Game Reviews

Looped review - "Gorgeous visuals, with an ending that's...just okay"

Star onStar onStar onStar offStar off
| Looped
Looped review - "Gorgeous visuals, with an ending that's...just okay"
| Looped
  • Gorgeous hand-drawn visuals
  • Stress-free gameplay with bite-sized chapters
  • Story sadly doesn't leave a lasting impression

Short, quirky, and beautiful in more ways than one, Looped tells a tale of two lovers who find each other in the most unusual of circumstances. It's essentially a journey of how far they're both willing to go to be with each other, but while it's indeed a lovely sentiment, is this premium title worth the price of admission, or is it better left as a short story elsewhere?

Table of contents:

Looped: Story and Visuals

At the heart of this interactive fiction is the story itself, which promises a short but sweet romp into the highs of a romantic relationship especially as it's just about to blossom. The game showcases puppy love at its finest, not only because it's all about giddy feels, but also because the two protagonists are quite literally puppies - or something of the canine variety, at the very least. Dubbed Him and Her, these two lovebirds will journey through life oblivious to its realities, and if you're looking to indulge in a dopamine kick, this quick title should do the trick.

You'll witness everything from gush-worthy first dates to romantic hot air balloon rides, and revel in the feeling of wanting to get home as soon as possible just to be with your beloved at the end of the day. It's hard to believe this all began with a black hole in the living room, but it is what it is, and it's hard to question these things especially when it comes to matters of the heart.  

torn sheets of paper with puzzle diagram

All these are presented with hand-drawn visuals and animations, which, to me, definitely steal the show. Everything feels so much more personal thanks to the way the characters and the world they live in are drawn, and it's easy to get lost in the masterfully crafted lines as you move from one scene to the next.

Looped: Gameplay

Gameplay is a simple point-and-click affair, and while there are no instructions, no menus, and no inventory woes to worry about here, everything flows smoothly and intuitively. You'll somehow know what you need to do to progress from one puzzle to the next, so if you're the type who's looking for a bit of a brain workout, you won't find it here. That's not necessarily a bad thing, of course, given how the game's focus is on the narrative and less on the gameplay itself. It is, after all, interactive fiction, with a bigger emphasis on the fiction part rather than the interactive part.

That said, the scenes where you'll need to actually do something are still pretty relevant, adding a layer of immersion to the title without anything getting overly frustrating. There's a touch of humour peppered throughout the visual prose, and it's fun to discover tidbits here and there that will make you smile as you go along. 

carnival shooting gallery

Everything is told throughout wordless scenes, by the way, save for the grunts and whimpers that our beloved canine companions mumble every so often. It's made to be a low-key and pressure-free experience, and Him and Her are both so likeable that they definitely add to the feel-good vibes all throughout.

What's the appeal?

Without giving anything away, I should tell you that the overarching goal here is to break the loop (the game is titled that way for a reason). This, I feel, is where the game falls flat, because trying to break the loop - while nothing too challenging - can be a little frustrating, not because the mini-puzzles are difficult, but because there isn't much to help motivate me to actually want to break the loop. It also doesn't help that the ending - after you've broken the loop - didn't feel particularly satisfying to me, mainly because I didn't feel invested enough in Him and Her to really feel like they earned their Happily Ever After. 

Of course, while this works perfectly fine as it is as a story, adding the gamified element here means that I was expecting the reward in the end to be greater, simply because I as the player actively took steps to ensure our protagonists got their happy ending. This isn't necessarily the fault of the characters or the game's premise, but maybe it's not the best to experience this story interactively - at least, in my opinion.

360 degree view of a planet with buildings

I suppose I shouldn't expect much from a tale that spans half an hour, but I've played other narrative-driven titles before that have successfully delivered all the feels despite the short runtime. It's not the brevity of the story but the way it's delivered that gives it impact, and, while amusing, the story here simply didn't resonate with me as much as I thought it would. 

It didn't help that the soundtrack fell short of the emotions in the scenes - while sometimes the quirky tunes made perfect sense, oftentimes, they just didn't complement what was happening on screen, and became more of a distraction rather than a lovely background accompaniment.

Now, the premise is still really creative though, so your mileage may vary. If you're keen on a quick and feel-good experience for a mere $2.99, this might just be your thing.

Looped icon
Download now!

Looped review - "Gorgeous visuals, with an ending that's...just okay"

Looped is a visually stunning interactive fiction that tells the tale of two unlikely lovers transcending time and space to be together. It's a so-so experience and nothing too memorable for me, but if you're looking for a quick feel-good fix, this should do the trick.
Catherine Dellosa
Catherine Dellosa
Catherine plays video games for a living and writes because she’s in love with words. Her Young Adult contemporary novel, For The Win: The Not-So-Epic Quest Of A Non-Playable Character, is her third book published by Penguin Random House SEA - a poignant love letter to gamer geeks, mythological creatures, teenage heartbreak, and everything in between. She one day hopes to soar the skies as a superhero, but for now, she strongly believes in saving lives through her works in fiction. Check out her books at, or follow her on FB/IG/Twitter at @thenoobwife.