Battleloot Adventure may be a comically generic title, but the product it represents is a solid mobile RPG with decent personality. It doesn’t have the depth you might find in something more complex, but it does just enough to rise above being a stale JRPG, which the App Store already has plenty of.
We might as well tackle this game piece-by-piece, starting with the “Battle” portion of the title. Battleloot Adventures is largely a traditional turn-based RPG, with a few important differences. The most notable change is that, for the most part, buffs and healing are handled automatically at the beginning or end of your turn, all depending on the composition of your team.
The combat itself is streamlined from the genre standard, as well. Other than rare special attacks and items, your only choice per turn is which character to use and which enemy to attack. If another character in your party has sufficient energy, you can deplete some of it to do a combo attack with two characters at once. If you land six or more strikes, a star will appear that you must tap quickly to collect. These stars can be saved to the end of the battle to earn more gold, or you can use them for your characters’ special moves.
Who went nuclear?
Some of these talents feel more useful than others, an issue that relates to one of the game’s main shortcomings: progressing isn’t especially satisfying. The carrot-on-a-stick aspect that’s core to a quality RPG experience is not suitably addressed in Battleloot Adventures, neither in acquiring talents (as the skill tree just isn’t very exciting) nor in obtaining part of the game’s very namesake: loot. The incremental improvements you can make to your characters’ loadouts just don’t seem to make an appreciable difference on the battlefield.
The final aspect of the title to consider is the ‘˜Adventures’ element of this game. The writing avoids being utterly boilerplate in quality, but the narrative arc does little to engage the player beyond the bare enjoyability of the game’s combat.
After progressing through the game’s tutorial quest line, you have quite a bit of freedom in determining which areas of the world map to quest in. Unfortunately, these quests don’t amount to much more than simple battles, and the combat gets monotonous, even if you’re not revisiting areas to grind out experience points. The decisions you make in fights are so simple that these encounters can end up feeling like a glorified game of rock-paper-scissors.
While we’ve spoken to many of its problems, the game looks great. The backgrounds have a nice, hand-painted look to them, and the high-resolution sprites animate nicely. However, one issue related to the visuals is the strange decision to have enemy health bars deplete only at certain intervals. You can land an 8-hit combo on an enemy, only to have his health bar remain at 100%. It’s a really discouraging visual cue.
The game’s music is fine (albeit fairly repetitive), but the sound effects can be rather grating. When one of your characters runs out of energy, he or she begins panting heavily. It’s pretty loud in the mix, and if your whole party is winded, it becomes an unpleasant cacophony of mediocre sound effects. The problem is intensified by the all-too-common mistake of apps not allowing users to mute the game audio.
When considering the game’s overall production quality and pure hours-to-dollars value proposition, it’s a good deal. The game is far from awful, but there are too many things holding Battleloot Adventures back from being truly outstanding.