Loop hero Steam hits today, a little indie gem that combines different styles and genre mechanics for a pretty compelling effect. Although this is a different sort of beast than many other deckbuilding roguelikes such as Kill the arrow or Monster train, I guess the same crowd will be quite captivated by Loop Hero. Essentially, it combines building terraces, building cities, and… building dungeons. And idling. Yeah. You don’t control your hero at all. Instead, you make the major decisions that determine the hero’s future by creating a world around him, a loop that he will cycle through until you summon and defeat a boss or die.
Build too many obstacles and enemies to fight, and your poor champion finds himself overloaded and dead. Build too little and you won’t be able to gain the necessary equipment or experience to survive as enemies get stronger with each loop. And throughout it all, you’re tasked with making creative combinations using board space and special maps to put together the best possible dungeon that your intrepid explorer will destroy.
Loop Hero’s so-called “game loop” allows you to meet a variety of classes once you’re there. With a warrior, a thief, and a necromancer, there are different patterns of loops to tackle that come with different modifiers. Of course, you are not going to win every time. In fact, you’ll often lose and be sent back to your encampment with collected resources to spend on permanent and powerful settlements upgrades, making it a roguelite instead of a roguelike for those who care about those designations. While you are in the loop, you are constantly faced with a value proposition every time you loop around the circuit – do you cash in all the resources you have collected or do you rely on your luck and keep going? If you end up dying you will only be able to bring home thirty percent of your transport, so knowing when to call it a day and come away with a full performance is another important skill that needs to be learned.
The most entertaining aspect of Loop Hero is building your loops for your daring adventurers to explore. There are many hidden combinations to be discovered that can alter the landscape. Building mountains can increase your character’s health, but what if you stack a 3×3 grid of them to build a towering summit? There is a bonus to this, but it will also cause harpies to occasionally land on your loop, causing issues.
Maybe you like to build forests for an attack speed bonus. Build too much, and a village of evil wooden training dummies will spawn you’ll hopefully have an Oblivion spell ready to destroy before getting slaughtered by a stack of insightful planks. On the same note, maybe you could build a Lightning Temple on the side, but with forests in your path – forests are burning, you know, and that might alter their effects. The constant juggling of myriads of locations and their varying effects on the state of the board creates an always pleasurable value proposition that’s a blast to grind and grind, even if you never really have control over attacks or bumps. defenses of your champion.
Just because you don’t directly control your character doesn’t mean you aren’t making a choice. Crushing legions of enemies grants experience points that you can use to level up, selecting from three different choices each level that you can use with carefully selected gear and card effects to create powerful constructions. There are also “gold cards” that you can unlock and choose one to use on each run, which can completely change the way you approach a challenge. For example, a gold card removes your bonus armor health (which is significant!) But gives you more maximum health every time you kill a creature with a soul. You’re going to take this into account when building your deck, as you won’t want to plant a bunch of soulless enemies in it, and you’re going to want to try and shoot lots of weaker living creatures. in order to take advantage of the bonus. At first glance, this might seem incredibly obvious, and it is – things get interesting when you make a lot of these macro and micro decisions, put them together and watch how it all goes.
Loop Hero has interesting and intriguing mysteries to dive into with a roguelike deckbuilding RPG strategy game experience where you create your own dangers and then overcome them. Loop Hero is out on Steam today, but hopefully this affects other platforms as well.