UnderMine Review

Welcome to the salt mines

Release Date
08/06/2020
Developed By
Thorium Entertainment
Published By
Thorium Entertainment
Genre
Action-Adventure, Roguelike
Consoles
Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam & Game Pass)
Our Score
3.5

Being semi-new to the genre, I was tasked to dive deep into the mines of UnderMine, which was jokingly referred to as UnderSalt by a colleague. Immediately I was worried about what I was getting myself into, but let’s dive into UnderMine. It’s an action-adventure rouge-like game that blends combat and dungeon crawling with RPG progression. Add in a side of the sweet, oh-so-sweet feeling of victory after beating a boss that has killed you at least eight times…that sums up the struggle of UnderMine.

UnderMine was developed and published by Thorium Entertainment, a two-person studio with professional game development knowledge under one roof. UnderMine is their first game that has been created under the name of Thorium Entertainment. Undermine’s plot is straightforward and explained to you in a minute into the game, but your task comes with a catch. You are a peasant who is being forced to explore the mines because there is something hidden in the depths, causing a series of earthquakes that plague the land. It is up to us to figure out what is going and no, you don’t have a choice.

Down you go into the depths of the goldmines with a pickaxe, a sack, and a little bird friend. The controls of UnderMine are easy to pick up; you have your directional buttons, jump, the ability to throw your ax, and the ability to strafe. UnderMine 1 It is important and highly recommended that you get used to these controls as there is no roll or sidestep ability. Jumping is your only mechanic for dodging enemy attacks as well as being aware of your environment. This especially means when you jump to avoid an enemy’s attack that you don’t fall into a hole, too. 

Once in the mines, there is no way out; you can only go forward. Once you get through the first stages of the goldmines, you should be able to pick up the controls fairly easily. Something that you’ll notice is the goldmines’ design changes such as colors, features, and environmental aspects, which I think is important when it comes to dungeon crawling and grinding as a whole. As I suffered my way through the goldmines, I was not worn down by the same design.

Each of the goldmines consists of at least four rooms with secret passages that can be unlocked using an item or by using the enemies. Additionally, with these secret passages, there are traps, enemies that will require you to be quick on your feet, and holes…lots of holes and questionable items that will make you scratch your head. As you traverse further into the goldmines, you’ll find items to help you during your trek into the depths. You’ll also come across doors that are locked and will need keys to open them. This is where it gets tricky as you do not find keys on every floor, nor are you initially able to open all the doors on a floor unless you have picked up extra keys that are hidden ANYWHERE. In rocks, enemies, chests…  

UnderMine

Finding items to help you on your trek through the goldmines is great in all, except for when you can only carry so many things, so expect to make compromises or use items to get a seemingly better item. Of course, some items can increase your sack or items to help you keep your gold at least. What would a dungeon crawling game be without encountering normal folks along your journey? You’ll encounter stores ran by normal people, not so normal people, such as a giant, cutely designed slime king that sells you stuff as well as people who were captured and placed in cages. It would help if you found a specific key to release them.  Don’t worry; that specific key is usually won after fighting the boss of that specific goldmine. The designs and mechanics of the floor bosses are well thought out, diverse, and also frustrating.

But let’s say you die, what happens? Well, that’s where the real test of your determination begins, but you must persevere! I honestly had no idea of what I was getting myself into as I have not played a game like this besides Prinny: Can I really be the Hero, but if the goldmines were a person, they would have been thrown salt in my eyes and laughed at my pain. A good way to sum up UnderMine is “Learn by death” but also lose by death.

You start from the beginning of the mines, but the people you have rescued that you weren’t able to talk to before will make it back up to the top. Then you can speak to them and purchase whatever they’re selling. I personally found this UnderMine a bit frustrating but addicting with a considerable amount of salt. That is the joy of UnderMine and for those that are stalwart and determined against all the various foes that lie beneath the earth, no matter what they look like. UnderMine will definitely provide you a challenge.

 

UnderMine Review
Welcome to the Salt-- UnderMine
A frustratingly addictive fun action-adventure RPG
Pros
Straight forward gameplay
Diverse character designs
Diverse enemy designs
Cons
Death
Small inventory space
3.5
Score
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