Loot & Legends speaks to a part of me that will forever be in love with miniatures and dice. It's a warm and open-hearted pastiche that was clearly built by people with a real love and affinity for rulebooks and character sheets.
But it does it in a way that transposes brilliantly to the digital realm. It fits neatly into your pocket or bag, and while there are some technical niggles, it's an overwhelmingly successful translation with some neat ideas all of its own.
Roll for initiative
The game sees you participating in a series of quests set by a games master. Everything looks like cardboard cut outs stuck in plastic bases. The opening screen sees you lifting the lid on the game's box.
You control everything with a deck of cards that represent movement, attacks, and spells. These are generated by your equipment. Rarer sets of armour and weapons give better cards. You're given loot when you complete quests, and you can spend gold to unlock chests and gain more.
There are three characters in your party, and they have different strengths and weaknesses. You draw a few cards every turn, and when you've spent them all you tap the pass button. When you and the GM have both passed, you get dealt some new cards.
There's a tactical thrum to the play that makes for a challenging experience. Learning what your cards do is important, but learning what the cards of your enemies do is key. Using the terrain to your advantage is important as well.
And everything feels smart and brilliantly put together. There's an arena mode that offers massive rewards if you put the time in, and the core story that drives you on to hit more goblins and wizards with stronger weapons.
+1 review of excellence
The game does require an internet connection, and it crashed a few times while we were playing it, but those things shouldn't tarnish the experience too much.
The monetisation here is pretty smart as well, and doesn't get in the way of you actually having fun.
And you will have fun. There's a sweet, fresh cardboard scent to Loot & Legends that will set the nose of anyone with a passion for pencils and hit points tingling.
And the game that's built around it is more than solid enough to mean anyone can have a look.