I recently got the chance to get my hands-on with Undermine for the Xbox One, an action-adventure rogue-like game. Find out how I got on with it, what my impressions of it are, and if I’d replay it again. So get your pick ax’s at the ready and let’s get dug in.
I played Undermine on Xbox recently and had the chance to review it. Undermine has been in Early Access since August 2019 when it was released on Steam, fast forward a year later to August 2020 and the game has now exited early access and is available across the board, including Xbox One and Xbox Game Pass. Undermine was developed and published by Thorium Entertainment. The game is a roguelike with a few RPG elements that are thrown into it for good measure.
A difficult game
You play as a lonely peasant who is thrown into an array of adventures, enemies, quests, and dungeons. What’s worth noting about the game is that it’s very hard, so if challenging games are your thing then I think you will find this ideal. When starting up the game itself you aren’t presented with an option to change any difficulty, it’s set to one, this lack of feature bothered me slightly as I’m the kind of player who will change the setting to easy or normal, just so I have the chance to kick back and chill.
You die ALOT in the game and I’m not exaggerating on that. Health is scarce and so you may want to bear that in mind when you dive into it. Make sure you take advantage of picking up items from the shop keeper, you have the chance to pick up quite a bit of coin so be sure to use that on upgrading your armor and weapons as well as using it for special abilities and items. Another reason to use your coin is that each time you die, you lose quite a chunk of what you’ve already looted.
New character every time
Every time you die in Undermine your character changes, for example, you could start out as playing Dodson, and when you do die you then come back as Elizella. In my opinion, this is a positive as it gives you the chance to play various characters and not get burned out by playing the same one.
What I found really interesting about the game is how many doors, ladders, etc you could go through, you never know what’s going to be behind there until you enter. You could walk down one ladder and you could be met with enemies who try stealing your coin or booby traps in the middle of the room. Another door could lead you to a shop keeper, whilst another could lead you to a more difficult enemy, the neverending mechanics of how the game throws different challenges at you is very fun and even if you do find the game too difficult you’ll still have a good time with it.
The music that accompanies the game is exquisite, it really sets the tone of the game and makes you feel like you have a pick-ax on your back and you’re ready to take on whatever adventure the game throws at you. The game, however, doesn’t have any save feature, meaning whenever you die you go right back to where you started…the beginning.
My final thoughts
Undermine is a very difficult game, there is no denying that however even though I did get quite frustrated with it at times I still enjoyed it. The design is simple yet effective and even with its difficulty the game still manages to keep you wanting to carry on. Couple this with the soundtrack, the various characters that you’re made to play and Thorium Entertainment has a winning indie game on their hands. The only thing I would change in the game would be perhaps putting in a difficulty setting, even if it’s just normal or hard, just so that it appeals to every kind of player. With the game being on Xbox and PC Game Pass it’s definitely worth picking up just so you can get a feel for it.
I’d give the game a solid 8/10. Undermine is now available on Steam, Mac, Xbox One, and Game Pass.