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Backpack Hero Review

Back in the day, I used to pride myself on how well I could pack a suitcase. Every vacation was a mini-game of fitting just one more thing into an already stuffed bag. Little did I know that my packing skills would come in handy for my latest gaming obsession: Backpack Hero.

Starting Small

When I first fired up this game, the premise seemed straightforward: I’m a little mouse named Purse, who’s out to explore dungeons. But there’s a twist. Instead of decking out my character with fancy armor or spells, everything I need has to fit into a backpack. It’s as if my entire set of skills is determined by how well I can play a game of backpack Tetris.

The backpack starts out small, but as I level up, I get to add blocks, making more room for my ever-growing collection of stuff: swords, shields, magic wands, and even snacks that give me back some much-needed energy.

A Complex Puzzle

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Things get really tricky as the item count grows. Every weapon and piece of equipment has its own special rules. Some items like being next to others because they give each other boosts, while some prefer empty spaces or need to be in a certain spot to work best.

At some point, I look into my backpack and realize it’s a mess! I’ve got some decent gear, but nothing feels quite right. So, what do I do? I could stick with my not-so-great setup or take a risk and switch everything around, hoping to stumble upon a new, powerful combination that could turn me into a dungeon-delving powerhouse.


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Backpack Hero offers a range of characters that drastically change how you play. There’s Tote, the frog wizard, who brings a card-drawing twist to the usual item stacking. And then there’s CR-8, a robot mouse that’s all about connecting electrical circuits. Each character is a fresh puzzle to solve and keeps the game feeling new, even after multiple runs.

Building a Town

There’s this side mission where you also need to rebuild the town of Haversack Hill. Every time I head down into the dungeon, I’m hoping to come back with treasures that can help the town grow. This adds another layer to my backpack strategy – do I grab more gear, or do I make room for those precious building materials?

Difficulty Spikes

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But not everything is perfect in this tetris-like dungeon crawler. Some difficulty spikes make me work hard for my successes. Plus, the journey can get a bit grindy as I need to replay levels and hope for a good loot drop that’ll help me build the town back up or complete one of the many quests.

The Look and Sound

Visually, the game won’t blow you away. It’s got simple sprites, and things don’t move around much. The dungeon itself doesn’t visually change as you go through it. But each floor has its own music which sometimes I find myself humming, and other times, I wish I could just turn off because it loops a bit too quickly.

The sound effects do the job but aren’t anything special. But you know what? The simple look and sound of the game let me focus on the real meat of the experience: the strategic packing.

The Verdict

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Backpack Hero might not be for everyone. It’s got a slow start that could turn some players off before they dig into the real fun of it. And speaking of digging, if you’re not one for digging deep into dungeons repeatedly, looking for that one last piece you need for your town, it might feel a bit like a chore.

But if you’re like me and get a thrill from packing gear just right, discovering crazy combinations of stuff that should not work but damn well do, you’re in for a treat. Each build really is a mini-puzzle, and cracking it open to find that winning strategy is a rewarding experience, just like fitting that last pair of socks into an already full suitcase.

Backpack Hero might be a cluttered mess of a game sometimes, but it’s my kind of cluttered mess, and I’m loving every minute of it.

My score: 8/10

About the author

Tom Henry

I worked as a PM in video games, now I'm trying some new things.