Hello Friends, I’m gonna tell you about this game. You’re on this wee moon trying to escape, not die and deal with all these rascals getting in the way. Don’t worry about the giant space plant monster that is now inhabiting your body, it keeps bringin’ ye back to life so let’s just use that to go home. Oh, and pick up loads of stuff along the way as that’ll make it easier. Alright, I’m gonna turn on my language correction drive to break the fourth wall so enjoy.
Loot Rascals is a very stylised “turn based” loot grabbing RPG in which the player is a simple spaceman who is now stuck on the moon inhabited by some rascals and the only comfort he has is an incompetent Scottish teapot AI giving “advice” and a lot of things that can wipe out the rascals that are coming to get you. The game itself sets up a tongue in cheek loot grabbing slaughter in which you manage not just how much stuff you have to kill things with but also time.
Loot grabbing RPGs have the formula of killing monsters to get stuff to kill more monsters but Loot Rascals takes that and adding layers of time management, inventory management and comedy which is upsettingly rare in this genre. The humour here is genuinely funny thanks to the characters and the voices that bring them alive. Even the monsters make Pokémon style noises to create a misleading atmosphere compared to other games of its type. This comedy plays to the game benefit because it masks the deep set of systems that the game holds close to its chest including an extended version of the formula.
Going into these systems might take up the bulk of this review however it’s worth it to be able to explain how simple but elegant they are that the same time. The game takes the stats of bigger RPGs and breaks it down into how many attacks you have and how much defence you have. You get loot cards from killing monsters to then increase those values but you only have a set number of slots for two rows and some cards have requirements to power them up to be better (or sometimes worse.) Here is where the interesting part comes into play. The two rows of slots have numbers on each slot and this plays into the requirements of the item boosts. For example, you’ve got a “self-throwing Disc” attack card which is worth 3 attacks but only if it’s in the top row and an odd-numbered slot. Or a defence card which is better than what you have but whatever card is below it will take a negative to its value. This inventory management is one of the things that makes this game unique. You have to manage the cards to make sure you have the highest values but also place those items in the slots that give the biggest benefit to you but balancing enough so that nothing is hit too badly. Without trying to die of course because then you lose everything and whatever killed you steals a piece of your loot and makes itself stronger. The game is a welcome challenge to the genre as it beats you down but you can always fight back and even when you die and are reassembled by the plant monster mentioned earlier, everything is wiped clean thanks to the procedurally generated maps. This isn’t even mentioned the time aspect of this.
I mentioned before that the game is “turn-based” and there are turns in the game but when to play it doesn’t really feel like one. Each day has 10 turns, 5 in the day and 5 in the night. Each movement will tick over a turn but the interesting part is concerning the rascals. Some rascals will attack first in the day or attack second in the night and vice versa. You as the player have to make sure you jump around the enemy till it’s the right time to strike but you can’t dance around too much because after about 200 turns (which isn’t as long as you think it is), corpse eaters will appear and they are the first stage in the timeline that is going to kill you. The second are larger corpse eaters that are extremely powerful and will chase you. The last is the grim reaper. The OG himself comes and will instantly kill you. At that point, you must either get to the next stage or let him claim your life and reset.
These layers of mechanics welded together with comedy really makes a satisfying package. There aren’t many games that have such an extensive library of unique creatures mixed with thought out mechanics and the ability to make me chuckle a few times but the one thing I hope for with this game is to make sure that you’ve gotten enough loot to be able to reliably take on the next stage because that is a whole other level in more than the literal sense. If you are looking for something to pass the time and like the Scottish accent, then Loot Rascals is a decent recommendation.
Loot Rascals was review on PC via Steam