In the land of mobile gaming roguelikes are quickly becoming one of the more popular genres with tons of them popping up everywhere. Heroes of Loot, by OrangePixel, has been a highly anticipated game that sort of fits into the roguelike genre on one front but then definitely does not on the others. What I mean by that is while most roguelikes are slow and methodical, Heroes of Loot is fast and hectic. While most roguelikes have a lot of thought processes on what armor to wear…Heroes of Loot has no such worries. In fact, the term roguelike might not really be applicable to Heroes of Loot at all but it has the randomness permadeath features going on and it is still a blast to play.
Choose Your Character
Like in most RPG games or roguelikes you get to choose your character from a list. Heroes of Loot is no different and offers four classes; elf, warrior, wizard and valkyrie. Each of these has a ranged based attack (elves shoot arrows, warriors throw knives, etc.) which can be upgraded in game and also has different stats. The main stats in Heroes of Loot is strength aka attack points, magic which I’ll get to later, and how fast they level up. The differences honestly seem rather minute though although I do gravitate towards wizards and valkyries due to their magic stats. Magic comes into play in the levels where you pick up temporary magic runes which cause a lot of damage to surrounding enemies. The more magic your class has the longer these magical runes affect you. After you choose a character you go and loot all that you can and then die and do it all over again.
This is where Heroes of Loot differs greatly from traditional roguelikes as everything is fast. You go into each randomly generated dungeon floor and there are gold and gems everywhere with tons of enemies. You move using the bottom left of your device and shoot by pressing on the bottom right side. Aiming is automatic which can get kind of annoying sometimes where it aims at people through a wall even though other enemies are coming right at you. So you run around, grab the loot to increase your highscore, find the key and move onto the next level. Rinse, wash, repeat. There are some things to spice up gameplay including quest rooms in which you are given a challenge to complete in a certain time period and you get rewarded with loot, keys, experience or items. As far as items go there isn’t many different kinds. You have health potions, regenerative health potions, various shields, invisibility cloak and experience scrolls. For a game called Heroes of Loot there isn’t much loot and no “hard” loot that improves armor, weapons, etc. Everything is temporary and Heroes of Loot plays like a crazy top down arena shooter with random dungeons rather than an RPG or roguelike.
Close but no Cigar
While a lot of people have been following Heroes of Loot’s development process and it is highly anticipated, I can’t help but feel slight disappointment at some aspects of the game. Putting aside the fact that I would have preferred more upgrades and actual loot in a game called Heroes of Loot I found the main issue to be in actual controls. The touch screen joystick and firing button you are given to control your character is just horrible. Movement is jerky in a game where you need to be quick and nimble to dodge incoming enemies it makes everything extremely frustrating. Combined with the automatic aiming system of the firing instead of directional shooting like in Binding of Isaac and others, the controls really need to be hammered out. And again, while I am kind of disappointed in the lack of an actual roguelike theme in Heroes of Loot, I can’t be too upset at that because obviously OrangePixel didn’t want to go that route. Overall, Heroes of Loot is still a fun game to play, just has some major control issues and may not be what you’re expecting…but still entertaining.