By Dalton McClain / April 13th, 2017
|Release Date||March 7, 2017|
|Genre||Adventure / Strategy|
Loot Rascals is a roguelike game set in a strange alien world. I usually don’t like games like this, but something drew me to this one. Maybe it was the level design, or the fact that a lot of the artists have worked on shows like Adventure Time and Hohokum. Either way, something had me interested in this game, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Let’s take a look and try to figure out what made this game so interesting to me.
As I’ve stated before, some of the artists that worked on this game have also worked on other cartoons and TV shows. Their work kind of reminds me of Gary Baseman, the man behind the cartoon Teacher’s Pet and the artwork on the boardgame Cranium. Their artwork is weird and unusual, but it’s pleasing to the eye and fun to look at. Not only are the visuals really good, but the animation is really fluid. The whole game feels like you’re interacting with a cartoon, which is just amazing to me. Even the enemies are varied and different from each other, which makes it feel fresh every time you decide to start over. The music is also really solid, and goes well with the atmosphere that the game is trying to provide. The music is bouncy and lighthearted, and the sound effects are about as weird and whacky as you can find without turning on an old cartoon. Everything fits together really well to craft a very unique experience.
There’s very minimal amounts of story in Loot Rascals. There’s basically just enough story to tell you what you’re trying to do, and how to accomplish it. Once you get that out of the way then you’re ready to play. The game will spawn you in a randomly generated world where you have to try to get to the end of the stage as fast as possible, while also trying to get stronger and possibly even complete a few side quests. There aren’t many to do however, and they usually just involve getting a card for the chef character at spawn. I’d like to have seen more, but there’s only so much you can do with your allotted amount of turns.
The basics of the gameplay are simple: you walk around until you find the end of the stage. The reason you’ll want to get to the end fast is because of the turn system. Every time you move a space, one turn passes. After 5 turns, the time changes from either day to night, or night to day. Certain enemies attack first during the day, and others at night. It’s important to plan your attacks around this accordingly so you don’t take any unnecessary damage. After enough turns have passed, harder creatures will start to spawn. This will continue until you meet Death, who will pretty much one shot you. This is one of the downsides of the game for me, just because of the random generation. It’s very hard to tell if you’re walking to a dead end, so you have a good chance of meeting your end simply because you got a bad spawn and couldn’t make it out in time. It’s an intended feature, but is still pretty frustrating.
The card system for this game is really simple, but slowly becomes more complex. You have two main types of cards, attack cards that are orange, and defense cards that are blue. These cards can also have special effects, such as giving +1 to a card on the left or -1 to a card above it. This adds an extra level of strategy to how you lay your deck out. You also have overlays that can go on top of the cards to give you special abilities like shooting fireballs or teleporting to a random space for a token. Tokens are the currency for this game. You get one whenever you destroy a card. They’re used for regaining health, as well as using certain abilities. I wouldn’t rely on them entirely, however, as they are very scarce. This makes healing very difficult, as you have to go back to the beginning and pay money for it. The cost doubles every time you use it, so be very cautious about using it.
Overall this game is very enjoyable, and I find myself going back to it in my spare time just to try to improve and get better. Almost everything about this game is fantastic, but the relatively short number of turns that you get really hindered my enjoyment. It took me hours just to get a good enough seed so I could play the later levels. Definitely pick this game up though, as it is just $14.99. I’ve sunk over 20 hours into playing, and I plan on playing it a lot more. Loot Rascals is a very solid game, but a little bit too aggravating at times.
Review copy provided by the publisher.
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