Express News Service
CHENNAI: ‘Loop Hero’ is an idle game disguised as a deck-building strategy RPG. The 16-bit graphics with partially undecipherable iconography adds to the pretense of complex strategy. You feel entitled to the hero’s success, after all, you did change their jewellery once a loop. But, I am oversimplifying here. Let me explain why I have over 30 hours clocked on this game.
‘The dragon goes under the bridge…’: Loop Hero is a strategy RPG, till you understand its idle gameplay motivation. Hero finds themself in a looped path, without memory of the past. They go round and round, fighting strange monsters to obtain cards. The cards help them uncover a part of what the past contained. They slowly begin rebuilding what they lost. And so go several ‘one more rounds’ on a path that gradually gets as clogged as storm drains during monsoon.
‘… through the loop…’: Loop Hero is an idle game, but not completely laissez-faire. You can’t stop skeleton and slime ball from smacking each other. You can only play down cards and pray for an ‘orb of evolution’ to manifest. You may methodically arrange mountains and meadows, but watch the hero slayed by a goblin that materialised due to your incessant card-placement interference. What you can control though, is luck. The luck accumulates when you generate resources, and this again, involves the trudging journey of path clearance.
‘…and finally…’: Loop Hero is an idle game when you figure out the logic engine. You can’t stop skeleton and slime ball from smacking each other. So why try? Loop Hero is an RPG manager, not an RPG micro-manager. It’s an inefficient deck builder, in that you get to decide the level of grind for your expedition. It forces you to be less involved in micro-decisions as you get better. The baby hero is now armed with cards that makes it an independent teenager, now slamming the bedroom door in your face. You are free to scroll mindlessly through social media, and just occasionally return to fidget with card placements. The poor dialogue only dissociates you further from liking any of the enemies you steamroll while marching forward.
‘…into the castle!’: Loop Hero is an idle game that knots you securely into its circle of unending gameplay. You now have a rogue with the best axes, a warrior with the best attack skills, and a necromancer with a large skeleton army. Enemies have nothing on the endurance of your now seasoned hero. The returns get higher as you get stronger, deluding you into a sense of overpowered security. But you must know when to stop and exit the loop, like I am doing right now.
(This economics graduate spends her leisure time preparing for the zombie apocalypse)