Look, UnderMine might not be the most original game in the world, but it prospects the best bits from rogue-like classics and wraps it all up in a neat new way. The result is an addictive, challenging adventure we struggled to put down.
The main thing that makes this rogue-lite so compelling is its steady progression. Playing as a lowly peasant, you'll enter the mine with the aim of gathering as much gold as you can find. When you eventually perish, you lose some of your riches, initially only keeping half the goods. Still, the gold you do earn can be used to permanently upgrade various stats, as well as the strength of bombs, potency of potions, new abilities, and more. You'll also encounter many NPCs in need of rescue who will further aid you between runs. All this means you'll almost always go back to the mine that little bit stronger, which means exploring deeper, and so on.
Augmenting each run are relics, curses, and blessings. These powerful items have a big impact on your excursions, and the variety of effects is brilliantly imaginative. This being a randomly generated game, you'll need a little luck on your side — especially as rooms full of enemies can get super tough — but it does a great job of folding in new things to experiment with each time. Between persistent upgrades and the variety on offer, there's a strong "one more go" factor.
It isn't perfect; using the floaty jump as a dodge can sometimes land you in even more trouble, aiming your throwable pickaxe is imprecise, and some rooms just feel unfair. We also noticed some odd visual hitches, although these can be smoothed out by enabling vsync in the settings. All that said, if you enjoy a rogue-lite, particularly those with meaningful upgrades, UnderMine is well worth delving into.
I'm confused : 8/10 for a a rogue-like top-down dungeon looter where you jump and shoot a lot, but that has imprecise gameplay mechanics (jumping AND shooting)? Isn't that the first thing you'd want to be good in this kind of games?
Is the game loop that good compared to other rogue-lik(t)e that may have better gameplay?
As somebody that is really struggling to get through the ever expanding backlog and still dips in to Slay the Spire, Enter the Gungeon and Hades regularly, this is a purchase I know I shouldn’t but will inevitably make.
Also, would be great to see a “One More Go” list on here. I would never have seen this game if it weren’t for this review and many others like Moonlighter, Forager, Dead Cells, Slay The Spire etc are so great to dip in and out of when you know you don’t have time to get a good session on your main game. With one child and another on the way I’m finding myself playing these more than the big releases in my backlog!
@Scratchy_Seal I really enjoy these type of games but never seem to get around to putting serious time into any of them! Sure I'll pick this one up too as it sounds good and I love the ones with persistent upgrades, but will endeavour to stay strong for a sale as I always do for these kind of games.
I have put a lot of time into the Binding Of Isaac and Don't Starve. However, I've hardly played Dead Cells, Slay The Spire, and Enter The Gungeon. Even worse, Children of Morta, Moonlighter, Curse of the Dead Gods all bought and not even started yet lol
Line you, I spend way more time playing indies than the AAA stuff.
@Olmaz I've been playing this on Switch for the past few months. The "Shooting" is really using your pick-axe like a boomerang and isn't as prominent as a gameplay mechanic. The jumping is to avoid pitfalls and getting attacked in lieu of a dash button. The jumping isn't broken, it just feels dissatisfying in place of a dash button. With that being said, to answer your latter question, the progression cycle is incredibly rewarding and the "buffs" you can gain on each run are either incredibly interesting or super useful.
@KonkeyDong64 Thanks for the answer... I must admit being wary still about the game... a rogue-lite without very strong gameplay mechanics sounds very frustrating in the long run, but I guess I'll try it one day with a deep sale (or if it comes on PS+).
What's the price on this? I'm super interested
@AFCC Only £13.99 - few quid cheaper than I expected tbh. Decent price, will still wait for sale though. Stay strong.
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