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iPad  header logo

Deep Loot

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

A real gem

Product: Deep Loot | Publisher: Monster and Monster | Developer: Monster and Monster | Format: iPad | Genre: Action, Adventure, Arcade | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Deep Loot iPad, thumbnail 1
Deep Loot is all about plundering the ocean's depths, and it's fair to say it's plundered a few ideas along the way.

You don't have to squint through murky waters to spot a smattering of Mr Driller, plenty of roguelike mechanics, and a soupçon of Ridiculous Fishing.

You start atop the ocean waves, your little boat bobbing about. Tap the screen and you're 'helpfully' nudged into the water by a posh cohort.

Once under the sea you'll find it populated by a suspicious number of square blocks. Drill through these and you'll often discover coins or sunken treasure to add to your coffers.

Water way to go

More open areas are filled with sea creatures going about their business. Some will happily share the ocean with you, whereas others are keener to get all punchy and bitey.

Particularly aggressive fish can be fended off with a few quick blasts of your laser gun, or you can simply flee. Both actions impact on your limited air supply.

Interestingly, decisions rarely need to be rushed. Deep Loot primarily plays as a turn-based affair. You tap on the screen and the diver swims to that location, and then the fish all have their go.

There are exceptions of course. It's possible to get stuck between a couple of aggressive crabs who'll kick you to death surprisingly quickly. Generally though Deep Loot is more about careful planning and exploration than frantic arcade skills.

Splashing out

One thing you will notice is your initial goes are short. Your air supply runs out very quickly and you soon find yourself at the surface with only a small number of coins in your pocket. You can use these coins to buy new suits, ships, kit, and supplies.

This is the point where many free-to-play games unravel, and there's the odd bit of fishy business here. The suits are oddly balanced, arbitrarily impacting on your default skills rather than offering a linear upgrade path. The ships, at least, are better, each offering a particular perk, enabling varied playing styles.

IAPs explained
You can buy a coin doubler for £2.49 / $3.99. Otherwise, coin packs range from 69p / 99c for 100,000 up to £4.99 / $6.99 for five million.

Coins aren't required to play and are earned rapidly enough in-game to replenish boosts. Without them, initial games are very short, though. We recommend grabbing the 2,000,000 coin pack (£2.49 / $3.99) and upgrading everything in the Upgrade Shack a couple of times.
The supplies are disposable power-ups (spare air, keys for opening chests, defence/attack boosts, and pre-play turbos that hurl you into the inky depths at the start of a new dive), although coins earned in-game are usually enough to replenish any expenditure on these.

The Upgrade Shack, which houses upgrades to your air tank, drill, and harpoon, isn't so much optional as essential. Until you've powered that trio up to at least their third levels, Deep Loot is a staccato, grindy experience.

But just those power-ups alone (which can be made for a piffling 69p / 99c) transform the game, giving you the freedom to explore and discover.

Under the sea

At this point, when you find yourself with the freedom to explore and play in Deep Loot's waters, it becomes clear what a great game it is. As jolly chip-tunes play in the background you'll chance upon sunken vessels and amusing Easter Eggs that nod to cult TV shows and movies.

Gradually, you'll find objects that build 'loot collections' on the surface, several of which are silly, and one of which is surprisingly poignant.

In a sense, it's a pity Deep Loot didn't just come with a price-tag attached, but that's the nature of iOS gaming these days. Your best bet is to invest a few bucks immediately and get rid of most of that boring early grind.

Do so and you'll find a sweet, entertaining game that rewards repeat play and boasts buckets of charm. And fighty crabs.
Deep Loot
Reviewer photo
Craig Grannell | 31 July 2014
Starts off as a damp squib, but buy even the cheapest IAP and you'll find a game that really makes a splash
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