Loot Rascals: Tips to Survive Hollow Ponds’ Super-Weird World

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Loot Rascals: Tips to Survive Hollow Ponds’ Super-Weird World

Hollow Ponds shares some lesser-known advice to survive their super-weird game.

Loot Rascals has been out for over a month now, and it’s been amazing to see people start to unpick its mysteries and figure out strategies to survive the various mean and unpleasant things the game throws at them. We’re aware that it’s a really hard game, so the fact that so many people have beaten it repeatedly is kind of amazing! Maybe one day someone will even figure out what those mysterious artifacts do…?

But we’ve also spoken to a number of folks who felt a bit stuck – struggling to get over the initial difficulty hurdle – and by asking them questions about what seemed to be going wrong, we’ve compiled a collection of tips to help out new players. We’ve split them into a few different categories, for players of different abilities – the list below contains minor spoilers, obviously.

We’ve yet to find a seed that’s impossible to beat, although some of them are very hard and require advanced strategies to succeed. Don’t give up – we believe in you!

Beginner Tips

  • The most important thing is choosing your battles:
    • Health is your most valuable resource, conserve it.
    • Fight weak enemies first, you might gain cards to help with the stronger ones.
    • If you can avoid an enemy hitting you, it’s probably worth it.
    • Read the combat maths board in the dome.
  • Different rascals have different movement patterns and ranges, pay close attention to them, you’ll learn useful stuff for when you’re in a bind.
  • If you already have a handful of enemies on screen, consider dealing with them first before exploring further and revealing MORE.
  • Just because you can run around freely doesn’t mean you always should. Get into the habit of realizing when you’re in a tricky situation, and stopping to take the time to plan the next few moves carefully. This is definitely true if you’re in the vicinity of Mercs or Horse Bros.
  • Most rascals will give up the chase if you pull them far enough away from their starting position.
  • Ability cards only charge up when you reveal hidden tiles, or when you attack in a fight; simply burning turns won’t achieve anything.
  • You can use most ability cards while in combat.
  • If you are on 1 health, you are in a very dangerous position – any hit could kill you. Maybe prioritise gaining health over pushing forwards?
  • The cards you find should change the way you should play, ‘listen’ to them. Used in the right situation unique and ability cards can make the difference between survival and death. This is especially true for the evasive abilities: spectral decoy and teleport.
  • Don’t forget that some rascals are weak to fire, ice or plasma. Once you’ve used an ability on an enemy once, you’ll be able to see this forever – above their heads when you bring out your cursor, and in the Journal.
  • If you get surrounded, focus on escaping the most dangerous foes, even if it means letting a less powerful one get a hit on you.
  • If you talk to the Puppet King in the dome, you can set a Practice Mode deck for that area. Practice Mode is really useful for getting to grips with a particular are and its unique challenges!

Intermediate Tips

  • Attack is more valuable than defence, but neglecting defence too much puts you at great risk.
  • Rascals can’t walk on bombs, but you can, use this to blow them up!
  • The biggest, nastiest rascals usually have good cards, if you can kill one somehow it might be worth the effort.
  • If you’ve found an exit portal, but have spare turns before reinforcements appear, consider exploring further to find more cards.
  • Drop ability cards on the cards you are least likely to get rid of. In fact, consider keeping ability cards unassigned until you actually need them.
  • Always kill Golden Pinchlets! They’ve got the good stuff!
  • A tough Lunk at the start of the second Area could easily ruin your run. Tiptoe around them and let them sleep.
  • You can waste lots of turns chasing Whiskas around, and it’s not always worth it if you can run away from the Clunkers they are generating instead.
  • If there’s an ice block preventing you from reaching the exit, it’ll melt soon enough.

Advanced Tips

  • Rascals with higher power values move with precedence over rascals with lower power values.
  • Ice blocks last longer when used on an empty tile, you can sometimes hold rascals away for longer this way.
  • You can explode bombs with a remote fire attack. You can freeze bombs even when they’re armed.
  • There are a bunch of rascals for whom teleporting onto them to attack is an excellent strategy.
  • You can enter combat with an enemy, get in a punch, teleport away and enter combat with them again to get a double hit!
  • Avoid placing sticky cards at the ends, if you find a Muscle Torch or Gains Lamp you’re best placing them on the end of a row.

And finally…

  • Having bad luck? Stay the course – maybe the best loot ever is just around the corner!
  • Trapped? Stop moving, take careful stock of all your cards and abilities – maybe you have the tools for a cunning escape.
  • If all else fails, blame @whitingjp.

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