Loop Hero: I was pleasantly surprised by my experience in Loop Hero, produced by the Russian studio Four Quarters. This is due to the fact that the title seeks influences in the most varied genres, creating a cyclical adventure that is renewed, in its own way, with each turn on the map. Honestly, I didn’t imagine that the recently released title published by Devolver Digital could have such an original concept, so unique, that it would make me addicted without there being much loophole to, say, play.
In one way or another, the Loop Hero cycle is very similar to the routine of real life: you walk the same path every day, do the same activities, but there is always the chance of encountering something unexpected along the way. At work, for example, as much as you already know the process backwards, there is constantly an openness to learn new things. The same happens in Loop Hero: he flirts with the feeling of déjà vu as soon as a new journey is started, only that you always return to the base with some lesson learned.
Complex at first glance, the experience may seem full of details, but it is only appearance. This analysis, by the way, will be as quick and objective as the game’s vicious cycle itself.
To better understand what Loop Hero is, we first need to understand its elements. It is a game with touches of deck-building, RPG, roguelike, management and idle game – the latter known as incremental, that is, it is played alone, without constant interventions by the player. In Loop Hero, you watch the hero embark on a saga to save the world from Lich, a divine creature who uses his powers to trap the world in a circuit of death and resurgence. However, anyone who thinks that the narrative is shallow is mistaken: with subtitles in Portuguese, it brings up deeper philosophical debates, such as questions about nihilism. Even the visual reinforces this sinister aesthetic that the plot proposes, even with a pixelated aesthetic that is even simpler than I would like.
Your role in this journey is to manage equipment, cards and structures in a strategic way so that the character is more likely to survive. The procedural nature of the game contributes to the current map having a different format in relation to the previous game, although who defines what will or will not be present in it, from enemies to terrains, is you. It is up to the player to use his cards intelligently when filling the map with monsters and structures, since the composition of the scenario directly affects the way the little pixelated warrior reacts to the route.
Understanding the cycle
As you progress, new cards are unlocked so that more and more dynamic worlds can be created, capable of facilitating the path to the antagonist Lich. The Farol card, for example, when added to the table, increases the movement speed in the range by 40%, as well as the attack time for all units. There is also the possibility to reinforce the route with specific monsters to increase the chances of getting rare items. The card Bosque, one of the most common at the beginning of the game, generates a wolf-mouse every two days and is very useful for making battle equipment.
Whenever the hero revisits the safe base, a kind of checkpoint, hit points are restored, while creatures and buffs are renewed. From there, you have two options: return to the camp keeping all the loot collected or take another risk, running the risk of losing more than half of the resources found. It is really cool to make difficult decisions like that, at key moments in the adventure, because you never know exactly what might come up in a new stage of the expedition.
Combat comes down to watching the hero’s actions, as in an idle game, but you can amplify his attack and defense attributes in real time by equipping better weapons and armor left by downed enemies. The more expensive the circuit, the greater the chances of obtaining items of higher rarity.