RINGER
PC Gamer US Edition|June 2021
Charming micro RPG LOOP HERO is one of this year’s first true gems.
Evan Lahti

From the moment its 16-color title screen fades in alongside dramatic chiptunes, Loop Hero feels like some forgotten, VGA-era fantasy RPG, a game that contains the mystery and difficulty of 1991, gently modernized to 2021. Behind that charming intro screen isn’t empty, indulgent nostalgia, but a novel gameplay format that’s strangely engrossing, considering much of your time playing Loop Hero is hands-off. I want more games like this.

The setup is dead-simple: You send one of three heroes (warrior, rogue, or necromancer) on repeated expeditions to an empty road. As your little hero auto-walks around this stone path, you populate the blank world around it by playing cards like graveyards, battlefields, villages, or mountains one by one. These pieces in turn alter hero or enemy stats like attack speed and HP, and spawn corresponding enemies that you fight automatically as you pass through them.

Each run essentially becomes a small experiment, another crack at piecing together a level that’s tough enough to give you good XP, resources and gear but not so brutal that it kills you outright. What happens if I play a bunch of spider cocoons and sand dunes, which lower all creatures’ HP? What will river cards do if I intersect them with the road itself? Can my warrior survive two adjacent tiles filled with giant sandworms?

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