Loot Rascals from Hollow Ponds is a colorful roguelike on PS4 in which every move you make counts. Why? Because if you move, enemies will also move. Are you ready to dive into a universe full of bizarre but charming characters? Then read our Loot Rascals review!
The game will get you going with a short tutorial section that will teach you the basics. You’ll get to practice moving around each board, attacking enemies, looting and equipping cards and more. You have two rows where you can place cards, and they’ll either be of the attack or defense variety – plus some unique cards that are even more special. Every time you move a turn will be spent, and the game’s day/night cycle will react accordingly. Some enemies are defensive at a particular time of the day, while others are more offensive.
As for combat, the rules are very simple. When you start an attack your attack is substracted from your enemy’s power. When defending, an enemy’s power is divided by your defense and the resulting number is substracted from your health. The chance of an enemy hitting you will be its power divided by your defense. Understanding this is key since it can allow you to figure out which enemies you can defeat and which will be too deadly for your current stats.
If an enemy has a defense symbol over their head, that means it’s the perfect time to attack since you’ll be able to attack before your enemy has a chance to do so. This will allow you to defeat weaker enemies in a single turn – stronger enemies you’ll be able to do some damage and lower their defense points so that you can hopefully defeat it during the second round of attacks. You’ll run into larger, stronger and deadlier enemies that will require more than two rounds of attacks to defeat – or for them to defeat you – so be sure to pay attention to the number above their head before it is too late!
You’ll also notice that as you move the game will slowly unveil hexagons close to the area you’re traversing. This means you won’t be able to see the entire map of an area right from the start, so you need to be careful as you explore since enemies could be lurking right around the corner. After a new section has been revealed, you’ll able to use the included minimap (which can be shown as a larger map at the press of a button) to find your way around each level.
After playing for a short session, you might have more cards that you can carry or cards that are weaker than the cards you’ve set in the two rows at your disposal. If you want to, there is an option to decompile cards you don’t want to carry around anymore in exchange for tokens. Tokens can be used to activate the healing machine near the dome to recover your health. Just be careful since every time you use the healing machine the cost for the next heal will go up. The healing machine is a must if you want to complete each of the game’s randomly generated levels since your health is considerably limited.
Cards also have bonus they can bestow on your stats as long as you follow its instructions. Oh, and they also have penalties that will lower your stats if you’re not careful! There are even cards you can rotate to switch then between being attack or defense cards. And on top of this, you can also obtain peculiar energy cards that can be placed on top of other cards to activate skills such as an electric chain attack or one that allows you to create a giant block of ice to damage an enemy standing on the hexagon – or to block enemies from following you back though a narrow corridor. There are more energy cards to find, but I won’t spoil them here!
If you take too long in a board, Corpse Mite will arrive. They are strong and plentiful and will not stop teleporting into the scene until they have killed you. There’s also some very annoying enemies that will be able to stand on top of an activation pad that will trigger a teleporter to bring one Corpse Mite unit into play. If you run into this, be sure to defeat the enemy that is triggering the pad, or you’ll be overwhelmed in a handful of turns!
Speaking of death, when you die you lose all cards on you, but you don’t technically die-die. This part is tied to the game’s story, so I won’t spoil it, but it’s an interesting way of presenting the roguelike formula of Loot Rascals. Anyway, when you are defeated the game will reroll a new area with a different layout so that you can’t learn what each area holds.
There’s also special cards that used to belong to other adventurers. You can return the card to them and gain the support of their hologram to fight by your side. But what if a card is just too good for you to send it back? Well, you can indeed decide to keep the card, but you’ll end up invoking the original owner’s wrath in the process!
While Loot Rascals does include a Platinum trophy, the road to unlocking it will be a long one given the nature of the game. There are trophies for reaching new worlds, for killing every single type of enemy, beating a world without taking any damage, and more. It’s certainly a challenging list, and it will require that you learn the way the game operates if you want to do it all. Mind you, it’s a fun trip every step of the way, but it’s going to be a long one!
Loot Rascals is a very fun implementation of the roguelike formula to a charming and colorful release. The quirky art style and character design are perfect for the game’s gameplay mechanics, and its soundtrack perfectly fits the game. This is a very addictive release that will keep you busy for many hours. It happened to me the first time I played it – before I noticed I had already spent four hours playing! I liked my time with the game so much that I’ve continued to go back to it even after writing this review, and that greatly speaks to the quality of this release.
|Charming and colorful art style.|
|Not for everyone due to its roguelike nature.|
This Loot Rascals review is based on a PS4 copy provided by Hollow Pond.
Written by: EdEN
- Owner / PR / Editor-In-Chief