Loop Hero Review
Loop Hero is a stylish rogue-like deck builder published by Devolver Digital and out now on PC. Developed by Four Quarters, the game features a unique yet familiar gameplay loop combined with a charismatic art style that will keep players coming back for more. The story is surprisingly intricate and plays a large role in creating that player incentive and developing the game world. A cast of diverse characters further helps to immerse players in the game and does an excellent job of giving Loop Hero its distinct style and personality.
One of the things that Loop Hero does best is tie the narrative directly to gameplay mechanics. The Litch has destroyed all of reality and, in its place, stands nothing but darkness. Not even memories of the world persist through the newfound void. Players awaken to find themselves travelling an endless loop that consists of what is left of reality. Journeying on this loop, the hero will discover other beings lost to the void as well as various treasures and resources.
As the player progresses through the story, they will be fighting to take back pieces of the void one by one. With each run of the loop, more of the world is returned to normal. As other characters and places come back into existence, so does the hero’s memory of the world and its people. Once enough of the world has returned, the Litch appears to battle the hero and attempt to start the cycle over again.
The gameplay in Loop Hero is unique, to say the least. The game itself is a rogue-like in which players will depart on runs acquiring loot and leveling up fresh from the start each time. What makes the game so unique is how the story is intricately woven into the gameplay mechanics. A typical run consists of the player making their way around the loop, fighting monsters, and acquiring loot.
The action of travelling the loop and combat is automated but can be paused at any time. When the game is paused, players can use cards from their hand to fill out the map, the trick being that the more cards you play, the more difficult surviving the loop becomes, but the better the rewards and loot. After each run, players can manually adjust and choose the cards they want in their deck.
The dynamic of risk vs. reward is what drives the story, and even when players die, they still get to keep some loot and supplies. Different items and resources can be used to build structures back at your home base. The buildings then provide various buffs and even additional classes for the player to use in future runs.
The key to progressing through the story of Loop Hero is by building out your camp. Each building provides a noticeable positive change to the gameplay and gives the player reason to keep going on runs and unravelling more of the game. As the base expands, so does the story and cast of characters. Powerful bonuses like the ability to start with gear or get archer support in certain fights have a significant impact on gameplay. The further the player gets in their runs, the more they will learn about the world around them, and the more powerful they will become. Eventually, players will build enough to unlock new playable classes such as the thief and necromancer.
Beyond boss fights, the end game of Loop Hero focuses on building out your camp, and it does an excellent job of making the task feel both exciting and rewarding.
The combination of 16-bit style graphics and stylized portraits during dialogue work perfectly to give the game a timeless fantasy RPG feel. Enemies and items each have their own distinctive looks yet clearly maintain the game’s style, which works perfectly to immerse players in every run. I often found myself playing “just one more” because I had unlocked a new card, and I couldn’t wait to see what it looked like when played. Loop Hero will still look beautiful years from now, thanks to the game’s talented and thoughtful art design.
The Audio in the game is accompanied by an energetic soundtrack that sometimes doesn’t match the setting. Sound effects have a mild distortion to them, which makes the game feel like a retro classic and helps to distinguish between different sounds. Something the audio did that I really enjoyed was using distinctive intro sounds for each encounter and enemy.
Sometimes, the game’s autoplay nature caused me to zone out or lose focus while waiting for the next interaction, and the unique audio cues helped reduce that issue.
Loop Hero Review
- GAMEPLAY - 85%85%
- GRAPHICS - 100%100%
- AUDIO - 80%80%
Loop Hero is a uniquely beautiful game that twists the rogue-like formula and knocks it out of the park. Layers of depth in the art style, game world, and mechanics work brilliantly together to create an immersive experience that feels timeless to play. Loop Hero is an excellent introduction to the rogue-like genre for any gamer. The gameplay might feel foreign at first, but there is a complexity to it that can intrigue new players and add plenty of depth for end game content.
For more on Loop Hero check out our previous coverage.