Some of the best games have been arguably the creative and sandbox games like Valheim, Stardew Valley, Minecraft etc. This new game is just like that. Core Keeper is an Early Access, Exploration-like game with a vague storyline. It also has a good skill tree and decent graphics. Fireshine Games has published Sniper Elite 4, Overcooked, Yooka-Laylee, and the Impossible Lair. The Developers Pugstorm has one other game: Radical Rabbit Stew.
Graphics and Gameplay
Core Keeper is a top-down, RPG game. The graphics are fairly simple, nothing overly complicated: nice color composition with a good light to dark blend. There are several skills that you can increase by doing successful actions (more on this under Mechanics). There are world bosses to kill in order to advance gameplay. You can craft various items, building components, as well as weapons and armor. Mining is a big part of the game in order to explore the whole map. Explore biomes, ruins, or find food and seeds. Eating is another big component in order to heal and survive; you can fish for some foods if you’d rather fish than farm. Please note that cooking is a major aspect and different base foods provide certain bonuses that are very useful against bosses and enemies.
There are various enemies and mini bosses to fight. Once the main bosses are defeated, they each unlock a new NPC merchant who will buy and sell items that provide assistance in crafting. After each boss is killed, the NPC’s shop expands.
Character Creation is not entirely simple. The creation of the appearance is fairly easy, just hit the arrows until you find something you like. There are a few options under each category for the creation. The surprising and hardest decision in the character creation is the background/class. Choose one of seven backgrounds that have their own perks which you can see in the gallery below. Alternatively, you could go Nomad for a slight challenging start.
The opening scene starts with a group of explorers. Upon feeling a presence, the group finds an artifact. Being drawn to it, you touch the stone and are teleported to a new world. This world is underground and now you must learn the secrets of the portal (aka Core). In order to return home, you must activate the core. In order to do this you need to defeat three bosses and collect their cores. The main bosses are as follows:
- Glurch the Abominous Mass
- Ghorm the Devourer
- The Hive Mother
Once the bosses are defeated, you take their core’s to their respective statues at the Core. This will power up the core and you’ll have to play to find out what happens next.
Core Keeper uses standard keyboard and mouse movement. The placement of the mouse determines which direction your avatar is facing. As stated before, every Action builds up a skill in which there are nine. Each skill will earn points for the talent tree to aid in that skill. The following is what increases the skills as well as what the talent tree can offer.
Excavating walls increases your mining skill
- Efficient excavation
- Increase ore gathering
- Add mining damage to melee damage
- Increase mining sights
- Increase mining speed
Running is the easiest to increase by simply walking around and playing
- Less stamina consumed when running
- Increase dodge chance
- Movement speed
Successful attacks will increase your Melee skill
- Attack speed
- Increased damage
- Increased knockback
- Small chance of restoring health when damaging enemies
Killing enemies increases your Vitality skill
- Cause damage when at low/Full health
- Increased effectiveness when using potions to heal
Crafting items increases your physical durability
- Increased amount when crafting
- Chance of tools and weapons to not lose durability
- Increased armor when low health
Successful Ranged attacks increases Ranged combat.
- Increase consecutive use damage
- Increase crit chance
- Increase stun chance
Tilling the ground, harvesting plants increases the Gardening skill.
- Increase chance to gain a seed
- Chance to not consume water when using watering can
- Chance to apply poison on hit
- Chance that plants planted by you become golden
- Increased damage against poisoned targets
- Chance of fish to start closer to be reeled in
- Improved bait
- Increase range to throw fishing rod
- Increased damage against bosses after eating fish food
- Well fed buffs can increase
- Increase attack speed
- Increase chance for additional food gained from cooking
Most of what is needed is laying around. However, many things are not an infinite source. Meaning you will have to grow your own food and increase Gardening so as not to use all the resources. Any wall or ground that is shoveled or mined becomes an item in your inventory capable of being placed.
Equipment can be found in the world or crafted. There is three armor slots, one lighting slot. Also there is a backpack slot, two ring slots, and finally a necklace slot. You start with a decent sized inventory that can be increased. You can also see the total stats of your health, armor, and how much damage you are currently capable of. You can see all these stats by clicking on the center button above the image of your character when in your inventory.
The best part, is that one character can travel between worlds, as well as any items that character has on them. This is useful as all the bosses have rare drops, but early game the bosses do not respawn currently. If you wanted to farm the bosses for that rare drop, you would need to create a new world. Alternatively you can get to end game and craft the item that can re-summon the bosses.
The final mechanic is that you can play with your friends on multiple worlds. Core Keeper currently supports up to 8 people in a world.
After playing 22 hours in this game, it is a nice game to play, but definitely more geared towards a multiplayer aspect. Trying to play alone, even with high armor and weapon, I was unable to defeat Glurch alone. I did not focus much on cooking, which I would need to do to increase damage and healing. I would also need to work on obtaining healing potions. The map unveils as you explore and, once you have the cartographer table, everyone can share map progress. The game overall is fun to explore and build. It’s fun to find new plants, creating new food. As an Early Access game, it is pretty great, and I hope they eventually add a Creative/Sandbox mode to allow another way to play with future updates. Also, it could allow us to create our own worlds with challenges for our friends.
Mom of three, enjoy videogames, board games and phone games. I typically am playing Simulation games or FPS games.