The Soulslike games are one of the most challenging yet adventurous games nowadays but it is essential for them to at least have a unique gameplay mechanic to keep the players latch to the adventure that they are pursuing. Loot River does an exceptional job of providing a unique mechanic that is controllable platforms which is essential for traversing the dungeons and the overall mysterious world.
Loot River is a top-down roguelike action-adventure game developed and published by straka.studio that lets players experience a unique adventure in a Soulslike environment.
You play as a lone traveler who becomes a nameless warrior after dying in a mysterious world and rebirth at a sanctuary from where the adventure begins. Your task is to find and hold an ancient powerful Relic to free yourself and everyone trapped inside the perilous world. Adventure across the platforms that are over water by controlling them and each time you die, the level design of the world will randomize.
As you progress through the levels and explore them, you will run into several characters who will assist you in many great ways. All of the characters will then travel to the sanctuary where every time you return after completing a level or dying.
The Gameplay of Loot River is satisfying and unique majorly due to the ability to control the platforms. Your character holds a Relic that allows them to move the platforms in any possible way. Get on the platform and move it through the gaps of the other platforms or use one to reach another to continue ahead. However, it is not only that you just have to move ahead but there are several platform puzzles in the levels that you must complete by placing the platforms in certain positions.
Completing these puzzles will make you feel like you are playing Tetris, thanks to the top-down camera angle but with a twist of action and cool abilities. Speaking of action and abilities, Loot River’s combat mechanics are pretty decent as they portray a well-designed Soulslike or Metroidvania combat. The basic attacks like light and heavy attacks along with the defensive moves such as Block, Dodge, and Parry are all smooth and responsive.
As you eliminate the enemies, you will earn knowledge that will help you level up your character’s stats and attributes which are permanent. The character’s stats and attributes don’t reset after dying but some buffs will reset upon dying. Every time you die and return to Sanctuary, make sure to speak to the unlocked characters to take along some items or extra potions for the levels ahead.
You will start only with 4 healing potions but you will be able to increase them pretty early on in the game. However, the method that increases the potions is a bit strange. The NPC who increases the Potions will ask for the number of potions you want to increase and you need to hand over the same number of potions to them. After that, you need to survive the next level with a lower number of potions or none to have an increased number of potions. This mechanic is certainly unique but raises the difficulty of the game considerably.
Sound and Visuals
The sound design of the game is decent and engaging throughout the adventure but the major striking element is the visuals. The top-down view of the game with great detailing of water and the platforms does impact greatly. However, the only let down according to the visuals is the pixel art creation of the characters and the enemies. They aren’t much prominent and it does take away some engagement with the main characters.
Verdict – Score 8/10
Loot River is a great Soulslike-Roguelike adventure game that provides unique elements like controllable platforms that somewhat resemble Tetris but in a dangerous world filled with merciless enemies and bosses. Pursue the deadly adventure and rebirth countless times until you succeed. If you are a fan of Soulslike or Metroidvania games, then Loot River should be on your list.
It might not give you a best soulslike experience but it does offer a challenging adventure mixed with unique elements that would keep you engaged.
Loot River is available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox Series X and Series S, and PlayStation 5.