UnderMine Review for Switch

UnderMine feels like someone distilled the 2D Zelda dungeons into a rogue-lite.

It’s a new approach to the rogue-lite genre that is increasingly filled with imitators. That being said, UnderMine is one of the better imitations riding on the coattails of great games. It offers some unique gameplay that’s balanced by relics, blessings, and curses. Let’s take a deep dive into what makes this one of the best rogue-lites to play on Switch.

Concept – A Zelda-inspired Rogue-Lite

UnderMine draws plenty of inspiration from games that have come before it, like The Binding of Isaac and Enter the Gungeon. However, it refines these fast-paced, bullet-hell twin-stick shooters into something that resembles more of an RPG. There’s an actual story that focuses on progression, so you feel like you’re making progress as you send endless peasants into the mines.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Gameplay – A Pleasant Peasant Meat Grinder

Players start the game as a randomly generated peasant plopped into a dungeon before a wizard. You’re tasked with delving into the deeps and finding out what’s causing the terrible tremors you can feel and hear throughout your runs. Each room of the floor is filled with enemies, loot, and traps that are randomly generated.

The player character has a jump that serves as a dodge, as well as a melee and thrown attack. It feels pretty basic when you’re first starting out, but mining gold and returning with a portion of it after death soon lets you buy upgrades to grow stronger. In turn, many of the characters you can rescue like the blacksmith and bomb-maker help you on your journey.

UnderMine takes a unique approach to relics that enhance your gameplay. You can collect Thorium by defeating bosses and blueprints from random chests. Finding a blueprint for the relic will allow you to craft it if you have enough Thorium. It’s a way to start runs with a guaranteed relic you love – if you have the Thorium to do so.

Undermine on Switch Review

The gameplay loop is slower than The Binding of Isaac, but I found the pace more enjoyable for someone who enjoys RPGs more than twin-stick shooters. There are also fewer viable builds than some of the other games in the genre. Most successful builds revolve around swinging fast with crits, or a ricochet thrown pick ax build. Bomb builds can do more harm than good, since they’re less useful in combat.

UnderMine relics

UnderMine also introduces loot pilferers that show up to steal any gold you may mine. A companion canary can help you gather the gold before these little green gremlins show up. It helps make the pace of the level feel more frantic if you accidentally harvest a gold rock with a bomb before combat is over.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Graphics & Audio

The graphical art style of UnderMine seems to be divisive in the rogue-lite community. It has an ultra-realistic pixel-art style that feels inspired by Stoneshard. The characters themselves are cutesy cartoon representations of monsters and people. The boss fights in the game feel a little underwhelming compared to Enter the Gungeon and The Binding of Isaac.

Bosses in those games feel like insurmountable foes, while bosses in UnderMine feel like a minor annoyance. The soundtrack is decidedly middle-of-the-road fantasy that feels somewhat inspired by The Legend of Zelda series. It’s serviceable and doesn’t grate on the ears over long play sessions.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Switch Issues – UnderMine Review on Switch

Undermine Dungeon

The Switch version of UnderMine performs well with no issues on text size or loading times. You start a new run in plenty of time and navigating the bestiary and the glossary that the wizard gives you is snappy. I experienced no crashes while playing the game and have sunk over 30 hours of gameplay into it.

Conclusion

UnderMine is a gorgeous rogue-lite with slower-paced gameplay and a story with goals to follow. Purchasing upgrades with the gold you mine makes the game feel like an extended session inside the Stardew Valley mine. Luckily, the relics, blessings, and curse systems bring some variety as you delve further in the dungeons.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

TL/DR –

A slow-paced, RPG-inspired version of The Binding of Isaac and Enter the Gungeon for rogue-lite fans to enjoy.

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