How Valheim and Loop Hero came out at the same time, and are both early contenders for GOTY is quite interesting. Lucky gamers!
I generally enjoy rogue-lites, or games with an incremental gameplay loop. I really like the strategic aspects, where you are provided some level of control in the starting conditions, then the tactical implications of the RNG in the moment-to-moment parts. Even more pleasant when there are complex systems that build off each other, and you are given the opportunity to learn from mistakes without complete failure.
I have a dozen posts on Hades that cover this in more detail.
Loop Hero is a more passive game, where you impact the world rather than the player. It’s a balancing act of building a challenging world, where the player takes frankly as long as possible to complete a loop, while still surviving. Taking longer means that you get more loot and experience (which gives some passive traits). The loot is used on the strategic layer (home base) to build improvements for the next run.
There’s nothing fancy in that description – almost every idle game on mobile uses this same model. Actively run, collect things, go home, upgrade, and do another run. There aren’t a whole lot of these on PC though. Darkest Dungeon may be the closest comparison, yet that’s much more active than Loop Hero.
I’m not far in the game. I’ve beaten the first boss a few times now, and unlocked the supply depot. In the ‘building tree’ it’s just under the half way mark, and I’m told there are 4 bosses. Far enough to understand the basic mechanics, and not far enough to have all the tools available to me.
I will say that pretty much everything up until the point you take down the first boss feels like molasses. It may be that the costs of the initial buildings are simply too high for my tastes. They have a large impact on gameplay (healing potions!), yet there’s a lack of information to help with explaining what’s a useful choice. Once I unlocked the Supply Depot though… that’s when I really started paying attention.
I got through the intro part of Kingdom Hearts 2, so I do have some level of patience for ultra long tutorials. But I can also recognize them. It’s not a killer, obviously, but it will prevent a larger demographic from getting to the good stuff.
The game is enjoyable, and a good way to spend some time. I would enjoy this a WHOLE lot more if I could save mid-run – right now I’m stuck pausing for hours. Think that’s coming in a future patch …