Princess.Loot.Pixel.Again is a roguelike 2D platforming dungeon crawler with some RPG elements available on Steam. The story is mostly just a simple plot. The king has been captured and it’s up to you to save him. In order to do so, you’ll have to fight your way through four floors consisting of two levels each. At the end of each floor is a boss. You can move, attack, and double jump right out of the gate. Depending on your character class you’ll have certain base stats, items, and abilities to start with as well. Some classes get spells, some get items, some even get projectiles weapons. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses, but every one of them is capable of saving the king if you play them well. Besides inherent abilities, everyone is capable of picking up secondary spells which will consume mana. Typically, a class-specific ability will run on its own set of ammunition or usage cost. You also start with some keys and bombs. Keys can be used to open locked doors and locked chests. Bombs can be used to blast open weak walls, damage enemies, and even destroy some other things as well. From here, your journey begins.

You will be thrown into a semi-ramdomized map based on the current floor. Rooms are usually filled with some type of enemy, but other things can also be present. Sometimes you’ll find doors in the background that lead to other rooms or step on floor tiles that will trigger traps. You will often get rewarded for defeating all the enemies in a room, though sometimes it is actually required in order to exit. Chests are your primary source of loot, which can contain anything from gold to weapons to artifacts. There’s also a shop on every floor which is another source for loot at the right price. You can also occasionally find vending machines where you can directly purchase health, mana, keys, bombs, or random drops of these. You’ll almost always find weapons and armor that are better than your own, unless you find the shop and THEN get upgrades on the level and go back to it later. You can get consumable bottles that have randomized effects that are unknown until you use them at least once in your current run. Then, there are artifacts, which I should explain more.

There are basically three types of artifacts. There are consumable artifacts that take up the temporary item slot the same as bottles do. These artifacts all have specific effects that are always labeled. There are also artifacts that you must activate to use. These will typically be in the slot on the right that and tend to consume mana just like your typical spells. And lastly, there are passive artifacts. These will give you some type of stat boost or special effect that will be passively active on your character for the rest of your run. You will usually get a passive artifact for defeating each boss. There are five bosses. The boss of the first floor can be one of two bosses, but the rest are set. Once you beat all four bosses… well… you win.

I have to say, I really like this little game. It’s similar in style to Rogue Legacy and The Binding of Isaac, but it’s much simpler and smaller than those two. It’s fairly short so a bad run doesn’t feel too wasted and a good one doesn’t last too terribly long. It’s great for picking it up and putting it down whenever. The art is effective and the soundtrack is actually pretty catchy. I like how you always get positive weapons and armor to keep it feeling like you’re progressing. The randomized elements don’t spread to EVERYTHING which is nice to keep some constants and make sure skill isn’t irrelevant compared to your luck. Each character has different priorities in the game based on their quirks, so you can’t play the same way with all of them and expect it to work just as well. So this game is largely about understanding your character, your odds, and making tough decisions. Do you use a bomb here? Do you use a key there? Do you buy now or save for later? It has enough depth in these choices and strategies that it ends up being a lot deeper than you’d think at first glance yet isn’t overly complicated and overwhelming. It’s just a great balance of what I liked in some other roguelikes and at a pretty nice price. Hell, even the achievements were fun to get!

Well… except for one achievement. There’s one that requires you to get three specific artifacts in one run, which is pretty tough considering that’s mostly getting lucky with IF they show up, WHERE they show up, and WHEN they show up. It’s doable and will keep you playing even longer, but it might just drive you a little crazy if you don’t have much luck. My tip there is to play with characters that have high fortune to keep the money and luck in your favor. My complaints don’t stop there. The soundtrack is cool, but it just plays songs at random rather than basing it off of the areas. That’s okay, but it does take something away from their impact. There could stand to be a few more songs in there as well. The sound design is also a little sparing. There are a lot of actions that make no sounds at all. Not a big deal, but it’s strange. Ladders sometimes wouldn’t let me go down them if I had just climbed them, and wouldn’t let me walk over them without falling if I had jumped on that screen already. Strange behavior. Hitboxes can be deceptive. Also, the artifacts could maybe use some slightly better descriptions, but then again it’s also kind of fun to figure out what some of them do on your own as you play more, especially since there are only so many. In fact, a lot of the little details are fun to figure out, but maybe having some extended descriptions on the depository wouldn’t hurt. Oh, and there’s not really a true pause in the game… just a map screen and hero screen. I guess a lot of my gripes are minor technical things or lack of more details, but they certainly don’t break the game. If anything, my biggest gripe might just be that there’s not more. I’d love to see this game get updated, get some DLC, or even just get a sequel to do even more with this idea. Add in more classes, enemies, room types, trap types, and artifacts and BOOM, you have even more replay value and you might get away with charging more in the process.

Princess.Loot.Pixel.Again is pretty good. It’s not amazing, but it’s better than it looks. If you liked Rogue Legacy and some elements of The Binding of Isaac, it’s definitely worth a look. The low price makes it hard not to recommend unless it just doesn’t look or sound like your type of thing. But if you’re interested, go for it. You might be pleasantly surprised. It’s some good, simple, and pretty darn fun roguelike gameplay. Are you a bad enough dude to save the king… again?

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