Games for the Weekend is a weekly feature aimed at helping you avoid doing something constructive with your downtime. Each Friday we’ll be recommending a game for Mac, iPhone or iPad that we think is awesome. Here is one cool enough to keep you busy during this weekend.
Heroes of Loot ($1.99 Universal) is a retro style dungeon crawling game where your character’s main goal is to free every room of the dungeon from its hoards of treasure chests, gold and, above all, assorted loot.
Set in a very basic graphical setting, you play by looking at a the map of a dungeon from a top down perspective. A virtual controller on the left side of the screen controls movement in the up, down, right and left directions, while the button on the right side of the screen controls your attack. Depending on the abilities of the character you choose to play as, you will either be better equipped to receive a blow from the creatures that inhabit the dungeon or deliver one. There is no limit to your weapon’s ability to strike; just keep tapping away at the attack button and don’t let up for a moment.
There are four different characters to choose from when starting out on each new campaign. You do not switch characters within each campaign. So you are stuck with your character choice until you die, which typically is about 15-20 minutes. The Wizard character can cast spells but is not as strong as some of the other characters when it comes to sustaining damage. The Warrior is strongest of the four, but does not do as well from far off attacks. The Elf does well attacking from longer distances, which help keeps from getting attack. The Valkyrie is initially the weakest of the four, but does gain experience faster. Regardless of which character you pick, the strategy is still the same: attack, attack, attack!
There are locked doors and secret levels that you can explore throughout the dungeon. Some even have a quest hidden behind them. Quests are timed adventures that send you running through the dungeon as fast as you can to try to collect some random number of diamonds or chests before the timer runs out. In the end you may have completed the quest, but your character’s health may have suffered in the process. As risky as storming down a corridor into an open area can be, there is nothing like the promised rewards of a good quest to keep you going.
What has always struck me as odd in such games is how there are shops scattered throughout the dungeon. Even at the deepest most difficult levels you will find a randomly placed shop keeper selling you the odd shield, heart, and cloak of invisibility. It also never ceases to amaze me that when I need to buy a heart to increase my health the most, all I can buy are discounted diamonds. Thankfully there are powerful runes scattered throughout the dungeon that turn you into a monster killing machine. These runes will help you clear a room and allow you to collect the random heart or two.
There are infinite number of levels in the game, and no two levels are the same. Each level is randomly generated based on your character’s level and skills. As you play, your dungeon will upgrade and become more difficult. At the same time your character will also level up and become more powerful. There is no real restart or go back to level zero, you pick up at the level of difficulty you have already achieved; even when you die. That is how things keep getting increasingly difficult and random at the same time. The quests, shops and locked doors are as random as they are abundant. And of course there is more loot to collect than one’s imagination can account for.
The fast pace of the game and smooth controls make the game fun to play. While there is no real end to the story, it is a great game to just pick up and play. And since the dungeon generator is completely random with an endless number of configurations to play, your weekend’s quest to acquire as much loot as possible will never come to an end, never.