I have a hat that makes me look quite a lot like a bear. This is pleasing to me. I also run around waving my axe about like I've gone a little bit bonkers. This is also pleasing. In fact, there's a lot of things about the soft-launched version of The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot that are going to please people, as you're going to find out in this preview.
It's a little more interactive than your usual midcore dungeon crawler, but it still manages to be wonderfully accessible. And then there are the little touches that set the game apart, and the polish and care that's clearly been lavished on the game. TLDR: this one's looking awesome.
The game sees you controlling a warrior who's out to grab the titular loot. There's loads of it, scattered across a series of different dungeons and realms, and it's up to you and your plucky little demon helper to run around, smack things in the face, and steal anything that isn't nailed down.
You control everything with a single thumb. Drag said thumb around and you'll jog off in that direction. When you see something you'd like to murder, you mash the screen and your little warrior chum starts swinging whatever weapon they have equipped.
There are special moves along the left of the screen, or the right depending on which way you have the controls setup, and you tap to use these. Swipe your thumb on the screen and you'll roll in that direction and, hopefully, avoid damage. Your little helper floats along behind picking up anything that the dead and the shattered drop when you're finished with them.
Dungeons are split up into different levels. Once you've killed everything and found all the chests, you leap into a portal and wander off to the next fight. You need to finish all three levels in one go, so making sure your stats are good enough before you begin is key.
The menus are easy to negotiate, and if you've ever played a game like this before you're going to be fully aware of what all the buttons do. Rewards are pretty generous for the first few hours of the game at least, and when things start to get tougher you've got options to explore that mean you don't have to stop playing.
On top of all that, the game looks amazing. The cartoon-style graphics are impressive, but it's the animation that's king here. Every creature, skeleton, or orc that you're fighting moves wonderfully, and when you're slashing your sword around it's difficult not to watch with a grin.
There are a few niggles here, including one where the scenery got in the way of the pack of enemies I was fighting and I had to mash the screen in the hope that I was hitting the right things, but hopefully that can be ironed out before the game lands worldwide.
One thing that The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot gets right is it makes you feel like a hero. Your skills recharge quickly, your combos feel weighty, and the simple fact that your dodge move isn't on a cooldown timer is going to make an awful lot of people happy.
It'll be interesting to see what changes, if any, are made to this soft-launch version. I've got a feeling that some of the monetization options and timing could well be tweaked before this goes live, but I'd be pretty darn happy to see it released as it is now.
If you've got a Canadian App Store account, you can grab the game for nothing right now by clicking on this link. And if you want to start a Canadian App Store account, you can follow this guide on our sister site Pocket Gamer.