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UnderMine

Dwelve deep into the UnderMine and discover its secrets, one peasant at a time! UnderMine is an action-adventure roguelike that blends combat and dungeon crawling with rpg-like progression. Mine gold, die, upgrade yourself, and try again! Discover hundreds of items including relics, potions, blessings, and curses that all combo and stack for a new experience every run. Challenge dangerous bosses and rescue helpful characters that provide new upgrades for your adventure. Decipher the cryptic messages of the Undermine’s residents and unfold the mystery at the heart of the dungeon. Discover relics, potions, prayers, blessings, and even curses to forge that perfect run. Watch as items pop off and combo with one another to make a god peasant of destruction. Discover friendly (and some unfriendly) characters in need of rescue. After returning them safe to the mine's hub they will offer powerful upgrades that can be used from run to run. Explore every nook and cranny to discover hundreds of secrets. New relics, potions, characters, and story bits lay behind the statues, rocks, and walls of each floor. Each area of the UnderMine contains one (or more!) deadly boss that will test planning, patience, strategy, and skill. Prepare well, because a test awaits!
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

"A peasant and his Arch-mage lived alone in a small mine under a hill..."
I won't be original and say it: Undermine is Isaac wearing Link's skin, which sounds more eldrich than it is, I swear. The cute abomination is a roguelite with action-adventure vibes and some attitude. Your hero, a mere peasant, of which the game cheekily reminds you constantly, is summoned by the Arch-mage to investigate the earthquakes coming from the mines and this is the whole premise.
Mouthwatering Visuals
The first thing I noted was how finely crafted the game is, the artistry is almost impeccable. Beautiful animation and chunky pixel art make the wide array of enemies and diverse environments feel almost edible. Too bad that, aside from some weapon and bomb alterations, the acquired equipment doesn't display on your character. But to think of it, it was thematically coherent with Isaac's body horror theme, perhaps it just wouldn't be worth the effort in this setting. Speaking of which, it can look a bit generic sometimes, but I wouldn't call it bland.
Controls: Your Fault/10
Swinging, jumping, and throwing a pickaxe feels good. If for some reason you prefer swinging in melee, then pick up a controller. I, on the other hand, opted for mouse+keyboard for throwing right away and didn't regret my choice. It made maneuvering between the spikes and the pits somewhat awkward, but the ability to aim precisely and thus kill stuff from afar more easily compensated for the handicapped movement tenfold. I found jumping, your main survival tool, superior to standard dashes and rolls in terms of versatility alone. Lastly, all sorts of collision detection seemed fair, it always felt like my fault when I failed.
Busy Meta - Happy Death
Welcome back to the land of the livin'... Now pick up a shovel and get diggin'!
- Deadite Captain
Undermine doesn't explain itself much, but it doesn't have to. Trial and error is an entertaining, yet stern teacher, so prepare to die a lot, falling for every beginner's trap there is. My first undignified death happened when I got robbed by slimes, was set on fire, didn't find water fast enough, then stepped in a puddle of poison. To really make sure, you know. On the bright side, Undermine doesn't let you be upset about death for too long.
In fact, it nails it. Here, repetition is addictive rather than jarring, at no point did a run feel like a grind to me. As familiarity grew, so did my skill, which ended up creating a gratifying loop. I was able to make better decisions and delve deeper almost every run. Everything I did felt so involving! Suffice to say that they've succeeded at turning mere gold collecting into a fun mechanic where you have to fight them crooked pilfers for every penny. Surprisingly, it didn't get old.
Not least thanks to the substantial meta-upgrades, I felt like every run mattered. After dying, you're usually left with enough resources to upgrade some stats and abilities, craft, or buy something in the hub. Progressing the meta not only improves your peasant and unlocks droves of new items, but also adds new types of enemies and even rooms to each floor. Besides, the sheer variety of items that impact the gameplay, sometimes completely transforming it, makes each descent a thrilling experience all the way through.
Reasonable Highs, Manageable Lows
And said thrill doesn't come from relying on luck alone. Milk runs happen, although they don't get as out of hand as Isaac's and you don't really need them to win. What's more important is that no run is doomed. Sure, you can get unlucky, drag through a couple of floors while dry on keys and bombs, not being able to get to a shop or pocket any relics. But regularly, these are but temporal setbacks. Before you know it, the next floor may suddenly shower you with opportunities to turn the tables. Honestly, I didn't expect to have so much agency.
The profound risk\reward management system in place doesn't only concern traditional things like keys, health, and bombs. You'll constantly find special rooms and collect a plethora of different goodies. Every little thing demands a degree of decision-making on your part during your run and in the hub. Trade power for time by using a shortcut? How do I spend my gold and thorium? Should I sell this relic or maybe leave it at the altar for my next run? And don't get me started on juggling blessings and curses. You'll have to think ahead, be strategic with your prayers, potions, and purchases or end up choking on afflictions.
Bosses
Here's where Undermine gets firmly linked to the past, becoming truly indistinguishable from Zelda in terms of looks, difficulty, and mechanics. The bosses' difficulty ranges from easy to moderate and their comparatively plain and clear patterns can be busy, yet never turn into sheer bullet hell. It may sound disappointing to some of you who like their boss fights complex and hardcore, but it was such a relief to me, a filthy casual.
Furthermore, each boss drops a one-time bunch of special treasure and a shortcut after its first death... and then you won't have to face it ever again! If only for a load of gold. No one will ever make me mess with Noori without a good reason, screw that Hail To The King achievement. I know, It's a weak mindset that stems from my limited mental capabilities when it comes to patience and learning. To give you an idea, I once watched 26 whole episodes of anime dedicated solely to mahjong and still didn't get the rules.
Good Luck, Peasant!
As you can see, I can hardly find anything bad to say about the game. I've seen some people claiming that it's grindy, which is simply not true for a normal playthrough. A couple of them complained that it's too easy, but I strongly object! Not only because I found Undermine's level of challenge suitable for my personal needs, but because of all the additional service it provides to those who want more and want it harder. To me, 20 hours of playtime hits the sweet spot, yet if you want replayability, you'll find it grandiose here.
After completing the mine for the first time you are free to explore the Othermine, which is a game within a game - more procedural dungeons with randomized conditions, environments, upgrades, enemies, and bosses! Debuff yourself with a few hexes to make life worse and go for it. Not enough? Get stepped on by the ever-changing daily quests with their own peculiar rules. I rest my case.
To celebrate, here's a sassy limerick I've composed for the heck of it:
There once was a peasant so bold
Who had quite a passion for gold.
But it went out of kilter,
He got robbed by a pilfer
And henceforth he's vexed with the world.
In conclusion, you can't lose when you deal with this gem, which got it all covered and then some. Evidently, it didn't grip me as hard as Isaac did, but I don't think any game could. Your first great roguelite is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, after all. Being moderately challenging and devoid of mandatory grind, Undermine could easily be a starting point for people who are yet to relish the fruits of the genre or simply a fun pastime for everyone else.
My curator Big Bad Mutuh

