The LOOP became one of my favorite co-op games last year. I was drawn in by the art and stayed for the theme — a mad scientist is messing with the timeline by dropping clones of himself throughout history.
In the solo version, you control 2-4 different characters as you try to complete four objectives before the timeline blows up with too many vortexes. Below I describe the game play changes and how it worked for me, but I don’t go in-depth into the basic game play. For that, check out one of the many reviews or playthroughs on YouTube.
The game set-up is very similar to the multi-player game — the main changes come when picking characters to play. You’ll choose 2, 3, or 4 agents and place those character boards in front of you. Then you’ll take the starting decks for those agents and shuffle them together into a single deck. And even though you’re playing several agents, you’ll seed your board with starting clones and artifact cards listed for the solo game (which is more than for games with more players).
The game plays just as it would in the multi-player game, except that instead of playing each agent in a particular order, you start each turn by dealing out cards from your deck to choose the next agent to play. You turn over one card at a time and put it on one of the agent’s character board. If the card is from the start deck of a particular character, it goes on that character’s board; if it’s not a starting card, you get to choose which agent it goes on. In this way, there’s a little randomness as to which character plays next, but you have some ways to influence which character you would like to come up faster.
You can use actions that play cards out of other agents’ hands, as long as they have cards available. And, as with the multi-player game, play continues until you either win according to the scenario you’re playing, or lose.
How did it work?
The solo game is a very easy adaptation of the multi-player game. You need to juggle playing a few different agents, but you really need the different abilities that they bring to the game in order to be successful. I found it to be quick to understand how to play and jump in.
I really liked the method for choosing the next active agent. It added a little randomness to the game, which I know some people might not like, but I found it fun to adapt to whichever agent was next. I also liked that I had a bit of control over who would play next; though, it wasn’t a guarantee, since I might load up one agent with non-starter cards, but then three cards in a row come up from another agent’s deck.
Overall, the solo experience for The LOOP is extremely enjoyable. It’s easy to understand how it works and plays quickly. I love trying to solve the puzzle that each game presents while switching gears when my pre-loaded agent doesn’t come up next.