We live in an extremely complex and nuance world, so when a visually rudimentary, side-scroller comes our way, the instinct is to either nostalgically embrace the concept or scoff at the umpteenth retro offering. Loot Hero places a brave hero on a quest to slay an evil dragon, and even if you've seen the story a million times before, maybe traveling to simpler times isn't such a bad thing.

The most important aspect Loot Hero depends on your relationship to time. If you have moments to spare on your mobile device, then this RPG themed adventure is what the doctor ordered. It may cost ninety-nine cents, but you won't be drowned with in-app purchases or horrific pop-up ads. This is uncomplicated, no-nonsense, pixelated gaming, and there is a sublime joy in this title's simplicity.

Sick of learning new fighting styles by swiping your device with way too many motions to remember? Loot Hero simply asks you to scroll forwards and backwards to obliterate your enemies, and all it takes is a press of the left or ride side of your device to move your knight. Once he's moving, a weapon is already ready for killing, and as long as he has enough power and defensive stats, the surrounding monsters will die within a split second. Here's a shot of my guy grabbing coins, gaining experience points, and slashing everything in sight.

Moving your knight consistently to the right sans stopping at a merchant store is the only sure way to die. Upon each stop, you can upgrade your hero's fighting and defensive acumen, as well as increase his overall speed skills. Since you're bashing monsters at the rate of the speed of light, racking up currency is never a problem. The key to completing each stage is to always move your man backwards to fight lesser level beings and collect even more points and upgrades.

Once you're confident in his overall talents, move your knight forward to defeat each stage's boss. By the time you progress to each level's top fighter, your knight will probably defeat the cretin within a second thanks to all your purchased upgrades. Completing the first run through of Loot Hero shouldn't take you longer than half an hour since it's just several levels and very easy to play.

Even though he bit the bullet during this encounter with the dragon, I'd defeated him several times before, and my fighter's death was directly due to my lack of upgrade preparation. To rectify my situation, I backtracked, killed a few monsters, purchased higher skills, and eventually slayed the red bugger.

After slaying the dragon, the game will reboot to the first level, and this time the monsters will be slightly more difficult to defeat. This dynamic goes on every time you finish killing the dragon, and even though the simplistic action may bore its share of gamers, the repetition isn't such a bother, especially since the game is unforgiving, thoughtless fun. Plus, who doesn't love a little swordplay in the snow?

I love tilting and tapping my iOS devices just like any other gamer, but occasionally I'd rather let the action do most of the work. Loot Hero doesn't offer a lot of chills and spills, and maybe I'll grow tired of this title in the coming weeks. But for now, I prefer life on easy street, and as long as I have enough loot and a sharp enough sword, those dragons won't be touching my kingdom anytime soon.


App Store Link: Loot Hero for iPhone & iPad | By Daniel Hjelm | Price: $0.99 | Version: 1.3 | 64.1 MB | Rating 4+

7.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating