Loot Rascals Review

Based on the title alone, you’d think that Loot Rascals is all about the loot. (And rascals, if you want to be pedantic about it.) For that much, it’s true, but the game is also difficult, esoteric at times, and damn hard to put down. It combines a lot of odd parts into a surprisingly compelling whole.

Perhaps that’s what you get when you have a man who says he’s not interested in roguelikes design a game that cribs quite a few staples from the revival genre. Ricky Haggett and the rest of the team at Hollow Ponds have created a game that features procedurally generated maps chockfull of enemies that drop color-graded loot—all of which you’ll lose upon death—but it’s everything else that makes it worth playing.

For one, it has personality out the yang. It’s bright and colorful in a way many games simply aren’t, but it’s also quirky to a fault. From the moment the story begins to unfold—which is admittedly light since it can be entirely summed up as “escape an alien planet”—you’re treated to a sardonically Scottish AI, a flagrant disregard for common sense and physics, and a full indulgence in the tone and attitude of a Ren & Stimpy. If there’s one thing you can’t hold against Loot Rascals, it’s its sense of style.

On the gameplay side, it’s shockingly simple, but with the adherence to a stark and unflinching set of rules, it becomes complex and brutal in a way that makes you keep coming back for more. The game takes place on a hex grid, and with each move you make, enemies patrolling the level can also move. Some move one-for-one to you and others only move one spot for every two of yours.

This is important because when you and an opponent occupy the same spot, you two battle it out. When you swing, you hack away HP equivalent to your Attack rating. When they swing, their own Attack rating, your Defense rating, and a dice roll get mixed up into a bucket and determine how much damage you get, if any at all.

At best, you’re going to be able to take five knocks or so, which means if you play recklessly, you’re going to die. Like, a lot. Even if you play smart, you’re probably going to die a lot. You have to position yourself to not get surrounded or cornered into battles you don’t anticipate because with a certain number of moves, enemies change tactics. If they attack first, you’re almost guaranteed to take damage, so you’re going to want to time your moves right so you can one-shot as many aliens as you can.

Loot Rascals

It conjures a fascinating dance between you and the game. You end up teasing out faster foes into a chokepoint where you can line them up and knock them down while trying to coax stronger, usually slower enemies into amenable positions to not get swarmed and—consequently—dead. And once you mix in map elements like electrical pads that charge up or wholly create new baddies, it becomes even more about managing these chess pieces that are inherently uncontrollable.

And then even if you fight your best, your best may not be good enough. Or rather, quick enough, as demonstrably harder enemies will eventually descend upon the map after a while. These guys don’t fuck around and suddenly turn this tango of opportunity into one of desperation, taking the kills and hits where you can.

The same sort of positioning philosophy comes through in your equipment and inventory. You have ten slots to fill with cards, cards that you’ll pick up along the way for killing aliens or completing side quests. Some are dedicated to Defense, some are dedicated to Attack, and others augment the ones you currently have equipped. The best ones, however, pull double duty, allowing you to switch their utility or giving positional bonuses.

Loot Rascals

Some, for instance, get bonus points for being in even slots or in the top row. Others will boost the card to their right while negating the card to their left. This interplay between physical alignment and actual card attributes makes for an unexpectedly intriguing and deep loot system. You’ll spend a good amount of time crying out to the gods every time you have to pick between an upgraded helmet card or a weaker one that can be actively switched between Attack and Defense or the like. (But, you know, in a good way.)

It’s almost too obviously not for everyone, despite streamlining the adrenal rush of getting loot and making your rewards’ value immediately apparent. With no team to keep track of and very little in the way of special moves, the focus is entirely on the mechanics and the prizes you get along the way. But the basic loop of embarking upon journey after journey only to smash bow-first into another set of cranky, alien rocks can be exhausting to the point of swearing it off completely as if it were a crazy ex.

Even so, there’s no reason you shouldn’t check it out at least once. You get to hang out with a bunch of oddball, charming spacefaring folk; you get to fight seahorse aliens that are actually half horse; and you get to tickle your pickle over an endless and endlessly joyful deluge of rewards. Get your rascals on the loot that Loot Rascals can offer and it just might hook you.

Loot Rascals

+ An art style that you wish you could have on your walls
+ Gameplay that is simple but deep and punishes and reward you in equal measure
+ Loot system forces you to make some heartbreaking decisions
– Brutal difficulty can be a real turnoff at times
– Story is charming but isn’t at all compelling

Final Score: 7 out of 10

Game Review: Loot Rascals
Release: March 7, 2017
Genre: Turn-based roguelike
Developer: Hollow Ponds
Available Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC
Players: Single-player
MSRP: $14.99
Website: http://lootrascals.com/

#BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE Movie Billboards Spotted in Times Square!! #NYC #NY

Here are some photos I came across the other night showing a few super-huge advertising billboards in Times Square (NYC, NY) that are promoting the new BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE movie! 

Oh man, they look SO AWESOME!!

