Undermine from Thorium Entertainment is an outstanding roguelike action-adventure on Nintendo Switch. Learn more in our Undermine review!
Undermine from Thorium Entertainment is a roguelike action-adventure on Nintendo Switch with an addictive gameplay loop that will keep you busy for a while. You’ll be playing as a peasant, and then another peasant, and then another peasant, as you slowly but surely make some progress through the game after dying a ton of times. The mine which you will explore hides many secrets and is suffering from a series of very dangerous earthquakes. You must try to find the source of the earthquakes, as you also search for the missing blacksmith, the merchants, and other people who are not at their usual stations.
As you take a look at the game’s trailer and the screens for this Undermine review, you’ll probably start to think about The Legend of Zelda series – particularly of the old-school variety of top-down adventures from ages past. While Undermine certainly pays homage to Nintendo’s beloved The Legend of Zelda, this game ends up doing its own thing by giving us a fun take on the tried and true roguelike formula to provide an endless supply of procedurally generated mines to explore.
You’ll move your character with the left analog stick, jumping with the B button, and swinging your pickaxe with the Y button. The A button will be used for placing bombs – if you have any on you – while the X button will be used for drinking one of the potions in your inventory, which you can select by pressing left and right on the D-Pad. The X button will also be used for interacting. The D-Pad will also be used for zooming in on the map by pressing up. You can throw your pickaxe like a boomerang with the R button.
Along with the key that opens the door to the mine, you will also collect a journal. The journal is very important since it will be used to register a ton of valuable information. You will get to learn about your current peasant’s health, swing damage, throw damage, bomb damage, as well as the discovered relics, potions, blessings, and curses. The journal will also have a Bestiary section with data o all of the enemies you’ve met in the dungeon, an Items section for everything you’ve found or crafted, a Familiars tab with information on the companions you’ve unlocked, and a tab with information on your total runs, toral wins, the toral gold gained, damage dealt, damage taken, enemies killed, biggest hit dealt, and the highest numbers for a single run in max HP, enemies killed, gold gained, gold spent, bombs used, keys used, potions used, relics held, curses held, rocks destroyed, and total damage taken.
And then, we have the Feats tab. It is here that you will get to learn more about the 96 objectives you can complete while playing Undermine, which function as an in-game achievements system. These objectives will include rescuing each of the missing individuals, entering new areas of the mine, defeating the different bosses you will battle, fully upgrading the pickaxe, gloves, tunic, counter weight, and bombs, expanding the potion slot, crafting a bunch of potions, crafting a ton of relics, dying hundreds of times, or maxing out a familiar’s levels, to name some examples.
Your journey will begin with a short tutorial dungeon that will teach you the basics. After this, you’ll get to jump down further into the mine to start your first run. At first, you’ll end up fighting rats, moths, and blobs as you try to stay alive by avoiding their attacks and the different hazards you will find. Hazards include bottomless pits, spinning buzzsaws, spikes that pop out of the ground, exploding barrels, pools of oil that can catch fire, with some rooms featuring an “all of the above” design.
Since you’ll be exploring a dangerous mine, odds are you’ll be collecting a lot of gold. You can get gold by using your pickaxe to chip away at specific spots or from opening one of the many treasure chests you’ll find, but you need to be quick, or else you might lose it to the pilfers! Pilfers are small blob-like creatures that will rush into action as soon as there’s some gold on the screen. You need to attack them so that they don’t steal your gold, or else they’ll grab it and run away in a flash!
When you die – not if, but when -, you will lose half of your gold but will get to keep the rare Thorium you find. Be sure to use the gold to purchase items that can be passed on from dead peasant to dead peasant so that you can work towards extending your subsequent runs into the mine. A pair of glasses so that you can peep at your enemies names and health, a gecko’s foot that makes it possible to collect gold from a distance, or a salt shaker that greatly increases the effectiveness of the food you can eat to recover some of your lost health are only some examples of the items you can buy.
Rescue the blacksmith, and he’ll be able to craft you powerful relics based on the many blueprints you can find inside of the mine – as long as you have enough Thorium to pay for his services. The blacksmith is also who you should visit if you want to upgrade your tunic, pickaxe, gloves, and counter weight, or if you want to improve your gold sack so that you lose less gold when you die. Rescue Dodson, and he’ll be able to purchase boosts to your bomb’s damage or upgrade them so that they can destroy new types of rocks.
Undermine is a very fun roguelike action-adventure on Nintendo Switch with a very addictive gameplay loop and an overall feel that certainly pays homage to the wonderful The Legend of Zelda series while still doing its own thing. You’ll spend dozens of hours playing this one as you try to find all of the items, relics, blessings – and curses -, as well as securing enough gold to fully upgraded your never-ending army of peasants. There are dozens of enemies to battle, several bosses to fight, a ton of items to aid you on your quest, feats to complete, secret rooms to open by bombing walls, and secret rooms inside of said secret rooms. Undermine is out now on Nintendo Switch with a $19.99 asking price, and it’s a must-play on the console.
This Undermine review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Thorium Entertainment.