Loop Hero is nothing like Monopoly. What is it like? It’s kind of an RPG, and kind of an idle game. But it’s not as much of an RPG as it seems, and really it’s nothing like an idle game to play half the time.
In Loop Hero you look after a little adventurer as they walk in loops, battling monsters. The monsters and the loops, the walking and the battling, most of this is automated. Off your adventure goes and when they meet a blob they whack it. When they meet a spider they whack it. When they – you get it.
Enemies when defeated drop armour and weapons, which make the adventurer better at whacking things. You have to choose between the items you get and build the best ever-changing loadout. But enemies also drop cards, and cards are where it gets interesting. The cards allow you to build up the landscape around the loop. Rocks and mountains and treasuries all give you resources. Placement is a bit of a game – you’re trying to slot the cards where they most want to be in order to maximise the resource payout. But there are also cards that you can put on the loop that your adventurer walks. Maybe these will give you a graveyard, which will grant you skeletons to fight, or they might give you a spooky house, which will grant you vampires.
You want more enemies, because it means more loot and more cards when they’re defeated. Eventually this means more resources, which you carry over to a camp-building game when you step away from the loop to rest up between bouts of action. But also, more enemies mean that your adventurer takes more damage. And maybe they die, and lose a bunch of resources and the whole thing has been a waste.
Now. Monopoly. It’s the end-game in Monopoly and foolishly you have not gotten the best cards on the board, the oranges. Someone else has, and they’ve built hotels. You’ve got your own hotels elsewhere and if people would just land on them maybe you’d be on your way. But you have to keep moving too. So what do you do? You try to go to jail.
This is Monopoly for me: I’m safe in jail, but I know when I have to leave, I’ll be rolling right into the oranges. The cursed, beloved oranges!
And this, of all its other aspects, is the thing I’m finding most thrilling about Loop Hero right now. There’s a campfire square on the loop, and when you hit it you can go home to camp and cash in your resources. Or you could say, hey, I’m feeling pretty lucky, maybe another loop or two. You get greedy. But whenever I leave the campfire, I look ahead to an awful corner of the loop I have accidentally built, awash with wolves and ghosts and spiders and vampires. I am leaving the safety of prison – okay, Monopoly is quite weird – and here are the oranges waiting for me. The cursed, beloved oranges. Fingers crossed.