If you look at Loop Hero from behind the shoulder of a playing person, you can be a little dumbfounded. She looks as humble as you can imagine. This picture is not even from the 1990s, but from the 80s or even 70s, when computers were large and games were very small. In addition, the level of interactivity of the process is incomprehensible: the pixel man does everything himself, refusing to obey the player. But for once, the hype on the network was justified. This is a truly outstanding indie. This is really something new.
The Russian team , F95zone was able to shake up the gaming community. Who said that all genres, mechanics and plot moves have already been invented, and the figures of mass culture have only to repeat and repeat themselves? A tiny game with inexpressive visuals and an emphasized “ancient” sound brought back the belief in the bottomlessness of ideas. In Russian-language gamedev, finally. Let’s try to figure out where Loop Hero got half a million copies sold in the first week and thousands of “extremely positive” reviews on Steam . And why does this strange toy want to be played over and over again!
The basic concept is by no means primitive, although its foundation looks quite simple. A knight rushes around (the same loop from the name), does not obey our commands, and we must indirectly help him in saving the world – piece by piece, piece by piece, restoring the location-map on which our hero must defeat the evil spirits. We also manage resources, expand and improve the knight’s camp. We are also digging into the inventory: the main character can chop a hundred zombies without our help, but he will not guess to take a shield and a sword in his hands.
And immediately questions arise about the genre of Loop Hero . Everything that happens on the screen is vividly reminiscent of role-playing games. At the same time, the user at the monitor is, in a sense, a Dungeon Master from a board game, he simulates an adventure for the hero. Only in Loop Hero , the default dungeon master is on the side of the hero of the game, he needs the knight to defeat the army of villains. In board games, Dungeon Master often acts as a kind of Sauron himself, mocking honest adventurers. But if you look at the mechanics of the game in isolation from the surroundings, then we have rather strategic management with construction and competent accounting of funds. Such is the unexpected mix of game genres.
The plot in Loop Hero is present, it does not shine with delights, but its conditions become unexpectedly clear and close to the player. Another lich (if you are not a D&D and Eldritch Blast 5e expert , then just take note that the lich is such an uber-zombie sorcerer) deprived the whole world of its memory, plunged it into darkness, scattered it into pieces. Our hero is making his way to justice and the status quo, and we need to help him in every possible way on a difficult path. The story fits in a couple of lines of text, but it’s still interesting to follow it: we will constantly meet new inhabitants of the world, have conversations with them, and although the texts are not voiced, they are written easily and cheerfully.
Going on a mission, the hero will extract pieces of the map and resources. Managing this wealth correctly is the key to victory. Therefore, the basis of the gameplay is the placement of pieces of the map on the hero’s path and in the vicinity. Gradually, out of darkness and emptiness, we form a part of the fairy-tale world. Such gameplay is interesting in itself, without any frills – a kindergarten child instantly wakes up in his soul, who was enthusiastically playing with the designer. But after an hour or two, you begin to notice important nuances and build the world thoughtfully, with long-term planning. And from that moment on, Loop Hero becomes the complete mistress of your time.
And the mountain of loot, which will soon fall on the player due to the exploits of his ward, reminds Diablo in a good way . There are a huge number of weapons, elements of armor, shields and rings, they have different characteristics, and only the right choice will bring the hero closer to the triumph of good. Which is better to equip: a shield with a regeneration or with a counterattack? The agony of choice is guaranteed to you, and this is another advantage of Loop Hero .
Bagel elements – where are you today without them! – are manifested in the absence of a save function. You can die or escape to a safe camp, interrupting the hike in one way or another. And this will deprive the hero of all belongings and take away some of the valuable resources. But we can spend the remaining resources on improving our base. Loop Hero’s fairly expansive building tree will do honor to any strategy game like HuniePop2. And each erected kitchen or knight’s gym is perceived as a personal victory. The history of Loop Hero is clearly divided into chapters, but progress is felt precisely in expanding its own hero-sports base. This mechanic also turned out to be interesting, although not as innovative as the others.