So I was playing Super Motherload from XGen Studios. This mining simulator has you playing as a mining crew member in their drilling vehicle which digs down, collects minerals, then flies back up for fuel, deposits, repairs, and upgrades. As I was playing this game, I realized something:
I can’t stop. I don’t know why, but I can’t. Even as I sit here typing this review, I’m beginning to get nervous just thinking about it. I need to keep drilling. What’s down there? I don’t know, but I have all these tunnels I still need to clear.
The funny thing is, Super Motherload isn’t even that “fun” in a traditional sense. It’s like a more stressful Dig-Dug crossed with Bomberman. You dig down in almost a similar mechanic as the retro arcade game, then collect gold or silver or iron or whatever ores you happen across. Sometimes there are obstacles in the way so you blow them up with C4. See? Dig-Dug and Bomberman. All the while, you’re keeping an eye on your health and fuel because if it runs out while you’re down there, well that’s the end of the line for you.
And that’s the game.
Along the way, the deeper you go, you start getting mysterious transmissions and such that covers the surprisingly comprehensive narrative of a Cold War between the US and Soviet Union in an alternate future, but honestly I stopped caring. All I could think about was digging down again, coming back up for upgrades and going back down. I began growing enamored with my tunnels. The fact that I created a path which allowed me maximum efficiency when digging downward and speedily flying back up. I think I may have actually missed the point of this game by solely focusing on the dig.
The game is actually a co-op multiplayer, multi-linear story game with story from Image Comics’ Kurtis Wiebe. There are 10 fully-voiced characters to play and unlock, and a procedurally operated level-system so no single playthrough is the same.
I didn’t care.
I just kept digging because that was what I was set on doing. The art style evokes 1980s Cold War aesthetics, but again, I was just there to dig. There is something about this game that caught me in a unique position where I was so focused on the most basic of the gameplay elements the rest of the game soon became a bit superfluous. I don’t know if it’s just me, or if this was the game’s intent all along, but I found myself lost within the myriad of tunnels I had constructed for myself.
So bottom line, I became a bit addicted to the digging and gathering aspects of the game, and that’s fine because it’s a quality title. I have issues with the music looping at almost weird intervals when the music goes dead for minutes before starting back up, but that’s pretty much my only complaint. If you’re like me and have some strange affinity for tunnel building, then 5/5 for this game. However, if you’re just a person that wants to enjoy a quality video game with a pretty fun, if repetitive game mechanic, interesting story, quality production, then Super Motherload is a game that should easily be worth checking out. I just can’t guarantee you’ll get the same obsessive streak I found myself developing.
[+Found my affinity for digging paths in the ground][+Cool art style][+Fully voiced][-Gameplay a bit repetitive, especially solo][-Music looping issues]