No matter how confident you are, proving yourself worthy in the eyes of your in-laws is a daunting task. Now imagine if your father-in-law to be is the ruler of your country! Suddenly, its mission impossible and you have an immense hill to climb. However, even you couldn’t imagine how badly your proposition would end. An attempted beheading, an Evil Mage, and a King who is kidnapped! This is the crazy plot of Princess.Loot.Pixel.Again, and a story that you’ll relive a thousand times.
Developed by EfimovMax and published by Big Way Games, this is a rogue-lite dynamic platformer. Set in an ever-changing Evil Tower, Princess.Loot.Pixel.Again is a tough action-adventure title. Subsequently, its retro charms will infuriate you from the start as you’ll die repeatedly and lose all your progress.
Princess.Loot.Pixel.Again is deceptively simple.
I’ve played enough of these games to know that I shouldn’t fall for the basic mechanics. However, I always do, and these deceptively simple ideas make it moreish but oh so frustrating. You’ll die more times than you care to think about, but this matters not. You’ll take a deep breath and start the madness over again.
Princess.Loot.Pixel.Again is jam-packed with content and there is an array of characters to pick from, and a plethora of items to find and artefacts to collect. Each playable hero has strengths and weaknesses that support certain play styles. There is a warrior, rogue, mage, archer, and more. You’ll experience magic, speed, close or ranged combat, and so on as you annihilate every enemy. The equipment you find adds to your base attributes and these can make huge differences to your chances of survival. Yet, the artefacts are the key objects to collect. These magic-infused tablets give you a helping hand during each playthrough.
Death surrounds you.
Simply not being good enough for the King’s daughter shouldn’t be a reason to lose your head. Sadly, though, this is where it all begins. You may think it karma when an Evil Mage swoops in and kidnaps the murder-happy ruler. However, you want to prove you are worthy of the Princess’s love, so you enter the Evil Tower to slay the Evil Mage. Unsurprisingly, this is instantly regrettable as death is guaranteed.
If you make it past the many twists and turns and overcome the horrific bosses in your path, you’ll witness multiple endings. Depending on the choices you’ve made and how many times you’ve played it, you’ll see many unique finales. This was surprisingly rewarding and made the hard work worthwhile.
Damn you, rogue-lite mechanics.
Because of its rogue-lite qualities and tough platforming elements, your progress is wiped repeatedly. This horrendous mechanic will make you wince as you start again for the nth time. Yet, it allows you to experiment with each character and different setups. I loved how minor changes had a big impact on how you tried each playthrough. Would you try to rush each level with the rogue, or will you pick off your foes with a bow or magic? Tactically, it’s very clever and you’ll have to think on your feet to be victorious.
Strangely, though, the real kicker surrounding the simplicity of Princess.Loot.Pixel.Again is how easy the monsters are to defeat. Each creature moves in a set way, so planning to kill them is easy, in theory. Sadly, though, it’s never that straightforward, as traps and obstacles always stand in your way. You learn that new items will only get you so far, and victory is determined by studying your foes’ strengths and manipulating their weaknesses.
Princess.Loot.Pixel.Again is dated, but pleasant to look at.
The side-scrolling perspective and Metroidvania style dungeon crawling were combined brilliantly. This tried and tested approach works spectacularly in this setting and was easy to pick up and play. The dated but smooth imagery doesn’t harness the power of modern machines, but it was nice, nonetheless. Thanks to its mainly dull colour palette, the surrounding world feels oppressive and claustrophobic. Thankfully, there are moments of vivid colour that break up the monotony and keep things interesting.
Death is just around the corner, so it could have been easy to get frustrated. Fortunately, however, the high-adrenaline electronic soundtrack is full of energy. Its fun tunes distract you from the repetitive nature of the gameplay and the basic sound effects are effective throughout. You won’t be wowed by the audio, but its lighthearted energetic style is on par with many of its peers.
A gentle reminder as you begin again.
The developers have done a great job of making the action extremely accessible. A gentle reminder at the start of each playthrough highlights the controls, and the simple but effective UI makes it easy to use your abilities and inventory. You’ll have the controls mastered in no time, and this allows you to focus on the finer details.
Its core rogue-lite elements make this extremely addictive and frustrating. Players will lose hours of their lives while trying to overcome each obstacle and every enemy they encounter. I never tired of trying to get to the end boss, and every new ending is worthy of your time. Subsequently, Princess.Loot.Pixel.Again is loaded with replay value and is exceptional value for money.
Princess.Loot.Pixel.Again is annoying, but brilliant at the same time.
My hatred for rogue-lite/like games has waned, yet I still find them equally annoying and brilliant. Princess.Loot.Pixel.Again will punish you and test your ability to focus on fine details. If you learn your enemy’s traits, you will progress at a nice pace. However, simply relying on upgrades is not enough and will ensure you fail repeatedly. I loved it and hated it and recommend you to buy it here! You’ll scream, quit, and try again as you make your way through the Evil Tower to destroy the Evil Mage.