From Slovakian indie team straka.studio, Loot River is an atmospheric and stylish roguelite that channels sliding platforms and Tetris.
It’s a tough game, but one with a brilliant gameplay mechanic of sliding platforms. It’s great fun to discover and we’re here today to loot the SOB.
Slide Those Platforms in Loot River
Okay, Loot River is a roguelite. Not a roguelike. It’s a subgenre within the latter, but with a few new elements of roguelike random generation and permadeath.
Basically, if you’re new to this, in roguelikes you’ll die a lot and have to repeat the start of the game over and over. That’s done deliberately.
We haven’t been much of a fun of the genre until recent years, where the likes of the great fun Enter the Gungeon have gradually won us over.
And now there’s Loot River, which launched in May 2022.
It was inspired by Dark Souls (notorious for its difficulty level) and Tetris.
We went in knowing very little. But the first thing that struck us about it is the incredible title screen—it’s a work of art and sets the scene for what’s ahead. Stick this thing on full screen and behold!
Plot! It’s there. You take control of a nameless adventurer after coming to in the hub town of Sanctuary. You live in a mirror world where there’s a constant cycle of death and rebirth, battling unholy demons and the like.
Your goal is to scour the catacombs of your watery environment, gearing up, and collecting stuff to open up new areas.
The gameplay mechanics are similar to roguelike games such as Dead Cells.
You do battle. And when you die (which is constantly in these types of games), you start again. Just next time all swagged up with new loot and skills.
However! And… dang! Loot River’s eye-catching core fancy pants thing is its platform sliding excellence. It’s just so very, very cool.
That mechanic right there really adds a different dynamic to gameplay, letting you strategically slide across the murky waters to take out enemies.
It’s like Tetris—you slides those platforms around and connect with others to help you advance to new areas.
That adds a tactical element often lacking from other bullet hell roguelike types.
As for the combat, that’s all crunchy, fun, and rewarding. However, it’s a pretty difficult game.
However, the story is very light. For some gamers, that’ll be an issue. We never like getting bogged down in excessive gaming scripts, though, so that’s something that worked a real treat for us with Loot River.
And whilst it doesn’t reinvent the genre, it’s got enough clever surprises (and a great fun core gaming mechanic) to make it stand out in a crowded market.
Reviews from gamers and the press have been a bit muted. Generally, feedback has been around the 7/10 mark.
We think it’s underrated and more on the 8/10 scale. That extra 1 is vital in the world of gaming scores, you know?
Loot River offers a satisfying, crunchy, and entertaining bit of roguelite fun. And we can only thank it for introducing that epic platform sliding element into our lives.