Review Loot River

I’ve been waiting for Loot River since the announcement. A non-standard concept, combining elements of Tetris and trendy bagels, promised a completely unexpected and pleasant result. Platforms of different heights, destructible environments, unique enemies and modifiers ensured interesting gameplay and puzzles. But too high hopes, as in most cases, brought disappointment. Having kept the general concept with mobile platforms in randomly generated dungeons, the authors of the game from Straka Studio lost all other successful elements, in a hurry plunging their offspring into the abyss of numerous bugs.

Before us is a bagel that starts in the central hub, where you will have to return after passing each stage. Here you can install modifiers found in past walkthroughs that can increase the number of enemies, limit their abilities, or activate an already completed boss. There is also a store where developers allow you to upgrade special abilities in exchange for skill points. For the gold coins collected from enemies, already at the stages themselves, you will meet other merchants offering strengthening talismans and rings.

In total, your hero is able to carry armor, two types of weapons and three sets of rings or talismans. Talismans can be destroyed after automatic use, while the effect of the rings persists for the duration of the current journey. The health ring increases your health by one point, and the talisman, if activated, will fully restore the health bar and will be destroyed instantly.

By destroying opponents, you earn experience points that affect the leveling up of your hero. At the moments of pumping, you can pull up strength, health or agility by one unit. But the most important factor is health. It is the length of the life bar when faced with a huge number of enemies that is the determining factor for successful survival.

The opponents themselves are often numerous and cunning. Some crowd in, others attack from a distance, but the local hitbox system often works in your favor. Enemies miss or simply get stuck in objects.

Dodge and counter attack are on your list of mechanics, but it is often easier to go head-on, acting in advance. Yes, and the dodge here is too slow and clumsy. In especially dangerous situations, you can take the platform aside and finish off opponents in portioned groups. However, there are some unpleasant surprises here. Crooked hitboxes and ranged enemies can hit you where you didn’t expect. At the same time, the game throws up really interesting solutions with each new stage, such as magicians blocking the movement of plates, or fuses of gunpowder that set fire to platforms, causing damage to you and the enemy.

Western players have been complaining about issues with modifier effects not working as described, but I haven’t run into that. Perhaps the problems have already been fixed by patches.

Loot River, like any bagel, bets on gaining experience through a cycle of death and rebirth. If you die, you lose not only all progress, but also equipment – with the exception of modifiers. The skills pumped from the merchant are preserved, but against the background of other rogue games, progress is incredibly slow. And this makes you feel all the shades of deep disappointment.

Loot River has an interesting idea with moving platforms and interesting mechanics on paper, but their implementation is far from perfect. Crooked hitboxes, stupid opponents, broken solutions and a very slow progression system amid a lot of bugs are disappointing. Perhaps the game should have stayed in Early Access for as long as possible, rather than rushing to release and join the Xbox Game Pass collection. Probably, after a year of patches and balancing it will be a completely different game. In the meantime, this is a direct candidate for the far shelf of your game menu.

 

Dodge and counter attack are on your list of mechanics, but it is often easier to go head-on, acting in advance. Yes, and the dodge here is too slow and clumsy. In especially dangerous situations, you can take the platform aside and finish off opponents in portioned groups. However, there are some unpleasant surprises here. Crooked hitboxes and ranged enemies can hit you where you didn’t expect. At the same time, the game throws up really interesting solutions with each new stage, such as magicians blocking the movement of plates, or fuses of gunpowder that set fire to platforms, causing damage to you and the enemy.

Western players have been complaining about issues with modifier effects not working as described, but I haven’t run into that. Perhaps the problems have already been fixed by patches.

Loot River, like any bagel, bets on gaining experience through a cycle of death and rebirth. If you die, you lose not only all progress, but also equipment – with the exception of modifiers. The skills pumped from the merchant are preserved, but against the background of other rogue games, progress is incredibly slow. And this makes you feel all the shades of deep disappointment.

Loot River has an interesting idea with moving platforms and interesting mechanics on paper, but their implementation is far from perfect. Crooked hitboxes, stupid opponents, broken solutions and a very slow progression system amid a lot of bugs are disappointing. Perhaps the game should have stayed in Early Access for as long as possible, rather than rushing to release and join the Xbox Game Pass collection. Probably, after a year of patches and balancing it will be a completely different game. In the meantime, this is a direct candidate for the far shelf of your game menu.

Shovel Knight

Completed on: PC Correct Topics: None Duration: 10 hours

Platforms: XSEX ONE PC Developer: straka.studio

Publisher: straka.studio

Genres: action, adventure

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