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Loot River Review – Pieces Sailing Into Place


Billed as a union between Soulslikes and Tetris, Loot River delivers this intriguing mixture with fashion. Each second swings between slick puzzle-solving and clean motion. Gamers ought to anticipate to repeatedly die in Loot River’s darkly atmospheric ranges, with every dying setting you again to sq. one. Nonetheless, the thrilling gameplay and rippling pixel artwork make it arduous to withstand yet one more run.

I start on a raft; a pitiful mattress and discarded junk are scattered round me. I do know I’m within the Sunken Village, a miserable-looking place with rotting wooden decks floating atop murky waters, however not a lot else. The tone and cryptic story scream Darkish Souls, particularly once I discover a notice: “That is no kingdom; it’s a tomb.”

Getting from place to put, regardless of the extent, requires me to shift round multi-shaped platforms with the suitable joystick whereas controlling my character with the left. Navigating via slim corridors and platform-choked arenas makes me continually swap from one form to the following simply to seek out my manner via. I used to be frightened this is perhaps unwieldy, however after just a few moments of getting adjusted to the controls, it feels instinctual and gives a way of accomplishment outdoors of fight. The flowing pixelated waves following in my wake additionally give the world a splendidly dynamic really feel.

The procedurally generated, block-sliding labyrinths are by no means the identical twice, and the designers additionally do an excellent job at making certain that every degree gives a singular problem. Tiered platforms or traps that set hearth to my raft add deeper, and generally pressing, layers to the traversal’s problem-solving design. I’m typically caught off-guard by enemies with surprising talents, just like the insidious monsters that lock a platform in place till killed.

The weird motion mechanic lends itself effectively to the fight. I typically cost up an assault, pull up subsequent to an enemy’s raft, and unleash a crushing blow earlier than gliding away untouched or utilizing a magic spell to go quickly invisible. In addition to this, parrying is my go-to technique. Getting the timing proper opens up my opponents to a devastating counterattack which makes me momentarily impervious. It’s unimaginable how highly effective touchdown that good assault feels.

Loot River’s heart-pounding fight and traversal-by-puzzle design are constructed on a roguelike basis. I struggle my manner via artistic and distinctive areas till an adversary lastly will get the higher of me. Then the method begins throughout on the first degree, with most of my hard-won upgrades misplaced. Development doesn’t work like a Souls recreation, and ditching that expectation early on helped me higher benefit from the expertise.

It’s tempting to equate Data, an in-game foreign money generally dropped by defeated opponents, to Souls from the sport’s inspiration. However whereas I might spend the useful resource to completely unlock higher gear from particular distributors, I couldn’t use it to improve my stats. Leveling relies upon fully on the variety of enemies defeated in a run, and sometimes each stat drops again to beginning ranges upon dying. Additionally, simply because I unlocked a brand new weapon or armor possibility with my Data didn’t imply I all the time had entry to it. There are some methods to affect what varieties of substances I would have in the beginning of a run, however getting hard-hitting weapons or stat-boosting equipment principally got here all the way down to what loot monsters dropped or what I might discover in chests. It may be a brutal and irritating cycle, however it is usually so satisfying to discover a game-changing merchandise early on or completely tailor my stats to that run’s wants. Even with this method’s hurdles, I all the time bought sucked again into the fray.

It’s not all doom and battle, nevertheless. Efficiently clearing a degree or succumbing to an inevitable dying introduced me again to a tranquil hub referred to as the Sanctuary. The intense atmosphere boasts chirping birds, a therapeutic monument, useful NPCs, and pettable chickens (which I visited between each mission for good luck). My quest, timeless state, and talent to shift the world below my ft are all linked to the relic on this peaceable zone’s heart. Whereas just a little ambiguous, the narrative is thought-provoking. The characters sure to this miraculous and ominous object ask me to think about the value of its energy, at the same time as I fortunately take benefit of it to proceed the looping gameplay.  

It took me just a little over six hours to get my first victory display screen, however that wasn’t the top of the sport. Unlocking every part, uncovering secrets and techniques, and piecing collectively the lore are all part of the just about inexhaustible expertise. It may be acutely irritating to fall sufferer to a first-level foe after almost making it to the final boss within the earlier run, however the recreation is difficult to place down. Loot River reimagines a few of its inspirations’ finest components, providing gamers an opportunity to sail cleverly via every atmosphere, develop highly effective sufficient to slice up once-impossible threats, and unravel a narrative that well weaves into its gameplay.

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