Jumping the Soapbox: Games of 2020 (Part 2)

2020 is almost done, I promise!  Just a FEW more games to cover here and then a few more games in one last piece!  You can look at the games I’ve already covered right here, so let’s continue where we left off!

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Motherload & Super Motherload (PC)

Developed by XGen Studios

Back in the old days when I could still call myself a youngster, Steam was still in its infancy, online gaming as far as I knew was just on Xbox Live, and Flash was the primary way we played games on the internet!  There were plenty of standouts at the time (Cartoon Network had a pretty solid list of games under its belt) but one that still sticks with me to this day is Motherload; more or less the fore bearer of explorative digging games like SteamWorld Dig and Terraria.  I only learned a month or two ago that the developers had gone on to develop a feature rich new version of the game called Super Motherload on Steam, and it even came with the full edition of the original Motherload to really hammer home the changes XGen made in the intervening years.  Perhaps this is nostalgia talking, but the mechanics of the original game hold up AMAZINGLY well with a clear set of incentives and goals to work towards that are spiced up with well don RNG elements.  Sure, you could spend an hour only finding Iron and Silver ore, but the random chance of finding an artifact that will get you that new upgrade you’ve been grinding for is what keeps the game compelling and prevents the gameplay loop from feeling overly repetitive.  However, it’s also a game that could do with a few enhancements and that’s what makes Super Motherload such a great successor.  Smoother animations, streamlined mechanics, and more bells and whistles manage to retain the brilliance of the original design without getting bogged down in the limitations of the time.  Sadly I haven’t been able to delve THAT far into the new version to get a sense of its endgame (and if they retain the bizarre ending of the original) but it was kind of heartwarming to see something I enjoyed as a kid made for a new generation by the very same people who made that first game so much fun to begin with.

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