Note: You can purchase the game from Steam, Epic Games, GOG, and Humble Bundle as of the time of me writing this.
Loop Hero is a pleasant surprise that holds a lot of secrets while giving players just enough information that they can figure it out on their own, but doing so can lead to dire consequences. It’s a game about pain and suffering all while trying to figure out how to get out of the situation you’re stuck in. You’re in an infinite loop and you’re trying your damnedest to get out of it.
The story of Loop Hero begins with our tragic hero lost in a world that doesn’t seem quite right with a lot of missing memories and missing elements. As one plays through the tutorial, bits and pieces of the game begin to make sense, but this raises even more questions than it actually answers. The game plays like this:
First, you will get into your run. Your hero will walk around in circles, or rather in loops, until they either die or retreat. Your hero doesn’t get to make that determination; that is all up to you. Their life is in your hands and your mistakes can lead to both great coincidences that could further a run, or end it in complete failure. Once your run is over, whether you retreat or your hero suffers a terrible fate, you’re brought back to what semblance of reality there is.
On another layer, you’re trying to rebuild the actual world, or at least the camp that the people you meet inhabit. During your loops, you’re obtaining important materials that help build buildings which give passive and active benefits to the hero during their future runs.
In yet another layer, there are a lot of hidden secrets deep within the game that increase the complexity of progression even further, but not so far as to drive the player away. In that idea lies the brilliance of the game; it’s deep enough to keep a player intrigued for hours on end, but not too complex as to make the game fatiguing.
When the player decides to embark on their run, they can choose which cards are going to be in their “deck”. Cards are given to them as rewards randomly in a run by defeating the random monsters that will appear on the path laid ahead of the hero. In addition to receiving cards, the hero can also earn resources and equipment. Cards and equipment cannot be carried over between runs, therefore it is important to make good use of them. However, not ever card or piece of gear will arrive at the right time, and making the wrong choice can, again, lead to dire consequences.
While there are a lot more aspects of the game I could talk about, most of it contains spoilers that are best left experienced on one’s own. If you’re the type of gamer that will eventually find themselves frustrated with the game, there is a really well documented wiki providing a lot of information about the game. Just keep in mind that game mechanics and the overall story do get spoiled a lot.