Review from Steam

Undermine is a very well made rogue-like, where you need to defeat a huge amount of enemies and bosses by swinging and throwing your axe. On your way you'll discover chests and shops with useful potions, weapons, items, blessings (and curses) to make life easier (or harder) for you.
While I enjoyed the 16 hours I've spent in this game, I decided to stop playing because it's such a HUGE grind. To upgrade your health and damage or to unlock new stuff, you need to gather a ridiculous amount of coins by playing the same area's over and over again. Without these upgrades and better unlocks, it's almost impossible to beat the next area because of the very high difficulty. I'm aware this is a common thing in rogue-likes, but I felt like it's more extreme in Undermine than in other games I've played in this genre.
Only recommended if you're willing to spend many, many hours in grinding coins before being able to make some decent progress. With hundreds of games in my backlog and on my wish list, this is obviously not for me.

Review from Steam

If you ever get bored of Binding of Isaac, this game is a capable replacement. From the bombs to destroy rocks and keys to open certain rooms, it even has the devil's room that offers you items in exchange for receiving curses. However, certain distinctions need to be made, you will collect gold in the game (losing some when you die), which can be used to buy permanent upgrades (like +damage, +hp, +range etc) or situational items. Unfortunately, this makes the game feels much more repetitive. You also only get to play with one same character (referred to as "peasant" in game). You are allowed to change the appearance and gender but that's about it. I will still give this game a tentative yes, especially If you have a soft spot for roguelike games. Give it a try, you might last longer than me.

Review from Steam

This is one of my favourite rogue-like games which successfully blends the classic procedural generation of dungeon crawlers with a progression system which makes the game easier the more you play it. The overall gameplay, items, and controls work well to create a well rounded game. The game does get grindy if you decide to go for the more difficult achievements, as bosses will begin to take nearly all your health with a single hit past the 15 summoning stone run. Despite the grindy nature of the game at a certain point I am still enjoying it and will have well over 100 hours soon.

Review from Steam

It's not insanely difficult like other games of that genre. You make progress even when you die. You keep some of your gold and buy new stuff that permanently makes you stronger before you start a new run. Later on in the game you unlock more difficult stuff and modes, like a real rogue-like mode. And then you are experienced enough for the higher challenge. Overall I liked the way how you progress in Undermine. And the new 1.2 update brought daily runs that make the game even more replayable.

Review from Steam

This game is my first rogue-like, rogue-lite experience and i'm so glad it is. I honestly cannot recommend this game enough it has a lot of replay-ability and it's pixel art is phenomenal. Although i have finished this game story line wise i still can go back to it and play it for other stuff. One of my favourite game, i really really enjoy my time when i play this.

Review from Steam

Undermine Review
TLDR: A great Roguelike experience beginner friendly that can also appeal to veterans. It will require some dexterity but I did not feel the urge to punch my screen.
Pros:
Great game loop with satisfying meta progression through unlocks and upgrades
Art is adorable
Luck involved but not too much
Cons:
While hardcore Rogue options become available, the mechanics remain more simple than the ones of the old games of this genre