Loot the Land Review—You Won’t Feel Robbed

loottheland

Playerthree was one of the first developers who jumped on board with Sony PlayStation’s Minis program. Apache Overkill was one of the 50 titles originally listed for the Minis program that actually came out, and came out early (compared to other titles, that is). Then they came releasing Rumble Trucks with no fanfare a year later. Their latest, and probably last, Mini is the quirky but very well made Nom Nation.

Playerthree is again a launch developer for the PlayStation Mobile program with Loot the Land, a match-3 game. Arguably, this particular genre is strong in the Minis lineup, and it does fit well into the inherently limited format of the program. Since the PlayStation Mobile program is “looser” in terms of file size limit, network capabilities, controls, and graphics, Loot the Land is in a very uncomfortable place. Will it push the genre further, given the greater potential of the PS Mobile program? Or will it just be another glorified Flash game with touch/tilt controls flooding the mobile gaming arena?

Loot the Land provides a fresher, but not entirely original, take on how match-3 games play. As opposed to completing a session for a certain gameplay-related goal (like filling a bowl with jewels, or the more straightforward chasing scores), here your gameplay sends an army of brave Viking warriors on a journey to a settlement. The “battle sequence” is animated below the frame where you string up elements for the match-3 part of the game.

Literally, you string up elements in order for your troops to move forward (because the “connector” is a rope). Your troops also backpedal as time passes by, so you have to match things as quickly as possible. Basically, you should be stringing up at least three warriors of the same graphic. You can also lace up gold coins and mana bowls so that you can use your equipped skills. Before the game, you choose up to two skills to be used during sessions. They cost mana, and you can also buy mana off the store with your accumulated gold coins. There are skills for offensive purposes like sending more troops to the front line, and there are also ones that add more mana bowls to the game board.

Hurdles are thrown at your troops during gameplay. You can see the traps waiting for your troops because they are drawn on the field in the progress indicator animation. Traps include some spiders that cause your screen to be filled with webs; you have to tap them to get rid of them. There is also seasickness, and the most annoying part is the drunken event where you have to shake that Vita to clear the screen of vomit splatters. I am very much afraid that I’ll soon destroy my Vita with all that shaking and stuff.

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Loot the Land is an incredible game at its core, including both polished graphics and polished tunes. This game is not life-changingly special, but it’s good enough to get my recommendation. It could have been better, though, but again, this could be said of a lot of games out there.

7.5/10

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