Game: Heroes of Loot 2
Genre: Adventure, Action, Arcade, RPG
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Steam (Windows) & iOS)
Developer|Publisher: Orange Pixel
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price: US $9.99 | UK £9.99 | EU € 9,99
Release Date: February 7th, 2022
Review code used, with many thanks to Orange Pixel.
The Hero’s Return
Heroes of Loot 2 is an arcade-style roguelike experience that feels similar to classic games like Gauntlet. Solo developer Orange Pixel continues his quest to upload his back catalogue of games onto Nintendo Switch. I’ve been fortunate enough to review most of Orange Pixels releases on Nintendo Switch and while he does have quite the love for the rogue-like genre he does show a diverse flair for different styles of games. Heroes of Loot 2 was originally released in 2016 and essentially improved itself on the foundations of the first game. Need a quick arcade fix? Then Heroes of Loot 2 is well worth picking up.
Looking For Work
After conquering the dungeons from the first game the heroes find themselves in need of new employment. But it doesn’t take too long before another opportunity presents itself to raid some new dungeons and possibly save some folk in need. The game is very light on story sticking with its simple yet witty humour presented in text boxes. I’ve always loved how Orange Pixel cracks a joke, making fun of common gaming tropes and just generally having a sense of humour. You’re probably not going to find anything deep and meaningful in its simple plot but you will likely crack a smile.
The graphics are the usual simple block pixel-based sprites that fans of Orange Pixels work will be more than familiar with. Simple design and colours but the general fantasy dungeon setting come across well. The game also has those familiar coin-like sound effects giving the game a charming arcade feel to it. Sure these sounds and looks don’t do anything special but it’s a good example of a solo developer working within their means. I for one still love this style.
The game plays like a top-down dungeon crawler. Being a roguelike all levels and enemy placements are randomly generated, so every run is a touch different giving an incentive to just play one more time. The goal is pretty simple: try and get through all 50 levels without dying, whilst collecting plenty of loot along the way. Levels are always filled with a nice variety of enemies like devils, skull monsters and minotaurs. But, also expect to find trap rooms, with spikes and possibly the odd small puzzle to solve like moving a block onto a switch with a specific character or finding a way to blow open a solid door.
Controls are reminiscent of a twin-stick shooter and are very easy to pick up and play for gamers of all skill levels. Unlike the first game, this time around you get to control more than one character at once by a simple tap of the shoulder button. This allows you to quickly change your strategy on the fly. When you begin the game you select a ranged character from an archer or magician and then choose a fighter from warrior or valkyrie.
Each character has their own personal stats and plays a little differently, giving you plenty of excuses to replay with a new combination of heroes. When playing the game each hero levels up independently by dispatching baddies. So it’s a wise strategy to healthily switch between heroes regularly so you don’t have one who’s too weak. This is important to note as all your heroes share the same health bar.
Difficulty wise you will find you will spend the first ten levels pretty happily mowing down enemies and giant bosses like flame monsters and Golems. Once you get about 20 levels in though you really need to start being a little careful with your footing. It feels like the game goes from being pretty manageable to you potentially dying in an instant. This design may really frustrate some gamers but if you love your roguelikes or arcade games you really wouldn’t have it any other way. The game does not feature accessibility features, you just have to practice or pray the gaming gods smile down on you on a good run.
Within the game, you can collect cards that will help towards unlocking a new hero. Once you have sunk sufficient time into the game you also unlock a survival mode but you don’t need to finish the game to see this. Even if you somehow do manage to conquer the game the pick-up and play arcade gameplay gives the game incentive enough to jump back in for another run just for the heck of it. The cherry on top is another player can jump in and play the game in a two-player co-op which feels nicely suited to the Nintendo Switch version.
Conclusion – Arcade Hero
Heroes of Loot 2 is an overall improvement from the first entry in the series. Switching between characters makes for a more flexible gameplay experience. Just like the good old arcade days this is a good pick up and play experience to play alone or with a friend, particularly if you don’t have a lot of gaming time. Heroes of Loot 2 may not have its own arcade cabinet, but it certainly has the spirit of those old games which makes it pretty good in my books.
Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot