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Loot River Review

Loot River Review

Loot River is what happens when DARK SOULS and Tetris have a baby. As a rogue-like with pixelated graphics, I knew I had to play it. Except then I remembered my one fatal flaw: I am awful at anything related to Souls. Even with ELDEN RING, my joy comes from dying repeatedly, not succeeding. So, I found myself getting frustrated with Loot River for a while before I sat down, shoved in my Xbox controller, and decided to commit myself to this game.

When I say that Loot River was the bane of my existence, I wasn’t joking. Like a fool I didn’t check the settings, because on the accessibility mode they actually have an Easy option. However, Easy doesn’t make it that much easier and it was still frustrating. Enemies did slightly less damage to me, and I did a bit more damage to them. Before that, I kept making my way through the Sunken Village and then dying. Rinse and repeat; you can probably understand that I did quite a few rage quits.

Loot River Gameplay

See, it takes you a while to get accustomed to the controls. Before I found my Xbox controller again, I was using my keyboard, which was absolutely godawful. It’s impossible to get anything done without getting cramps in my hand. Usually, when I hear a recommendation for a controller, I figure that it won’t be as big of an issue, but I say this now: Don’t play Loot River on a keyboard. You will get angry, and you will quit the game.

However, upon getting my controller, I found the controls so much easier. It was simpler to utilise the platforms in my favour as they floated through the river. You see, the platforms make it much easier to fight, and as for the enemies themselves — they weren’t too difficult. However, if you get mobbed by them, yeah, that’s not going to be a fun time because you’ll lose all the progress you’ve made so far.

The Sanctuary

That’s right. You lose all your progress when you die. All the stats you worked so hard for, the levels you gained, and the items you gathered: all gone. You’re left with some default weaponry, and you need to go through the entire game all over again. The good news is that when you go through the game and you’re forced to die so many times, you get a lot more experience because you know what you’re doing. Plus, the maps are randomly generated each time. You never get the same experience in Loot River, and for that I’m grateful.

After all, I never want to go through a “Dance, water, dance” situation, like when I fought Demyx in Kingdom Hearts II — ever again. Now, while the monsters themselves weren’t too challenging, the bosses could be frustrating. Personally, my favourite was Gwen as I could apply logic to her fight. She was big, but you could figure out how to get her to attack you without getting swarmed or poisoned by the enemies behind her.

GWEN Boss Fight

My least favourite boss by far was The First One. I don’t even know how I fought that guy, he was a nightmare. It doesn’t help that he was surrounded by exploding enemies who would follow you and aim to kill you all together. It also doesn’t help that he can also utilise the platforms, so you actually need to be careful how you fight him.

Upon playing this game, you really need to think carefully about the items you want and the stats you choose. After all, you only get two weapons in your hand at the time, and you can’t change out your equipment whenever you want. And spells — you get two of those too. While I didn’t mind that too much, I found that actually getting more equipment was a pain. You could only get new equipment to spawn in through using your Knowledge in the Sanctuary, where you would exchange it to learn from whoever you wanted to buy from.

Upgrading Items

The shops weren’t much use either. You don’t keep the gold you earn when you die, and you can’t browse the shop to see what the merchants are selling. It’s frustrating, so I found that I’d be keeping gold coins that I knew I wasn’t going to use. However, I found giving them to the bard was definitely worth it. Honestly, the only things that help you are the modifiers you can find while you’re exploring, but they don’t actually help you that much.

Honestly, I mostly kept coming back from the admittedly small story. I was there to get out of the Sunken Village, but I wanted to know more. You can learn more from notes, but I found that while you would find out a few things from each character in the Sanctuary, the story itself was lacking. But I found that I didn’t really mind too much.

The game was addictive, and although I was frustrated, once you get to grips with the gameplay it’s a lot of fun. It’s atmospheric, and the characters themselves were interesting; I wish we could have expanded more on them. While I haven’t unlocked the true ending, Loot River is designed for more than one playthrough. Generally, I can admit that it’s a fun game and a great time killer, especially if you like to beat your own high scores and save the multiple worlds in the game.

7.00/10 7

Loot River (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is good, with a few negatives.

Loot River has addictive gameplay and you’ll want to play it again. However, there isn’t much story, which is a shame for the interesting world I found myself in.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Bex Prouse

Bex Prouse

Staff Writer

Writing about all sorts like a liquorice allsort

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