Sitting down to write this I thought I’d just have another quick run to get me ready. That was almost three hours ago. Loop Hero, from small Indie developer Four Quarters, is one of those games. One quick run and next minute you have missed that meeting, forgotten to pick up the kids, or been unable to start writing that review. And at first glance Loop Hero doesn’t look like much. Definitely not something that will grab huge chunks of your precious gaming time. Thankfully Devolver Digital saw differently and got this gem of a game out to the masses.
We Seem To Be Going In Circles.
The premise here is pretty simple. Your Hero walks a circuit fighting monsters and collecting resources. You have no input in travel direction or combat but instead swap out their equipment and edit the environment. Rogue-likes have always been a bit divisive here at Koru Cottage. I am a fan but Guy makes no secret in his disdain for them. To be honest, this could be the title to change his mind. Yes it is Rogue-like in nature but more of a Tower Defence vibe is what I get. Defeating enemies will give you cards or equipment. The equipment is pretty self explanatory, better weapons give more attacking damage, better armour reduce incoming damage. The cards that are placed on the map, well they are a bit more complex. But not overly.
It Takes A Village.
Cards collected can be as simple as a Meadow or Mountain which aid your Hit Point level and healing. They can also be spawn points for more enemies, Beacons to increase travel speed, or even a spell to remove enemies and existing cards. It is not as complex as it sounds and you will soon have your favourite cards. By collecting resources you will improve you home camp. This will unlock more cards and even different Heroes. An example is by building a farm at your camp you unlock the Wheat Field card. This card can only be place next to a Village card and by doing so aids your quest. If you place the Cemetery card, skeletons will spawn. But if you also have a cemetery at you home camp you will gain valuable resources when passing through these cards. Hard to explain but easy to pick up.
Balance Is Key.
By placing more spawn points will give you more loot from defeated enemies but the risk of defeat is higher. If you are defeated in the field you loose two thirds of your collected resources. You can return to your camp at any point sacrificing one third of your resources. But if you return home while adjacent to your camp on the map then you keep everything. Don’t get too greedy though. The more laps you do the higher the rewards but also the stronger the enemies and at some point an evil, and tough, challenge will appear.
I haven’t mentioned the graphics of Loop Hero. They are basic, Temple Of Apshai on the C64, basic. This just reinforces the quality and playability of Loop Hero. Looks aren’t everything. Even as writing this all I want to do is jump back in and do some more loops. Loop Hero is simply good fun. And judging by the number of downloads on Steam I am not alone in my love for my Hero of the Loop.