In Undermine, you take control of one out of an endless supply of peasants. Ordered by the archmage Arkanos to go down into the mines and find the source of the mysterious earthquakes that have been plaguing the area, exploring the randomly generated dungeon in this amazing new roguelite! Gathering gold from the rocks in the mine as you fight monsters, but beware, as the precious amber nuggets hit the floor, a new danger shows its face, the Goldthieves known as the Pilfers, a race of adorable slimes that madly dash for your gilded treasure.
As you explore more and find chests bursting with treasure, you will stumble across relic rooms. These give you passive upgrades to help you along the way, such as increasing mobility, healing you, or aiding your offensive abilities.
One of the moments I’ll never forget is the run where I keep finding upgrades to my throwing skill and then finding the legendary hammer of Thor, “Mjölnir”, and got to decimate everything and everyone that dared stand in my way as I charged towards victory.
When you inevitably meet your end in the mines, one of the other peasants take your place, and the cute little canary that follows you will save a percentage of the gold that you gathered, enabling you to spend said gold on a whole heap of upgrades! And as you explore more you can unlock new NPCs that will move into the starting area, unlocking more upgrades to help with your runs. and once you have unlocked the blacksmith, you can gather up blueprints for new items, and spend the other permanent resource Thorium.
Once you have gathered enough strength and powerups you are ready to defeat the first real boss Selt, Lord of the sands. who guards the key to the next area, and also a medallion that will show up in a portal north of the stores in the starting area, giving you a mystery to figure out that will only show itself after you’ve beaten a run. Speaking of mysteries, there is a chance of secret rooms spawning that you have to break into with a bomb, giving you that high satisfaction of finding hidden loot that you may have missed if you didn’t see that little sparkle in the wall.
The game feels highly inspired by The Binding of Isaac and Enter the Gungeon as well as oozing nostalgic Legend of Zelda vibes. Despite this, Undermine still stands strong on its own merit, with a strong musical presence that accompanies your adventures into the mines and dungeons.
Once you beat your first run you also unlock the summoning stone, which works similarly to boss cells from Dead Cells. The bosses come back but are harder for each summoning stone. giving Undermine great replayability. That is a win, because you get to spend more time in this absolute diamond of a game.
Thorium was kind enough to give me a copy of this game on Switch, and I can tell you that I instantly fell in love with it, and after a day or two I bought another copy so I could play it on pc as well, and the game works great on both platforms. The only issue I had on Switch was that I kept using my bombs because I wasn’t used to the controls, but that is also avoidable since this game allows you to customize the controls to fit your playstyle, and this is something I wish more console games would allow you to do.
Undermine – Is it worth it?
I love this game, and I will play it for many years to come. Any fan of the genre should give this a go. with the current retail price of £15.49 it’s a bargain, giving you mountains of content for your money. Why are you still reading this?! GO! Buy the game and have an adventure!