We've all had those summer holidays where dad gets lost and ends up driving the spaceship into an unknown planet, leaving the family to fend off hordes of vicious creatures in hex-based combat in a bid to survive and collect the parts needed to fix the spaceship and get home. Finally, a game developer has turned that universal experience into a game.
Loot Rascals is the next game from Hohokum developer Ricky Haggett and his new studio Hollow Ponds.
So, yes, Loot Rascals is another hex-based roguelike but it brings some great new ideas to the table. For one, if you die in combat then your best equipment will be snatched up by the monster and appear in the inventory of a similar monster in someone else's game. If they manage to kill that monster they'll have the choice of keeping the gear or returning it to you. Depending on their choice they'll either be joined by a holographic version of your character who wants to help them or wants to kill them.
In this way, you can work your way through a campaign of Loot Rascals with an army or helpers or by defeating not only the enemy creatures who fill the map but also the angry holograms of the people you've looted.
Loot doesn't simply take the form of armour, either. Enemies drop Loot Chips – ability cards – that change how you're able to take part in the game's combat. You can only hold so many cards, so you'll want to assemble and reassemble you deck as you play.
Besides the mechanics, there's a lovely light quality to the art and the writing. I do love me a good roguelike but I'm getting a little bored of the grimdark aesthetic so many of them stick to. Hopefully Loot Rascals will shake that up a little when it comes to PC and PS4.