Backpack Hero Review: Polyomino Building Bliss

Backpack Hero is a rougelike that features a polyomino (think Tetris) style inventory management system that you use to develop builds which can be used in turn-based battles. After each battle loop, you return to a city to use your loot to research new items, which unlock new builds, which can in turn make you more powerful as you venture deeper into the dungeon.

There’s a lot going on in the game and for the entry price alone you’re getting almost too much content. You have a city builder, inventory management, economy both in and outside of the dungeon, item builds and synergies (based on placement) and turn-based battles with NPCs that can change their next action based on what you do.

You can also play several different modes, some which include a way to not even worry about the city and offer an endless crawl through the dungeon, unlocking the ability to morph the game into something else.

Roguelike Inventory Loop

The core mechanics of finding items and building out builds are fantastic and the game does an amazing job of hitting every note properly here. The city building element is basic but gives you enough bite that it makes customizing what you need and what you’re building towards feel as if it is giving you control of where the game is going.

A lot of the game is unlocked, including new characters and items, which unlock builds. The game has hundreds of items and continues to receive updates with even more, after launch.

The battles are very fun and can have you on the edge of the seat based on how lucky you get with drops. Consumable items are really easy to use thanks to the fact you often quickly run out of room and knowing you’ll get something else to replace it with after the bottle helps speed things up.

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Rougher Edges

The game doesn’t have a story. It does, it’s there, but it’s not the main call. The characters are cute and the encounters in the dungeon are fun. The story doesn’t drive your runs, exploring new adventures and grinding out more items does, along with just how satisfying the game is.

Some research, some bosses, some mechanics feel a bit niche and a bit rough around the edges. Without it though the charm wouldn’t be there. You can’t always have a perfect run and the game gives you a vision of an upcoming boss. If you know how it works you can build around it, which is nice.


Overall Backpack Hero is a fantastic game. If you’re a fan of rougelikes and inventory management games, then this is definitely a must-buy. It comes in as such a low price point that it’s well worth it for the sheer amount of content and time you can put into the game.

Note: We received a key from the developer.

David Piner, an accomplished video game journalist since 2001, excels in developing comprehensive guides and engaging content to enrich the gaming experience. As the esteemed former Managing Editor at TTH (as David "Xerin" Piner) for over a decade, David established a strong reputation for his perceptive analysis, captivating content, and streamlined guides. Having led skilled teams of writers and editors, David has been instrumental in producing an extensive collection of articles, reviews, and guides tailored to both casual and hardcore gamers aiming to enhance their skills. Dedicated to player-centric content, David meticulously crafts guides and articles with the players' interests in mind. He is a proud member of OUT Georgia and fervently champions equity and equality across all spheres.