Loot! Slash! It's all in the mind! Orangepixel's Heroes of Loot brings arcade-style loot and shoot gameplay to the iOS. Does this dungeon crawler have what it takes for gamers to plumb its depths, or should it crawl back to where it came from?

If you've ever played Gauntlet, or any Guantlet-like games, you'll have a pretty good idea of what you're in for with Heroes of Loot. Players have four character classes to choose from -- the elf, the warrior, the wizard, and the valkyrie -- each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Most levels are preceded by cute animated cutscenes showing the adventuring foursome interacting. They discuss their goals, the dungeon itself, and progress the tongue-in-cheek story. With a game like this, the story is obviously second to the gameplay, and Heroes of Loot manages to deliver the latter. You'll run through level after level of randomly generated dungeons. Your foes are tame in the early levels, but as you progress, new, more aggressive types of enemies begin to appear, and soon you'll find that each new stage is an assault on all sides. Not only do the monsters drop copious amounts of loot, but there's tons of the shiny stuff scattered around every stage, making it a joy just to walk around. You'll also stumble across the occasional shop, hidden room, quest-giver, or even unfortunate adventurers who need rescuing. It's fast, fun, and, thanks to the randomization, highly replayable.

Orangepixel uses a distinctly simplistic, pixelated style for all of their games, and it works to their advantage with Heroes of Loot. The simple style helps boil the essence of each creature or item down so that they're all visually distinctive. It's not recommended that you play this on anything smaller than an iPad, however, as the little pixel people turn into little pixel dots. The score balances excitement with moodiness when the occasion calls for it. The sound effects (particularly the few voice samples), have an old-school crackliness to them, making you feel like you're playing a 25 year-old game.

Heroes of Loot utilizes twin touch-screen sticks, and they work well, for the most part, but there are times where things feel a bit sluggish. Sometimes your character will take his/her sweet time in aiming the throwing blades/arrows/magic where you want them, and characters have an odd quirk of moving faster going up and down than they do going left to right — resulting in X-axis movements feeling sluggish and occasionally frustrating.

Still, minor gripes aside, Heroes of Loot is a damn fun dungeon crawler. Its developers clearly have a lot of love for the genre and endeavored to make a product that put fun, rather than profit, first, which is why they'll profit in the long-run. Don't expect any in-game ads or in-app purchases smacking you in the face with Heroes of Loot. Expect heroes, monsters, loot, loot, and more loot.


App Store Link: Heroes of Loot for iPhone & iPad | By Orangepixel | Price: $1.99 | Version: 1.0.1 | 7.5 MB | Rating 9+

7.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating