We think Loop Hero is the best designed game this year-that’s why many of our editors have invested more than 50 hours.For more games of the year, please visit our GOTY 2021 hub.
Evan Lahti, Global Editor: In the process of reviewing it, this powerful small RPG took me 50 hours. Its distillation effect is very good. If Diablo is a delightful 10-gallon ARPG liquid tank, then Loop Hero is a thimble of super concentrated essence. Loop: build level. Fight the enemy (automatic). Equip the loot. repeat. How does the battle feel when your control over it is basically zero? The retro sound design has a lot to do with it, immersing the entire game in the atmosphere of Halloween, and making weapon impact, harpy claws and broken shields feel sharp.
Just like the huge deck builder type that Slay the Spire produced, I hope we can see more of these things in different themes. I can easily imagine a multiplayer version where you are building a board for your opponent, which is different from Legion TD 2.
Graeme Meredith, video producer: You will see many indie games trying to replicate or recreate retro visual effects. Normally, this is a practical means to achieve an end, but the best example is that early games only touched the surface of the potential of pixel art graphics.
Loop Hero not only provides a luxurious visual experience with this beauty, it is also one of the best “non-specific CRT era” style games I have ever seen, which is also a key part of it being so addictive. Vibrating scan lines, dirty wizard work and noisy sound effects will immerse you for hours.
That, and the rumors it created for itself-this was a typical situation before the advent of Internet games. Talk to a friend or two about your experience, each of you may have noticed or discovered something different or unusual while running the loop. It fills you with a desire to share information. Therefore, it is not just the gameplay or visual effects that will amaze you, but the time and place Loop Hero creates around you to make it stand out this year.
Fraser Brown, online editor: Loop Hero seems to be a game that I can finish quickly, and I like brisk games these days, so I jumped in. After 50 hours, I came out from the other side and was fascinated by this clever gaming bastard. I am a little tired of deck builders now, because they are very suitable for the moment and absolutely everywhere, but Loop Hero has found enough room for novelty in this crowded type. Using decks to build a world, not only has things that are helpful to you, but also things that may kill you, and be inspired, which makes me more optimistic about this type.
Harry Shepherd, guide editor: Loop Hero is the kind of game I usually don’t play. Deckbuilder, roguelike, CRT aesthetics-these are things that bore me, I am ashamed to say. I’m not sure why I should try it, really, but I’m glad I did. Therefore, if you are a mediocre person like me, obsessed with modern graphics and familiar design, I strongly recommend that you try the game that surprised me the most in 2021.
Yes, the endless role-playing game of “Three Quarters” looks inaccessible, with a retro feel and complicated mechanics, but its appearance belies its true accessibility. When your amnesia heroes trudge in their circles, all you really have to do is to replace them with new equipment and set up obstacles to generate more. For me, this is more like a management game, and I am happy to be able to decide how dangerous I want my adventures to be.
It’s really that simple at first, but Loop Hero will reward your creativity. Placing cards next to each other or placing them on the map in a specific pattern can create new cards, usually with pros and cons. Then the longer you run, the more cards you place, and your once blank world will become a bizarre and beautiful pixel art portrait. Rivers, bridges, villages, mountains and forests line up the path of your unsung hero under your hands, changing and moving strangely, making this card grid full of vitality. I urge you to give it a try, even if you wait to try it on Steam Deck, its perfect future home.