Date: August 17, 2021
Starting the Loop of a Hero
Knowing how much content an Early Access game will end up having is hard to predict, but the developers over at Four Quarters had a 2015 hit in the release of Please, Don’t Touch Anything, so they’d earned some trust by the time of their 2021 Early Access release of Loop Hero. Not only did Loop Hero deliver on its promises, but the developers didn’t stop once the game was officially released. With a few updates during June of 2021, the developers added even more features, bringing the game back to the 50k+ players it had on release.
Loop Hero has enough content to make each loop a unique expedition for any hero gamer. With roguelike features and pixel graphics, it’s not exactly an unfamiliar sight on Steam, but Loop Hero offers enough unique mechanics and ideas to set itself apart. Your adventure in Loop Hero begins on a small randomized road that starts and ends at a campground. At first, your hero will spend their time on the loop fighting off a few monsters and then finding themselves right where they left off.
After each loop, the player is given a set of cards that allow them to modify the loop as they see fit. Being able to place cards that spawn enemies around that tile, or place buildings that help the hero around every corner, makes Loop Hero stand out to me. It puts the player in control of the map in a unique way, and allows you to create a loop that grants your hero the power they’ll need before the final boss of the chapter spawns.
How It All Comes Together
Loop Hero’s content is varied, with over fifty different tile pieces you’ll be able to place around the looped world during your adventure. There are a few categories of tiles: road tiles, which can be placed on the road; roadside tiles, which naturally go next to the road; landscape tiles that allow you to be creative and make a fun looking map; and special and golden tiles that offer special bonuses or effects. Each of these tiles comes together in a way that makes the game of Loop Hero become whatever you want it to be, because the player gets to choose where each of the tiles goes, making the adventure their own.
There are thirty-nine different common enemies that will spawn around the map from the roadside tiles, providing plenty of variety in combat. There are also six bosses that will be seen at the end of each chapter, once you’ve placed enough tiles and looped around the road enough times to fill up the boss bar.
While the looping of the world is fun, and you’ll spend most of your time fighting your way through hoards of enemies and defeating bosses, you also have access to your town. In the town, the player can place down buildings to gain camp items, materials, and traits for the class they’ll be using on the next looped adventure. You’re able to place twenty-three different buildings around your town that help give different types of resources. In the town, you can gather supplies to go towards a simple supply chain with four different tiers that consist of jewelry, food, tools, and furniture.
Each of the four chapters in Loop Hero comes down to a simple strategy to get through every day. A big part of your strategy is based on the three choices of classes: Warrior, Rogue, and Necromancer. While each of the classes may have their traits and different sets of equipment slots they can get, the primary strategy that I’ve focused on when going on another adventure is which cards I pick. While supplies are suitable for little things to keep your player’s stats up at the beginning of the map, knowing which cards and where you’ll place them is vital not to get overwhelmed with enemies your hero may not be expecting.
The Infinite Loop of Replayability
When it all comes together, the replayability of Loop Hero comes down to mixing things up in terms of the tile cards you pick, and perhaps resetting your town to have a different look. Playing each of the three classes adds replayability as well, because you’ll find new abilities, loot, and traits to choose from, making the time you put into the game feel worthwhile. With the four chapters of Loop Hero having a different boss at the end of every adventure, most of the actual gameplay will be spent fighting the vast list of common enemies from the tiles you’ve placed around the looped world, though you can also find five different secret bosses you may meet while on your loops.
I would say Loop Hero has replayability for most of the chapters until the end, which are a little difficult and almost underwhelming after completing. Still, I enjoyed the game through and through, and the developers at Four Quarters brought plenty of content to the table for the USD 14.99 price. I hope we will see more updates for the game, perhaps getting more tiles and more to do during the looped roguelike adventure.