Combining taters with min-maxing, Thomas Gervraud’s new roguelike Lost Potato pulls inspiration from two very different sources. It’s an unorthodox combination to be sure, but does it pay off?
Lost Potato Review
A single screen roguelike, Lost Potato throws players a curveball from the outset: you can’t damage enemies. Rather, the key to victory comes from knocking enemies into hazards like spikes and projectiles. It takes some finagling, but the arc of your swing quickly becomes your best friend, with players lining things up with the use of the WASD keys and the left mouse. Controller support is also available, through the development team stated that a mouse and keyboard setup is preferred.
It might seem counterintuitive, but this combination works surprisingly well. Enemies can sometimes be dumber than dirt, running into traps and offing themselves before you even get a chance to interact with them. However, when there are multiple foes, laser beams, pieces of poo, and projectiles to deal with, even the slightest advantage is a much welcome blessing. The average loadout features a paltry two hearts and not much else, so players are at a distinct disadvantage right from the outset. Things move at a fast clip, and taking damage or clearing a level changes things up a great deal.
In true roguelike fashion, players will be raising their potato up to new heights in Lost Potato. Every three levels has an oasis where players can increase their health, number of spikes, range, speed, or any number of other factors. With dozens of levels to take on and conquer, players can be absolutely an absolutely unstoppable potato as runs progress. There’s just enough variety to make multiple playthroughs seem fresh, which is a godsend when it comes to a genre like this.
If anything, that’s one of the greatest strengths of Lost Potato – it doesn’t overstay its welcome. Each stage is over in a matter of seconds, and each run typically lasts a few minutes. While it is true that it is simple to a fault, that also proves to be one of its strengths. What you see is what you get – no more, no less.
Also staying true to its roguelike roots are its unlockables for subsequent runs. Eyepatches, bandanas, and eyebrows can all be unlocked that affect health, speed, and other variables. Each has their own benefits and drawbacks, so what might work for one person would be better suited for another. There’s a fair amount of cosmetics that can be unlocked, which encourages a fair amount of replayability. There are also a handful of achievements to be had.
Lost Potato is simple by design, but that also proves to be one of its greatest strengths. This bite-sized roguelike might not make waves in the space, but it has the fundamentals down and is perfect for small play sessions.
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