Developer: Somepx, Ratalaika Games
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Genre(s): Adventure, Puzzle
Platform: Nintendo Switch (also available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC)
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 25/06/2021
A code was provided for review purposes
It’s hard not to go into a title published by Ratalaika Games without a bit of scepticism. Don’t get me wrong, they’re rarely outright bad games. And hey, achievement or trophy hunters certainly get a buzz from the easy selection each title offers. Their games just rarely do much to engross the player and instead feature gameplay mechanics that have typically been done much better elsewhere.
Loopindex bucks that trend. Sure, the gameplay can be simple and the style of puzzles will feel familiar to many, but it also implements its own unique looping mechanic that helps it stand out in the crowd. Add to that the budget price point and it’ll quickly become clear that this is a puzzler that’s worth your attention.
A Tale of Two Robots
Loopindex sees the player taking on the role of two different robots. Each can be switched between with a button press, though there is also support for local co-op play. The goal is to lead them to the exit point of each level, but plenty of obstacles block their path. You know… spikes, water, walls, bombs, and even some nasty bosses that will take some clever thinking to evade. The levels themselves are made up of simple puzzles, with plenty of boxes to push, levers to pull, and pressure plates to apply weight to in order to open up new pathways. It’s all pretty simple stuff really, but it’s effectively utilised to keep the player thinking.
There are other things that will help players solve puzzles too, such as the little creatures that inhabit levels. See a mouse ahead of you? Scare it onto a pressure plate and use its weight to your advantage. Or how about a little frog? Push it into position and watch it leap its way around the level. Again, they’re small additions to the puzzling, but they go a long way in diversifying the experience for players. Loopindex does a good job of introducing additional mechanics as you progress, with no two levels ever feeling the same.
Caught in a Loopindex
The most unique idea comes with the ‘looping’ mechanic. Players can automate each robot’s actions by activating their loop, which sees them repeating their previous movement over and over again. This can be especially advantageous when using both robots in synchronisation, especially if you need to use Robot A to open a pathway for Robot B. Certain areas can only be navigated when in a loop too, with arrow-pads directing each robot’s movement. There’s a big emphasis placed on timing and coordinating actions, with the looping heavily influencing it. Like everything else, it’s simple, but it’ll demand some clever thinking (and good timing) from the player.
It’s worth pointing out that the levels of Loopindex are short, so it’s never too much drama if you make a mistake and have to start again. It was something I had to do often, especially on the tougher levels towards the end. It’s never a particularly hard game though – just one that’s full of puzzles that can take a bit of experimenting with to solve. There’s enough challenge for it to be fun, but not so much that it ever gets frustrating.
Plenty of different ideas are introduced as players progress, with the likes of conveyor belts, teleporters, crumbling platforms, turrets, and so forth bringing with them all kinds of problems (or solutions, depending on how you look at it). However, it’s the bosses that are most interesting. Now Loopindex is a puzzler, so you shouldn’t expect some dramatic action-packed showdown. However, they do add pressure to your puzzle-solving prowess, whilst they also test how well you’ve learned how to deal with the mechanics introduced into the game up to that point. They’re fun additions to the game and offer something not typically seen in the genre.
The Minor Issues of Loopindex
I had a good time playing through Loopindex, with its simple but diverse puzzling ticking plenty of boxes for me. However, it does have some imperfections here and there. For one, the visual design was a little bit bland. Whilst it’s cutesy in design, I got tired of seeing the same sort of environment over and over again by the time I beat the seventy-plus levels.
There were a handful of levels that felt a bit TOO simple in design. Whilst Loopindex keeps the difficulty increasing as you progress, there were times where the solution was incredibly easy to figure out. Or maybe I’m just a puzzle-solving genius… (No, I’m really not). Either way, the challenge can be a little inconsistent, with some levels proving to be much easier than others.
Oh, and guiding those aforementioned mice into position? It could be a REAL pain in the backside. I’ll never enjoy gameplay mechanics that see you having to scare a creature into place…
I went into Loopindex with quite low expectations, but I really enjoyed my time with the game. It could be guilty of being a little bit simple, but with the sheer variety of the mechanics on offer and the clever looping function, it offers more than enough to keep players invested in its seventy-plus levels. It does take a few missteps here and there, but they aren’t enough of a problem to tarnish what is otherwise an entertaining puzzle-solving experience.
Rapid Reviews Rating
4 out of 5
You can purchase Loopindex on the Nintendo eShop here.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.