Super Motherload Review: You have to dig deeper
There seems to be an ever increasing demand for games that revolve around mining. Minecraft made it hugely popular, and from there, a surge of games utilizing mining mechanics just kept coming. Hidden beneath Super Motherload's casual appearance is a relatively hardcore game that will not only have you glued to your controller for hours on end working towards your next upgrade, but it will also test your skills the deeper you descend, with some devilish level designs. Oh, and they're always random.
Super Motherload doesn't ask much of you. Simply dig and bring back whatever materials you find so you can sell them off and upgrade your rig. However, your rig has a limited amount of fuel, so you're constantly tasked with making trips back up to refuel. The better your rig is, the deeper you'll be able to venture.
The act of actually digging for materials isn't as straightforward. Minerals on their own won't fetch a lot of money, but you can get more bang for your buck selling smelted materials. The act of smelting brings a relatively deep puzzle element to the game. By digging for minerals and allowing them to fuse into each other, they become new minerals of increasing rarity. This will force players to think before they dig and plan their routes strategically.
Of course it isn't just soil that's hidden beneath the surface of Mars. You'll eventually come across various blocks that will either require an upgraded rig to get through, or simply alternate routes. Since each playthrough randomizes the layouts of the level, you'll always be kept on your toes.
In order to find success, you'll want to constantly provide your rig with new upgrades and skills, which will either give it more fuel, better hull. You'll also want to buy and upgrade a set of bombs, which become absolutely essential the deeper you go.
Super Motherload isn't devoid of story, though. As you descend, you're prompted with various audio logs that will often task you with deviating from your dig assignment to go fetch for an item. The story itself gets darker in tone, becoming a better fit for its darker environment the deeper you are below ground.
It's not an easy game by any means, and getting the hang of it will literally require you to grasp the controls, since they tend to be very sensitive, especially when trying to fly out of the ground.
The game can be played by four players total in local co-op, but after trying to play with just one more player, I found that the game is much more enjoyable, not to mention manageable, when playing on my own. It's not impossible, but since your fuel is now shared by everyone on the team, it can get chaotic when you're not all coordinated.
Out of all the digital launch games, Super Motherload is one to give you hours of enjoyment, simply based on its high replaybility. Not only are the level layouts different each time, skills and upgrades shift around as well, which will usually drastically change up the way you play.