Old School Gamer Magazine chats with Mega Cat Studios’ Creative Director Zack Manko, who breaks down the fun of the new movie tie-in roguelite.

About Renfield: Bring Your Own Blood:

Slash and survive a typical workday as Dracula’s overworked and underappreciated servant! You’ll have a bloody good time as you rampage through New Orleans to find fresh victims for your narcissistic boss.

For more on Renfield: Bring Your Own Blood, click here.

Old School Gamer Magazine: What made you guys go Bullet-Hell Rogue on this?

Zack Manko: We have several team members that are roguelite aficionados, so it’s been on our bucket list to do one for a while now. Also, these same team members are vampires, so it felt like the right time and the perfect match.

Old School Gamer Magazine: How does it distinguish itself from the pack?

Manko: The standout feature of Renfield: Bring Your Own Blood is the extraction phase. Midway through a level, you’ll run into an innocent victim. Do you deliver this hapless soul back to Dracula? Or offer the Dark One a criminal scumbag as a substitute? 

Choosing to doom the victim will instantly heal you, and make the rest of the level easier. If you save the victim, there is no healing, and more elite enemies will appear as you extract from the level. However, choosing the save route also gives you the chance to find more secrets and unlockable content!

Additionally, most auto-roguelites have large, open, cavernous levels that allow you to just skirt around swarms of enemies. Our game is room-based with more objects and walls in the playing field. Furthermore, our game has branching paths between these rooms, so the battlefield is always changing!

Old School Gamer Magazine: How does the story differ from the film?

Manko: The game is intentionally story-light, as the focus is on keeping you in the core gameplay loop as much as possible. Stage descriptions provide some context, and the stage order does parallel the events of the film—for the most part. We have some future content in mind that goes into its own territory, but that’s all I can say for now.

Old School Gamer Magazine: How cool was it to work with these characters?

Manko: The coolest part about working with the characters and the film was leaning into the humor of both. The Renfield movie definitely doesn’t take itself too seriously, and neither does our game. That’s plenty of silliness packed into the art, characters, and weapons.

Old School Gamer Magazine: How do you want people to be affected by the game?

Manko: We hope they have a blast tearing through room after room of enemies, figuring out the best strategy for their loadout. We hope they feel the pressure maneuvering around each area, beating down hordes of enemies. We hope they laugh at the hilarious death and damage frames and weapons, like the Death Knell’s mighty toot. 

Also, if they find themselves having too much fun, we suggest wearing some garlic as you play.

Old School Gamer Magazine: Anything else you want to add?

Manko: Just a shout-out to all the cats who made Renfield: Bring Your Own Blood possible!


Patrick Hickey Jr. Patrick Hickey Jr. (319 Posts)

Patrick Hickey, Jr., is the founder and editor-in-chief of ReviewFix.com and a lecturer of English and journalism at Kingsborough Community College, in Brooklyn, New York. Over the past decade, his video game coverage has been featured in national ad campaigns by top publishers the likes of Nintendo, Deep Silver, Disney and EA Sports. His book series, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews With Cult and Classic Game Developers," from McFarland and Company, has earned praise from Forbes, Huffington Post, The New York Daily News and MSG Networks. He is also a former editor at NBC and National Video Games Writer at the late-Examiner.com