Review: Loop Hero


Posted on April 24, 2021 by Michael Merchant

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  • 9/10
    Review: Loop Hero - 9/10
9/10

Summary

Overall, Loop Hero is a fantastic game and I highly recommend it to everyone! It may seem like a really simple game, but it has a lot of depth to it.

Developer – Four Quarters

Publisher – Devolver Digital

Platform – Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS

First off, I wasn’t sure I would really get into Loop Hero. I loved the game’s premise and graphical design when I saw some screen shots. It just seemed very straightforward and maybe even a bit boring. The Loop is a winding trail that our eponymous hero follows over and over again until you decide the journey is over. Simple right? I had no idea how wrong I was.

What starts out as an easy hiking trail quickly becomes an odyssey through villages, groves, and treacherous enemy strongholds. The best part is that you have complete control over how the Loop evolves. As you kill enemies, they drop different tiles and you place these tiles on the Loop to change it. There is a nice variety of tiles, including mountains, meadows, groves, villages, vampire mansions, and graveyards.

The tiles not only interact with your character but also each other. For instance, if you place 9 rock or mountain tiles in a 3×3 square, the collective group becomes a mountain peak. While each rock or mountain provides stats, the mountain peak will provide a bigger bonus but also spawn enemies. This provides the player with a lot of strategic options for your Loop customization while balancing stats and enemy spawning.

As you progress further around the Loop, you slowly build a boss spawn gauge. Once this gauge fills, the boss of the chapter spawns. Here, you have the opportunity to leave with the resources you have gained or risk them to kill the boss. Win or lose, you return back to your base camp and can spend the resources collected to help your camp.

Expanding the camp is the only permanent progression the game offers. When you come back to the camp, you lose all the collected tiles and equipment from your trek. Once you leave on your next expedition you will start with a new loop. The way to counter this is by building and expanding your camp with special buildings that provide permanent boons. Buildings can provide bonuses such as giving you potions or starting gear at the beginning of the expedition. They can also unlock new classes to play as such as the Necromancer and Rogue.

Your character is automatically controlled once he sets out on the adventure. All actions, such as which monster of a group you attack, are controlled by the AI. However, you are able to stop time and strategize between fights. This will give you time to choose which new gear piece you want to use or where to place tiles. At the beginning of a Loop you probably won’t need to stop time very much. However, after the 4th or 5th loop you will likely pause after a few fights to think about your strategy.

The different classes are each unique as they have different stats and equipment, while offering up different ways to attack enemies. The Warrior is a straightforward affair, with basic weapons and armor options (enemies drop equipment quite often). The Rogue can equip two weapons instead of a shield. He also requires you to complete a loop to turn in monster trophies to get new equipment. Finally, the Necromancer doesn’t attack himself, but summons skeletons and golems to attack in his stead. He also gets a magical shield that refreshes after every fight that helps protect against taking direct damage.

Overall, Loop Hero is a fantastic game and I highly recommend it to everyone! It may seem like a really simple game, but it has a lot of depth to it. It is a great addition to any roguelite fan’s gaming library. It isn’t too punishing too turn away casual players of the genre, but upper difficulties can prove challenging to veterans. I really hope that Loop Hero eventually comes to consoles, especially the Switch, for more exposure. I could easily see them releasing new expansion packs with new themed tiles, classes, and enemies for an endless loop.

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