of enjoyable casual brain-teasers but nothing that could be described as special or highly engaging. The game’s mechanics are fairly standard while the puzzle and level design is for the most part lacklustre and uninspired. Additionally, the game’s aesthetic presentation is inconsistent and the lack of proper communication and polish in certain areas can result in a frustrating experience.