Super Motherload is an indie game being offered on the PlayStation Network for Sony’s next-generation PS4. The game shows heavy inspiration from the classic retro title Dig Dug and adds layers of objectives to the digging experience. Things aren’t as hum drum as they seem. Beneath the surface of Mars are endless amounts of valuable and useful materials that must be collected for the betterment of mankind as well as the fattening of your pockets. But there’s also sinister experiments going on down there. What’s going on may shock you and will certainly be unexpected in what otherwise appears to be a simple retro reboot of the Dig Dug gameplay style.
While many modern games seem to consume a lot of time, Super Motherload is one that helps pass the time. Players experience a peaceful and calm flow of gameplay that is a great escape and variety from other offerings on the PS4 console. The price of this title is going to deter many gamers away, and the compressed looking trailer may not do the title’s graphics justice. But while Super Motherload is currently the lone standing indie title up for grabs on PSN and hails back to a retro era of simplistic fun, we definitely enjoyed our time with the game.
Story: When you first set your eyes on and start playing Super Motherload you might just expect every level to be a breeze consisting of quick, mindless digging. Luckily the perfect balance is struck between simplistic and fun gaming as well as deeper story-driven moments as each level is a large adventure that uncovers the unexpected plot of Super Motherload. Within the initial levels you’ll find out that the mining company you’re working for may have some interesting secrets to hide and whether or not you’re interested in deviating from your role as a simple worker, these secrets are about to drawn you in deeper into the world of Super Motherload.
Travelling thousands of feet underground beyond the point where others have failed to return from, players will uncover mysteries and untold riches. Eventually the story of Super Motherload accelerates into a choice that must be made concerning the future of Mars and Earth. Without spoiling the game for potential players, it can be said that this decision will weigh heavily on the minds of those who experience this game and provoke deep questions of materialism and loyalism while providing an entertaining result and fueling the player to want even more gameplay out of Super Motherload. Thankfully, after beating the game – more gameplay is provided.
Gameplay: Super Motherload’s gameplay consists mainly of drilling and combos, explosives, upgrades, emeralds, and blocked areas that you can get to after upgrades or blowing them up while being careful not to destroy the precious materials they are surrounding. The game features multiple playable characters which are unlocked as you go. Players start off with 4 playable characters and there’s local co-op for up to four players on one console all playing at once.
While digging through Mars players passively use smelters which can be upgraded to create items out of materials you pick up (for example Explodium which can be used in combination with many materials to create various types of bombs). When you run out of fuel you won’t be able to dig anymore and will have to fly your way back to the nearest fueling station. The game basically consists of one huge level which you continue digging deeper and deeper into. This is pretty cool and surprising. The title will surprise gamers in a few different ways by not really being the type of title expected after seeing its trailer, but in good ways. Sometimes you will get de-ja-vu though as if you’ve already done the exact action you’re about to do since there can be similar arrangements of resources in the rock you’re drilling through.
The way items are built from resources in order to progress to the most deep levels in the game are not immediately apparent and this can cause some frustration at times as you struggle to move forward in the plot due to being unsure how to create the right weapons to pass through blockades set up to force you to stop and explore / play the levels you’ve dug through already.
Once you become comfortable with the way items are generated in the shop and your inventory as a result of your collection of the materials and resources (which also generate your money to buy these items) then you’ll begin to master the game and start having a lot of fun since it’s no longer a mystery and now becomes an adventure you are equipped to face.
Graphics / Art Direction: The look of Super Motherload is that of the retro era. Imagine if you will a retro game being given a high definition touch up and then becoming completely unrestrained thanks to the massive horsepower of advanced game consoles the PlayStation platform offers. The colors used in the title do a good job of differentiating valuables from common materials while digging and give each section of the planet’s core a new feel helping you to keep your focus while playing.
Soundtrack, Audio, Voice: The music in Super Motherload keeps the flow of the game moving and is nice to listen to. Original and atmospheric tracks are presented and maintain the theme of the game’s off-world feel. The voice acting was a little under what was expected, but this can be easily overlooked with how good the game’s audio is overall.
Multiplayer Aspect: Although this title doesn’t have online multiplayer, 1-4 player couch (local) multiplayer does exist in Super Motherload.
Replay Value: This is a game that you can just play over and over again with multiple endings, a ton of characters to unlock, and various activities that you can get deeper into on additional play-throughs. There’s also a hardcore mode unlocked after beating the game for the first time which challenges players to get through the experience without dying at all. While there’s no platinum trophy for Super Motherload the storyline is very interesting and you’ll want to see the other endings. There’s also plenty of side-mission style trophies for accomplishing things outside of the main plot line such as beating the game in under one hour.
Engine Performance: No glitches were encountered during our playthrough of this game.
Super Motherload is a nearly perfect game that takes the old concepts of Dig Dug style gameplay and gives them a massive upgrade in terms of what you can accomplish and how large of a world you are playing in. The storyline really took me by surprise with how deep it got, evoking emotions in the player, and helping to keep the interest of the player. For anybody considering to give this game a chance I definitely recommend it highly and will tell you right now that it’s got very addictive qualities which are definitely a good thing. The addition of online multiplayer could have propelled this title into a higher spectrum.
Overall Score: 9/10
RGN Rating: Gold Game
Developer / Publisher: XGen Studios
Available On: PS4 | PS3
Played On: Sony PlayStation 4
Review Copy Info: Two digital copies of this game were provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this review.