#Hohokum was an odd game, but it was gorgeous. It combined a relaxing pace, a sense of wonder and magical art and music for a really unique experience, but as a game, it was a little barebones.
I don't mean that in a bad way; I love Hohokum. But you have to wonder: What would it look like if all that creativity and originality went into a more, well, game-y game?
That's exactly what #LootRascals is, and that game just launched today on PlayStation 4 and Windows.
What you need to know
Designed by Ricky Haggett, the designer behind Hohokum, Loot Rascals is basically a roguelike for people who may have tired of roguelikes — or who never really liked them to begin with, even.
It's played on a tile-based map that is procedurally generated. You're a cute little astronaut exploring the board (it's a planet) and fighting aliens. Throughout gameplay, you collect cards that you have to strategically place in the right places in your inventory to get awesome bonuses.
Survive. Collect cards. Fight monsters. Talk to some wacky creatures. That's pretty much the experience, and it's a good one.
Why you should play it
I played Loot Rascals at PlayStation Experience in December, and I got really hooked — odd, because I don't normally love roguelikes.
The card collecting and sorting mechanics were addictive. At first, they seemed simple; you get a card, you equip a card and you reap the benefits. But as I collected more cards that presented increasingly complex choices in terms of which bonuses to receive, and even how to position the cards in my inventory to maximize those bonuses, I was sucked in.
Haggett, who was there to show his game, pointed out to me that he was watching me play, and that he noticed I was really clicking with the systems. It was true, and the elegant ramping of complexity allowed me to get addicted without needing too much in the way of tutorials.
Combine that way the classic roguelike gameplay of exploring a randomly generated world and fighting monsters with the constant threat of painful failure, and it was a good time.
Haggett is working with a different artist than he did on Hohokum, yet somehow it's just as quirky, beautiful and weird. The characters are strange and appealing. You'll love this world.