Disclaimer: Thank you to Purisic Games for the review copy!
At first glance, I was expecting Looping Bravery to be unimpressive. The visuals and sound are terrible and completely broken, the UI is a mess, things aren’t made entirely clear, and the overall presentation is lackluster on all fronts. That all being said, there are actually some decent concepts going on here, and I’ve found myself kind of enjoying the sessions I’ve played.
You are a time-traveling robot sent back into the past to save the future equipped with a large variety of weapons and time manipulation abilities. Using anti-matter, you have the ability to skip enemy turns, drop in a time bomb that heavily damages enemies after a delay, swap around enemy intent, and subtract from the battle’s turn counter that acts as a time limit that can end a run. All of these are necessary to keep in mind to win a run, and anti-matter is a scarce resource that you have to use wisely.
One of the interesting mechanics of Looping Bravery is how you choose your deck of cards. At the beginning of each run, you’re given the choice between two weapons to equip. The weapons you choose decide the card pool that you can pull from. Almost all of the game’s run variety comes from the deckbuilding so I think this is a really cool system. I do feel as though I’ve seen nearly all of the cards the game has to over after about 2 hours of gameplay, so I’d love to see some updates here.
The cards themselves are mostly about basic attack and defense, and overall, the game is more about prioritizing which enemies to damage instead of being about doing a lot of damage. You don’t ever really become overpowered here, so you have to use your resources smartly. The variety in cards comes from what enemies they can hit and the amount of damage and defense they do.
Unfortunately, while there is some variety in the cards and trinkets you can pick up, that’s about where the roguelike elements end. Battles aren’t randomized at all, meaning you’re always going through the exact same fights in the exact same order every run. I think this is the biggest negative for the game. With randomized encounters and larger enemy variety, this game could be much more worth picking up, especially at such a low asking price. It’s got a lot of interesting little things going on that I actually enjoy, but it’s hindered by the repetitiveness of seeing the same enemies each run.
While I have always expressed my disappointment with the overall presentation, I don’t think I’ve come across any bugs during my gameplay. The game is perfectly stable from my experience, and while you can’t rebind controls, it can be played with just the mouse anyways.
Looping Bravery is a game with a lot of potential to be tapped into with a few intriguing concepts and decent core gameplay. With more content packed in across the board and presentation upgrades, the 5-dollar asking price would be even more generous than it already is. I’d say give this a shot just to see some interesting mechanics at play, but I’d say otherwise wait for updates and overhauls.
A bit too early
+ Time mechanics are fun
+ Deck building systems are good
+ Generous asking price
– Lack of content