Core Keeper Gameplay Preview

Developed by Pugstorm, published by Fireshine Games – March 8, 2022 (PC)
*MSRP: $12.99 –

If you know me, I have a certain weakness towards games that have a lot of mindless mining. If I can strip the earth bare of its natural resources, that’s a game for me. I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before but I want to be the guy who made the world of The Lorax possible. So naturally, I gravitate towards survival crafting games since they let you mine and chop down trees to your heart’s content. Core Keeper is one such game as well!

The humble mushroom will be enough to keep you from starving to death.

The premise of the game is pretty much similar to other survival crafting games. You have a basic health and hunger meter to maintain. Health goes down whenever you take damage from enemies and is replenished by food items, much like hunger. If you fill your hunger bar to the max, you get bonuses for being well fed such as having a slight increase to your movement speed, damage, and etc.

The game starts you off in the middle of a massive map surrounded by endless dirt walls. You can use your pickaxe and start mining in any direction you want but your tools do degrade when you use them so it’s advisable to mine towards ores and points of interest. There’s a lot of mining and harvesting to do in this game. It feels pretty similar to a game like Terraria but instead of the map having verticality, it just spreads out horizontally.

Ahh, endless mining. My old and bestest friend.

There’s really no hand holding in this game. It just dumps you into the middle of the map and you have to figure everything out on your own. If this is your first time playing a survival crafting game, you may want to look up some guides but since I’ve played so many, this was familiar territory to me. You mine ores, smelt them, craft better crafting stations so you can mine even better ores and craft even better gear. It’s a nice repetitive and mindless loop that rewards constant grind. This kind of loop is satisfying to me because surviving in the very beginning is kind of tough but as you get better gear, it becomes much easier. You see a visible representation of yourself getting stronger in the game thanks to mindless grinding.

Needless to say I died during this encounter, if you notice my health bar.

As for objectives in the game, the map does have bosses you need to defeat. The first is a massive slime that bounces around, leaving slime trails behind that slow you down. I was pretty unprepared to fight this boss so I was summarily defeated. When you die in the game, you drop your inventory but you can run back and pick it up again so there’s very little pressure for dying, unless you dropped a massive inventory in a hard to reach place. In that case, my condolences.

Overall, Core Keeper is a solid survival crafting game that will provide hours and hours of fun grind. It probably doesn’t have the same amount of content games like Terraria or Starbound have, which have been around for a long while, but it’s sure to provide a fun experience for those looking for a new survival crafting game to play.

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