Devolver Digital's Loop Hero is making the rounds and taking names. The game's premise and execution have managed to capture the thrills of gambling with the dopamine hits of scoring the coveted loot.
Loop Hero is an RPG/strategy game published by Devolver Digital. The indie game has been gaining popularity since its release on March 4 and it's still enjoying its launch week promo at 15 per cent off !
Loop Hero's "gameplay loop" offers many different (a lot of times crucial) decisions and paths the player can take to defeat the boss or take off with a bunch of loot and upgrade their survivor settlement.
How it works
All of Loop Hero's combat plays out automatically, so it's the players' job to set themselves up for success.
With only a passive but major influence via a deck of cards, the player arranges the dungeon and tries to strike the perfect balance between creating new enemies, spawning treasure chests, and giving Loop Hero's main character new abilities.
Death is inevitable, as the player character can only loop so many times before their newfound abilities fail them - and then it's back to the settlement to upgrade it and by doing so gain access to even more powerful cards.
Why it works
The constant cyclical nature of the actions available to the players, coupled with three classes of characters available in Loop Hero makes it a series of dopamine hits, new tactics and "a-ha" moments.
This leaves the players "chasing the high" and compels them to plan their struggle a bit more carefully next time.
Another line Loop Hero threads beautifully is the gamble of deciding whether to continue on the path or cash out with the loot they've already accumulated.
The first option holds the promise of advancing and acquiring even stronger loot for the settlement - or dying and going back with only 30 per cent of the hard-earned treasure.
Going back to the settlement offers some respite from the looping and a chance to upgrade your safe haven. The downside - imagining what could have been if you only took on that next randomly generated loop path.
The current situation in the real world has opened the flood gates to the tidal wave of indie games that offer a sense of choice and make the players feel like they hold the reins.
Indie studios aren't dependant on the same time or space constraints as are the run-of-the-mill AAA developers which grants them the freedom to innovate - even if they have to do so from home.