Played a bit of this just to try it out.

Their interface is still as shit as it was the first time through. Incredibly difficult to work out what is what and how things work the various module controls for stuff on the drillship are not really explained and because of the design half the time they are positioned behind other stuff.

It's not very clear what you are supposed to be doing it has some sort of tutorial and quest system but it does tend to just abandon you and not explain what it is you are supposed to learn. It has you upgrade stuff but it never really explains how that works what the sort of tradeoffs are. There are production stations and workbenches which seem to be the same thing not sure why there is both. Inventory management is weird.

Not sure what the gameplay loop is seems to just be beat up robots harvest their stuff run out of inventory repeat.

Maybe it'll make more sense when there is actual coop but so far not really sure about this one.


I played a bunch last night - I spent equal time having fun and writing notes about style/design for Clomper. Volcanoids is all very copper and brass metal, whereas I want to go more Victoriana - wallpaper, wood, some brass, leather and so on. And rugs. I'm eventually going to have rugs.

Good bits
I like the concept of "Volcano is coming, better fucking run!". It gives an interesting dimension to "ooh, what's that over there? Can I get there and back in time?".

It's not a bad shooter - although I find myself sniping with the pistol from a distance - two good shots in the glowing eye is enough.

I like that they get back up if you're not careful to take them down properly.

I like that you can kill their spawner, although you might have to do it in bits as they can spawn quickly.

Although a little weird, I like how it goes from ash to green, as if they grey melts away.

I'm desperate to make my driller longer, not sure how just yet.

I live moving the driller but I wish I could drive it properly rather than clicking on the map. It feels like a cop-out. The moving base is wonderful but the act of moving it is not satisfying at all.

Bad bits
The machines aren't labelled, so I am not sure what anything does (problem also for Clomper). The tooltips aren't obvious either. I found the "handle to make it go down" by accident with seconds to spare before an eruption. If you're in a tutorial and there is a "death" thing then there needs to be more than a little bit of text saying "hit the handle on the boiler". There are loads of handles FFS, either give me time or make it glow.

The mix of diegetic and classical UI is confusing. Should I be looking at the front of the machine or should I be looking at the pop up? I'd rather they stuck to one or the other. The popup window also strikes me as cluttered and claustrophibic.

Some of the default keybinds are mental. I keep pressing E and it moves all the items in the inventory across. That's bananas.

I'm somewhat bewildered by the upgrading mechanism.

Some of the graphics are janky - which is at odds with other bits that are great.

For SNG?
I think it might be fun for a few sessions because of the draw of making a bigger driller. Fighting with friends will be fun too as you'll be raiding something together, nicking stuff and GTFO. Perhaps not something we'd play for months on end but for a few evenings, I can see it.

brainwipe's picture

so having played it with you chaps on the weekend some thoughts.

I had fun running around smashing up robots and nicking their stuff making their drill ships go boom.

Upgrading once we sort of figured it out a little was pretty fun adding more sections to the drill ship to make a bendy bus was a laugh. I still find the "Stuff modules in the walls and ceiling then cover everything with weird often identical machines that are hard to use" build system very clunky and awkward especially when we got to 3 or four of the stations and they all look identical except for a tiny text box telling you what it is and even then not really what it does.

I liked being able to visit caves and such although it quickly became apparent it was then just like the surface except it seemed like you could dodge the volcano under there which somewhat negates the tension of the timer which I quite liked as a mechanic to keep it a little more interesting than your standard survival.

The weapons seem to improve quite a bit the shotgun just mows them down in one shot even at range and without really needing to aim. I didn't try the grenade out. Not sure why armor does basically nothing I was still taking about the same damage when wearing it and it wasn't depleting much it didn't seem to offer environmental protections so it may just be bugged or useless.

Felt like we reached the end of the content even on that one play session although it did possibly set us up at the end there for some sort of more challenging combat mission which might make things interesting enough for more playtime. We should probably at least try that out before setting this on the shelf of games that are fun but need more content. The whole story aspect seemed a little weak I mean that can drive a game forward raft is a really good example of how to do this and perhaps it does something similar it would be worth one more session to find out we can always bounce to something else if it turns out to be rubbish.

I kinda wish the drill ship was more intergrated the modular nature was interesting but not sure it really added much to the actual gameplay it sort of edges toward tradeoffs between what you fit and power/fuel requirements but then really stops short of that at least so far maybe with more elaborate ships that would be a factor later in the game. It ended up just feeling messy and confusing having all the storage modules be independant with their displays by actually combined internally was odd.

More automation would have been nice it gets partway there with the ability to queue stuff up but if you could set the thing up to auto process the copper or other raw materials and maybe utilities like automatically building ammo and reloading up to some set number. Little things like that would be nice.

The drill ship reminds me of Subnautica Bellow Zero's sea truck only less well implemented that has various specialized modules you can build and dock together and you can even then just disconnect to make the thing more agile and speedy for exploration. As an aside it's a real shame subnautica or subnautic bellow zero doesn't have multiplayer I feel like that would be great with friends it does a great job of survival with story and the possibility of building vast underwater bases and tooling around in various subs, hover bikes, and mech suits.

Anyway interesting game feels like it needs some redesign in it's ui and such but generally fun perhaps it has another session in it hard to tell

Evilmatt's picture