Let’s face it; I suck at video games. To this day, I have yet to complete the original Mario. And I’ve never beaten Donkey Kong. Or Pac-Man. But I keep playing, because no matter how bad I am, I still enjoy them. That said, I typically don’t pick up a game until it’s well past it’s prime. For example I only recently purchased the original Dragon Age and Skyrim. As a result I tend to play a lot more tabletop games, that includes RPGs, board games, and the occasional CCG (collectible card game).
As a counter to that, I love playing RPG’s. Especially D&D because that’s is what I grew up on. I’ve played others but I’m always drawn back in. Which is how I came upon the game called Loot & Legends. I was searching through the Apple Store for anything D&D related and this popped up. Full disclouse, I was *not* given this as a demo or for review. This is all because I grabbed the game and really, really like playing.
Loot & Legends is developed by Dropforge Games and is the successor to the PC game Card Hunter, Blue Manchu’s 2013 hit game that threw an RPG, a board game, a CCG and a deck builder into a blender and came up with a fun and entertaining take on an RPG video game. I’ve put a LOT of hours into that game. Far more than Dragon Age or Skyrim (Sorry EA).
A quick over view of the game play. You lead a group of up to three characters, a Dwarf Warrior, an Elf Wizard, and a Human Priest (no, you don’t get to choose different races in this game), through a campaign that is built of various scenarios and locations including swamps, dungeons, and caves, fighting a myriad of monsters from skeletons to trolls to dragons. Along the way you collect loot that you can use to outfit your characters with better gear. Sound familiar? Sounds a lot like your standard fantasy RPG doesn’t it? Well there is a huge difference, each piece of gear you have has a set of playing cards attached. For example Swift Boots might have three cards; two of which are “Move 3 spaces” while the third is an armor boost.
The cards for all your gear are shuffled together and you work your way through the deck as you fight the bad guys. It adds an extra bit of random to the game that I find enjoyable. It also makes it so that each fight is different because the participants will have different cards every time. And there aren’t just gear cards like swords and shield, there are spells for the Wizard that let you attack and control and the Priest (I keep calling him a Cleric but whatever) which let you attack and heal.
It’s a turn based game where only one of your characters can go per turn. Often there are group of monsters on the board like lizardmen who all move at the same time. It can easily bork up any strategy you might have but they are typically lower lever minions with minimal hit points so it isn’t *that* bad.
And if I get tired of adventuring I can always dive into the new Arena mode where I face off against another similarly constructed party. Winning there gives you points, and enough wins gets you things like pizza slices (which you can use for access to more epic loot), short term access to the Club (which gives you extra loot), and treasure. Oh, and gold. Can’t forget the gold. The Arena is free to play on a timer. You play once then have to wait 3-5 minutes to play again for free. You can pay gold (that you’ve collected and/or won) to play again right away if you want.
The entire thing is narrated by Gary the DM who is quite nerdy and socially awkward, but loves to play L&L (for him it’s a board game not a digital one). I don’t mind Gary so much (probably because he reminds me of me) but his older brother is irritating. An “I’m smarter so I’m better” type of person I can most definitely do without.
And speaking of irritants, probably the one and only complaint I have is regarding movement and game play. Each round you draw a move card and two gear cards. Which is fine, but if you take your movement to get to the monster and use up your gear cards to attack you can occasionally sit there hitting Pass several times because there is literally nothing you can do. If the monsters are ranged and you are within their range but they are out of yours… tough. You can’t move and you can’t fight back. Better hope you have a shield or armor that doesn’t suck.
Overall though I like it. It is perfect on the tablet and I’ve only experienced a single crash. I like the additions to the game in moving to mobile (remember, this is Card Hunters) and rumor has it they are working on a multi-player component to the game, but I do kind of lament not having more options in regards to character creation. I like my characters but I would love to replicate my dwarven cleric… I mean priest in the game (I’m partial to dwarves). Some complain that it’s a Pay-to-Win game, but I’m not finding that. I haven’t put a single dime into it and I’m pretty far along. I’m sure if I pony up some cash for long term access to the Club to get more stuff it might be easier, but I’m okay as it is.
So, if you like deck building with combat, slaying dragons and collecting gold this might be a great game to jump into. I for one love it and will probably be playing it as long as my wife and Group let me 🙂
***We reviewed a retail copy of Loot & Legends which was downloaded by the reviewer
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