Cow Candy Gets Cheesy With Transformers Optimus Prime Fruit Punch Sticks

Here’s a story that Mooore than meets the cheese, the Wisconsin cheese makers Cow Candy have partnered with Hasbro to make branded editions of their cheese snacks. They have two products based on the My Little Pony and Transformers properties. The Transformers snacks are a pink concoction of monterey jack cheese and fruit juice called “Optimus Prime Fruit Punch Jack Cheese.” The package shows a nice robot shot of the Autobot Leader from the Robots in Disguise cartoon. Read on for the full product info and shots of the packaging.

Wonder Festival 2017 (Winter): misc Garage Kits (Part 2)

Here we are, the final garage kit gallery which, as tradition dictates, is the final miscellaneous gallery. 

Well, I don’t think anyone expected a figure of the girl with the pearl earring! Still, it’s a mighty impressive figure. The Mecha musume kit is also insanely detailed and worth a loot (or several) as is the Godzilla bust.

Otherwise, that’s about it for this Wonder Festival. I hope you all enjoyed the galleries of the various garage kits which were on display at the event. Hopefully, the summer event will impress us with even more works! 


[via hanpenplusalpha1up & JisakuRider]

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Feminamorphe II @ Woot Bear Opens Feb 25th

Woot Bear’s next show, ‘Feminamorphe II’, boasts an all-girl roster curated by Candie Bolton and Tasha Zimich – where over 30 of the most talented ladies have assembled to present works inspired by “girl power” and “nature”.

Participating Artists include: Andrea Kang / Caitlin Hackett / Camilla d’Errico / Candie Bolton / Crystel’s Cimeras / Diane McAmis / Eimi Takano / Fika Art Gretchen Lewis


Batman Toy Collectors should be having a lot of fun right now because McDonald’s has just introduced a new set of Happy Meal Toys which feature a few characters from that world. The toys in question are a set of 8 Diecast Hot Wheels Cars which all have a DC Comics Superheroes theme. They include:

#1 Superman, #2 Batman, #3 The Flash, #4 Green Lantern, #5 The Joker, #6 Robin, #7 Cyborg and #8 Aquaman

Yes, three of them are “Batman-related” and I agree, the “Joker” is NOT a hero but he’s featured here anyway, ha ha! One last thing, check out this great “Toy Review” Video I came across:

Semispheres Review — Break Yourself

Semispheres feels impossible. Not that it, as a puzzle game, actually is unsolvable, but it very often feels like what it wants from you would require you to rip your brain in half. The key, however, to the game is that it doesn’t quite make it necessary and instead teases you with the possibility of it.

In that way, Semispheres is a brilliant yet soothing experience involving jellyfish orbs and (interdimensional?) portals. The crux of it is that you control two blobs navigating two disconnected but identical rooms that may or may not have differing setups of items, enemies, and those aforementioned portals. Each blob—each with their squid-like tendrils—is controlled with their respective analog stick on the controller, though, and that’s where all that brain ripping starts looking rather inviting.

Enemies, you see, patrol these rooms, but you can circumvent them usually with the aid of your other half. If you pop into a BioShock Infinite-style tear between the two with the left side, for example, you can use a noisemaker to get the attention of a guard and allow the right side to pass unnoticed. Or you can pick up an item that moves both to one side, or pick up a different item that simply swaps the two blobs.

Through these tactics and armaments, the game teases you. It eggs you on to try something bold. For the most part, these encounters can be solved independently, simply but deliberately moving each half as required. But as the levels push forward, the singular notion of becoming better invades your mind. It ceases to be just about figuring it out and soon becomes dextrous.

In the same way as you found yourself bumping into things absentmindedly in Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, you’ll find yourself sending one blob into a wall as you attempt simultaneous movement. But you keep pushing yourself and slowly you discover a skill buried deep within yourself. You progressively silo off a portion of your brain and shove it into the realm where breathing and blinking live, where you thrive on instinct.

It’s uneasy—you never feel like you’re not fighting yourself—but it’s also a completely new experience. More than Brothers or Entwined, it requires a different type of forcing a schism into your thinking. It’s active and dynamic in a way that doesn’t demand foresight so much as reactive awareness.

SemispheresGranted, its base concepts will be familiar to anyone who has played a stealth game or co-op game in recent years, but smashing it together into your solo hands instead of across multiple brains changes the entire experience. It’s a fresh and rewarding proposition that I highly suggest you agree to. You will be as flustered as you are soothed.

+ Gorgeous and relaxing style
+ Teaches you how to play at a wonderful pace
+ Demands just enough of you while asking if you can give more
+ That god dang soundtrack

Final Score: 8 out of 10

Game Review: Semispheres
Release: February 14, 2017
Genre: Puzzle
Developer: Vivid Helix
Available Platforms: PlayStation 4 and PC (Xbox One soon)
Players: Single-player
MSRP: $9.99
Website: http://semispher.es/

Topspin & Freezeout – TFormers Video Review of Titans Return Deluxe Wave 4

Topspin is the standout of this wave. Fantastic design ideas and aesthetic choices, with really excellent transformation engineering make this toy shine on all counts. The only issues present are relatively small, and seem to be a result of the materials not quite playing right with the design. I could easily see later uses of the mold being effectively perfect! You can find our video review, with accompanying text and photos right now on the Titans Return Topspin review page, so go give it a look right now!