Loop Hero is certainly an intriguing endless roguelike RPG. We’ve been playing it for this month’s podcast episode and, while there are some very good things about this game, we can’t say we love it anywhere near as much as the general consensus.
- Lovely clear pixel art visuals
- Nostalgic chiptune soundtrack
- A lot of strategic decision-making for players
- Automated gameplay can feel pretty arbitrary
- More like a distraction than an experience in its own right
Let’s start with the presentation of the game as this is probably my favourite thing about it. There are some excellent pixel art visuals and a soundtrack of nostalgic chiptune awesomeness.
Of course, retro graphics and sound are hardly anything new for indie games. Where Loop Hero does stand out from the crowd is its gameplay. The player’s character wanders in an endless loop automatically fighting any enemies they encounter until you decide it’s time to return to camp to salvage any building materials you’ve acquired on your trip.
There are a lot of interesting strategic decisions for the player to make while the main character ploughs on regardless and once you’re back at camp. For example, between expeditions, you can develop your camp to improve your chances on your next trip out, which also serves to provide the player with some nice exposition and world-building.
The downside to the gameplay is that you don’t really need to watch the game every second it’s running and I really didn’t find the automated side of things to be all that engaging. It strikes an unhappy balance of requiring too much attention from the player to be a relaxing idle experience but far too little input from the player to be enthralling.
From playing the game, I realised that the only real problem with it was the platform that it was on and that, for me at least, the PC was the right fit for the game.
Loop Hero is without a doubt an interesting game and there are definitely many players that would enjoy it, despite it being game that removes a lot of control from the player. I genuinely believe that it would be an excellent mobile game; the type that I could sink days and weeks into while waiting for the bus, in line at the bank, or during some of those longer trips to the bathroom.
I certainly don’t want to lump this game in with some of the low quality mobile games out there, but I also don’t feel that it offers enough in terms of engagement for it to be worth booting up on my PC or paying the amount of money I did for it.
It’s an interesting and playable title, but I’ve had it on in the background whilst writing this review and I don’t even think the game noticed that I wasn’t there (nor did it care). There’s certainly too much passive gameplay for me to love it, but there’s definitely a type of player out there that could really get into it.