On May 3rd, 2022 the dungeon crawler “Loot River” (PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X) was released on Steam and in Game Pass. A year ago, the basic idea for the game sounded fantastic and a little bit insane: a mix of Diablo gameplay, complemented by the unique mechanics of Tetris. But in the reviews on Steams, Loot River seems to fall through.
What kind of game is this?
- “Loot River” was presented at the Summer Game Fest in June 2021 – this is this “Ersatz E3”, which consists of hours of crazy trailers being shown. At that time, Loot River came in hindsight and drew attention to itself with a weird concept.
- Loot River is actually a typical “rogue-like” dungeon crawler with procedurally generated dungeons, but as a special idea you threw “Tetris” into the idea mixer and pressed “go”.
- The first thing developer Mirko Straka said at the Summer Game Fest back then was “Imagine if Diablo and Tetris had a baby” – that was a strong pitch.
This is how the game was introduced a year ago – the segment starts at 2:46:37
The idea was to make a loot game where you can slide the platform you’re moving on to be so flexible.
Apparently, this worked excellently as the “first pitch of a game” and the idea sounded incredibly attractive and exciting at first: You kill monsters and if they get too close, you simply push the platform somewhere else, like in Tetris, and the monsters can no longer reach you .
If you have questionable tastes like I do, watch gamescom’s Cult of the Lamb
When a 5 minute trailer really becomes a game
This is how it really works now: The show appeared 11 months ago and the Summer Game Fest made potential players curious, now the game has actually appeared on Steam. But the Steam reviews are rather mediocre.
After one day, the game, which costs €22.49, has only 64% positive reviews – these are “balanced reviews”, so in the 3- or 4+ range.
But the game is also available in the Xbox Game Pass – so practically anyone who wants to can play it for little money.
The testers say:
- “I really want to like the game, but it needs more work.”
- “The game is very nice to watch and the design of the world is exciting, but unfortunately that doesn’t actually do the gameplay any favors for the game”
- “The lack of a crisp combat system, interesting items, or deep puzzles leaves the game in a very difficult position.”
The “Dark Souls” among the Tetris games
What are players who like Loot River saying? But there are also some who really like the game and are into this crazy combo. A user says:
- “I’ve always been a fan of games that mixed different unique mechanics and Loot River definitely pulls it off – they combine a dungeon roguelike complete with puzzles and a Souls-like lampfs system with an interesting dark fantasy world.”
- Another calls the game the “Dark Souls of Tetris games”
- Others are also enthusiastic about the crazy genre mix and the challenging difficulty of the game.
At the moment, however, it looks as if the general verdict would be: “Great idea, lots of potential, but there’s still a lack of content and fine-tuning of the mechanics.”
At least now we know what it would be like if Diablo and Tetris had a baby: kinda weird.
If you want to play a game that is “kind of like Diablo”, we have the right list for you on MeinMMO:
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