I actually had not heard of VaragtP’s Loot Hero DX before it was brought to my attention. See, after succumbing to a full blown addiction to Clicker Heroes, my fellow site manager, Kevin, brought this one up after managing to snag a review code. He thought this one could be my methadone to Clicker Heroes’ black tar heroin. To my mouse’s dismay, this one didn’t work. (Yes, what was a joke in that other review did come to pass; my mouse is toast.) Loot Hero DX, while a fun diversion, does not have the staying power of the normal clicker/idle game.

There actually is a perfunctory story here. There is a dragon, and as needs must for most dragons, it must die. To do so, you take your hero, who I dubbed Haggis Meatfarm, and ram him into enemies in a side-scrolling setting. When the enemies are vanquished, they drop cash for upgrades, power ups to refill health or temporarily boost killing power, and experience points. Spaced at about every ten or so enemies is a shop for upgrades. It’s all pretty simple.

Defeating this guy? Also simple.
Defeating this guy? Also simple.

Simple is not bad, though. Sometimes a brainless diversion is all that is needed to pass the time and allow the mind to shut down. Using something like this can actually help achieve a meditative state. (That’s my excuse, anyways.) The issue is that it is still a game, and as such you want to feel a sense of progress. This is where Loot Hero DX falls short. That is not to say that the player cannot constantly pour cash into attack and defense upgrades. It’s just that it soon becomes a case of that being all there is to do. There are actually a total of four stats to upgrade in the store: attack, defense, critical hit chance, and speed. It did not take long for me to completely max out crit, and every hit became a critical. With speed, once I pumped it up to one hundred, subsequent boosts just didn’t seem to make a difference. Thus, this became a game of sweeping Haggis back and forth across the screen until I decided I was done with the level and touched the boss.

There are only a hand full of levels, and the cycle starts over again after taking down the dragon. Each time, the enemies do get slightly harder, and the experience point yield increases. The increase is very gradual. So much so, that after every reset, I would select the last level first. If I can take down the dragon immediately, then I was too overpowered for that reset. I would do this until I got stopped. Then I would only need to play a level or two to get back up to speed, and plow through again.

This does have an idle hook to keep the player coming back. Every time the dragon is taken down, a miner is rescued. From what, I don’t know, as the little guys become your unpaid servants. Toiling away in a gold mine, these helpless creatures mine cash to be spent on upgrades. This would be cool except, again, the upgrades mean less and less. Also, you can only carry 99,9999 gold. This caps out pretty quick.

I really feel horrible about this, tiny dudes.
I really feel horrible about this, tiny dudes.

While I tend not to care much about Steam Achievements as I have too frequently not been able to get them to pop when they should, they could have been the saving grace for this one. A goal for which to strive. I managed to one hundred percent this game in about an hour and forty-five minutes. Actually, I was ninety-five percent done in less than an hour, and I had played enough to write this review. At that point, I figured “in for a penny…”

While I would never say that Loot Hero DX is a bad game, it just doesn’t have the staying power of its genre peers. On the other hand, there are no free-to-play trappings to be found. It’s a straight three dollars into the bucket and no paid currency to sweat. If you just want something mindless and amusing that will last you an hour, I would recommend this. If you want easy Steam achievements, I would highly recommend this. For anyone else looking for depth or a long term addiction, check elsewhere.

3/5

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After being bitten by a radioactive chimney sweep, J.M. Bohn and his trusted friend, Baron Stacheforth, took to the streets to reenact Mediatonic's Foul Play. (No theater would have them.) The results were...less than ideal. His current whereabouts are unknown to keep his loved ones safe. Love/hate mail can be sent to jasonmbohn@gmail,com.

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