18 people found this review helpful
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 5.2 hrs on record (1.6 hrs at review time)
Posted: Nov 15, 2019 @ 8:32am
Updated: Nov 16, 2019 @ 2:46am
Product received for free

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Lootcraft is quite a fun and unique game. It is a casual action platformer that has many RPG elements, including a fairly extensive crafting system. It also features set 5-floor dungeons with procedural generation of levels. It's no surprise that this game developer had inspirations from many mainstream games already out there, you can see that for yourself just by looking at the individual elements of the game.

The developer, Eric Schmitt, was a full-time software engineer who quit his job to pursue his dreams. He has labored away tirelessly at every aspect of the game, including every pixel sprite. The only thing he didn't create himself in this game has been the music, and that was created by a friend of his. Two years of labor later, this game is now for public consumption here on Steam. It's fair in price and has a good amount of content, it has quite a bit of in-depth gaming experience that can appeal to a wide audience.

I am speaking from a first-impressions perspective, as I have tried this game in short sittings the past two days. So perhaps my thoughts will change with time, but so far, I am enjoying it very much. Does it feel like it lacks polish when compared to some other games out there? Absolutely. But for a single-developer game to offer so much fun? It rarely happens.

My very first look at the game is on YouTube, you can find it here (movement tutorial to start, gameplay starts at 15:00):
https://youtu.be/kTtT138hOus

Gameplay
Explore floors leading up to the boss in a 5-floor dungeon, smashing enemies and collecting loot along the way. Get through the boss or die trying and be sent back to the "menu" where you can choose where you want to go next, be it to sell/upgrade your loot and gear, or to work on level-restricted spells/abilities. In the 100 floors divided into the individual dungeons, you will have a lot of replay value and many different types of loot/gear to play with.

Controls
Keyboard and mouse only. The mouse plays a big part in the overall control scheme, in the aiming process of both projectile and melee weapons, so it might be difficult to transition to controller support. The developer has mentioned that he will be working on this to see if it's viable.

Graphics
There are a lot of carefully designed pixel sprites. The base character without equipment looks like a few disconnected round shapes, but once you start donning equipment and gear, it gets a lot more exciting.

Music
The music is pretty fun to listen to as well.

Audience
Mostly fans of RPG games and casual hack&slash type gameplay. It's definitely taken that hack&slash style into a 2D platforming type of level design. The platforming takes a little bit of getting used to, but it is not difficult by any means.

Pricing
The base price is set at $7.99, this is more than reasonable for a game of this scope and the amount of content that is within.

Positives
+Fun and casual hack & slash gameplay
+Extensive RPG elements with a huge emphasis on improving equipment through crafting
+Unique bosses that offer decent challenges
+Limitations within character building that allows for replay value (limited permanent spell/ability slots)
+Short dungeons, 5 floors each, to allow for short sittings if you are in a hurry. (This is after you get used to the game.)
+Movement tutorial in the beginning that shows you the ropes. (The controls can take a little bit getting used to.)
+Self-designed pixel sprites in every aspect of the game by the developer himself.
+Pleasant music
+There is a story, it's not much in what I have seen so far, but it's there. (It may seem pointless to some people, but there are plenty of players who appreciate even small bits of lore here and there. I am such an individual.)

Negatives
-There are destructive environments that in certain situations making upward climbing really difficult or seeingly impossible. (At the first boss, this was a big deal, now has been fixed.)
-The character limitations in the abilities/spells that are permanent seem too restrictive. (This is me speaking personally. I am at level 5 and have the option to pick one of many spells, but I don't dare to in not wanting to pick one that doesn't fit my playing style and thus wasting it.) Suggestion: Give the player some flexibility in exchanging abilities.
-V-sync not currently available
-Balancing seems to be off in certain aspects of play (developer actively fixes and readjusts based on player-base complaints/comments though, so this is actually a positive note. A solitary developer should allow the player base to help with these fine tuning parts of a game.)
-Display problems with what new equipment would alter the stats of the character.
-Socketing gems into shields yield weapon instead of armor effects.

Conclusion
Please keep in mind, once again, that I am reviewing after a couple of short sessions, so this is a first-impressions review. I may come back to modify it if I feel my impressions change once I spend more time with it.

I think Lootcraft is a fantastic indie gem with a reasonable price, enough content and replay value to command your attention for many hours. It's not perfect, but the developer is willing to work with the players to improve the game based on comments/complaints.

I do hope that somehow a smooth configuration for controller support is pushed through, but I am getting used to the keyboard and mouse by now that it doesn't feel like a big hindrance any more.

On sale or at the base price, give the game a chance. Try it and you might like it, especially after spending some time with it.

I received the product for free. I did not receive any compensation to write this review. The opinions represented here are entirely my own and were not influenced in any way.
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