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Tales from the Gaming Backlog — Loop Hero

As part of my Undiscovered Worlds theme for 2022, I’m going to be digging into my ever-growing backlog of games. Most of these I picked up — probably like you — because they were free or on sale. I have over 90 titles on Epic alone that I got for zero dollars. A few titles I actually bought because I wanted to play them, such as today’s Loop Hero.

This title really intrigued me. It’s kind of a reverse tower defense, where you lay down structures on or next to a path to help challenge your ever-circling hero to grow in power and acquisition. During each of these “expeditions,” you play this balancing game between evolving the loop to get more challenge (and potential rewards) and not making it so hard that your RPG hero can’t make it back around. The longer you go, the more resources you acquire. And while you get armor and weapons and whatnot to help survive expeditions, your ultimate goal is to come away with as many resources as possible.

You see, if you die, you lose a good chunk of the resources. If you can end a run back at your camp, you keep them all.

Back at camp, you use these resources to build up different structures. These provide the only permanent progression of the game, as every subsequent expedition starts from scratch. For example, one early structure I built unlocked the rogue class, which I was then able to play in expeditions instead of a warrior.

While you can’t directly control your hero — he moves and fights and loots by himself — you do mold the path and equip his gear. This is where all the strategy lies. Different tiles do different things, and there are combos when certain tiles are placed next to each other. For example, put two battlefields together and they make like a super battlefield that pay out in more treasure chests. There’s a LOT of combos.

And picking the right gear is essential, because you’re aiming to create a speed build that does one or two things well. Fast attack? Quick regen? Lots of counter? High health? You pick one or two and aim for that during a run.

While Loop Hero is gangs of fun — and a very relaxing game in a way — it is super-grindy with a slow progression curve. I got frustrated by how little the game tells you about the tile combos, which is what sent me across the internet to find out vital information to actually play the game. But hey, really good pick and I’m going to give it a spot on my laptop going forward.

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