I have been playing Robot Unicorn Attack 2. This game got me thinking about Drakkeil and 5x5 because it has a unique way of reinvigorating repetitive play.
Every time you die you go back to the beginning and play through the same level. The kicker is that you are given challenges. Collect so many tears or dash so many stars to get points towards levelling up. Playing the same terrain feels different with new and evolving goals...
RPGs often reward the player for what they have done. By providing goals that give the player levelling agency (more hp, skills or whatever) the enticement becomes a goal in itself rather than a means to an end.
More on this soon.