By Taylor Rodriguez
“Loop Hero” is an endless role-playing game developed by Russian studio Four Quarters and published by Devolver Digital. Unlike other RPGs, “Loop Hero” presents a fresh take on a tile-based dungeon-crawling RPG.
Instead of directly controlling your character, you influence the world around them by spawning landscapes that can either help or hinder the hero on their infinite journey.
There are a few things about “Loop Hero” I didn’t think I would enjoy that I ultimately
did. First is the looping and idle mechanic. The second was the roguelite mechanic of gaining little progress after each attempt. I did, however, thoroughly enjoy the music and art of the game throughout.
The lore of “Loop Hero” is as follows: Your world is disappearing. Bit by bit, every planet, star and galaxy disappears, fading into vast, dark nothingness. All of this perpetuated by
Omicron, the Undead Sorcerer, whose goals are currently unknown to you.
However, you, the hero, are somehow unaffected by these changes as you remain in this quickly fading world. It then becomes your responsibility to defeat this evil and restore the universe to how it was.
When you begin playing “Loop Hero,” you start in a randomly generated tile-based “dungeon” of sorts. A vast, empty path set before your hero that always loops. Your hero travels through that path, unhindered by anything until you, the player, change that.
You are dealt random tile cards that can vary from tiles that spawn monsters, create treasure chests or provide resources for the hero to bring back to his village.
Be warned, every time you place a card onto the field, you increase a bar that, when filled, will spawn Omicron. And trust me, he is not an easy boss.
While looping, your hero will find better armor, weapons, boots and other equipment that you can equip on them. The equipment can have various traits that will affect how your hero performs against monsters and will help lead them further along their path.
This leads me to my first point. How can a game where you don’t actually do the fighting be any fun?
You don’t need to directly worry about your health, magic and dozens of different skill combinations relieve some stress that normal PRGs would create. This allows you to focus more on the strategy aspect of the dungeon building, and I really enjoy that.
It’s almost like you yourself are another deity in that world, and you are assisting or hindering the hero. As a player, you obviously want the hero to succeed, but there’s nothing wrong with a little trial and tribulation. After all, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Or it does kill you, and you start again in the case of “Loop Hero.”
Roguelites are usually a hit or miss for me recently. I prefer something similar to a roguelite like “Risk of Rain 2,” where your progress is based on the success of the current attempt. When you lose in “Loop Hero,” it feels like you lose a lot.
Every time your hero loops, they start on a campfire tile. As they adventure, they gather resources like food, stone, wood, etc. and can bring it back to that same campfire tile where the village is. Those resources can be used to build housing and other valuable buildings that aid your journey.
However, if you die, you only receive 30% of what you originally found. You can leave when you are back on the campfire tile, but you only receive more resources by playing for longer.
In my experience, you always risk losing hundreds of resources by saying, “One more loop couldn’t hurt.” Then you get attacked by four bandits and a vampire, and it’s all downhill from there.
Throughout my time playing, I very much enjoyed the retro-style art and music of “Loop Hero.” Everything felt very arcade-ish and retro without trying too hard.
The music loops, as it should, but I haven’t gotten sick of it. I’ve already put several hours into the game, and everything feels very polished. So much so that the first six hours immediately after purchasing the game were spent playing it.
I highly recommend “Loop Hero” to anyone wanting to try something new and fun. The game is easy to understand and very fun with elements of strategy thrown in. I would give it an 8.5/10.
Check it out on Steam!