As elevator pitches go, "Imagine if Diablo and Tetris had a baby" is about as effective as I can imagine. At the very least it's hard to imagine what a game like that would even look like, so you should watch the clip of Loot River from the Summer Game Fest above.
Straka Studios' Loot River is roguelike dungeon crawler, but it's also a dungeon shifter. There are block-based puzzles throughout, but instead of moving blocks out of your way you actually ride them around. You can rearrange them to gain access to new areas, speed around on them to avoid being swarmed by mobs, and even use them to smash enemies into paste as you ride them further down the Loot River.
It's not that block riding is your only move. Your character also has a pretty deadly flaming sword. But I get the impression that you can easily be overwhelmed by mobs of monsters, so avoiding them at times may be a key to success. That's where some quick and clever block riding comes in handy. It's like solving a puzzle while you're standing on it.
Levels are a mixture of procedural generation and hand-crafted elements to keep the world feeling different but still logical between runs. And you won't just find monsters in Loot River, but friends, merchants, and other adventurers who can help you unlock permanent upgrades. And, of course, there are major bossfights to overcome. Loot River doesn't have a release date yet, so there's still time to get some Tetris practice in before it launches.
PC Gamer Newsletter
Sign up to get the best content of the week, and great gaming deals, as picked by the editors.
Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.
Arrowhead CEO says the 'live service' aspect of Helldivers 2 has to be secondary to delivering a 'full experience' for $40: 'We view ourselves as a live service game because it's unfair to say anything else'
'We have an actual person with the title of Game Master': A single Helldivers 2 dev named Joel is pulling the strings on its galactic war like an all-powerful D&D dungeon master, war will become 'more and more sophisticated over time'