Volcanoids is an experimental steampunk survivalist, finally got a cooperative, but the game, almost entirely consisting of problem solutions, the new mode went rather to the detriment.
Adran was once a rich, thriving island with a trading port, but then the earthquakes started, and then volcanoes awoke in the lagoon. Some of the locals evacuated immediately, while others remained on the island until the mountain awoke from its age-old sleep and covered Adran with a pyroclastic flow.
To be honest, Volcanoids is not exactly a survival game – it has a minimum of elements typical of the genre. The characters do not feel hungry or thirsty, do not need to rest, and do not worry too much about the enemy’s advances. The latter are rather an annoying environmental factor, interaction with which is akin to fighting blood-sucking pests.
You are a guy from the island who was captured by steambots. Your task is to regain control of the island by finding out exactly the causes of all the recent volcanic eruptions, and put an end to it.
Most of your time is spent outdoors on the surface. There you mine copper and coal deposits for basic materials while the timer is ticking.
The lakes here are mostly lava, you can’t swim in the game, and you won’t get into them again. But it is obvious where to look for one of several types of resources: sulfur spawns from volcanic masses, and you can go down to abandoned mines for copper.
The only vital resource in Volcanoids is coal. Everything is kept on it, nothing works without it. An additional pair of hands for searching and collecting coal might be useful, but it is not rare, spots are regularly replenished and the need for a partner-miner almost disappears.
When the volcano’s countdown timer reaches the last minute, you are warned to find shelter. Finding a «shelter» means climbing on board of your launch submarine and closing the hatch, or, better yet, stepping on a large «drill ship».
This drill ship is a moving base. It can’t move accurately, there are no wheels to rotate, or a windshield to wipe. Instead, you use the car to get out of 37 different points on the map, and then pull the lever labeled «journey». Or, if you want to bury your ship in place without ever coming to the surface, you press the lever labeled «down». This is useful for quickly getting away from impending eruptions. The drill buries itself in the ground like a large metal snake.
Still, it’s pretty exciting to have a base that moves. Experience the joy of building work stations and doorways in exactly the right place. Equip your new home in accordance with the principles of feng shui survival game. You can define and mark with pictures which cabinets should store coal, copper, and sulfur – the place where raw materials are stored. Or, for example, in which cabinets should be repair kits and other mechanisms, because this is a place to store engineering things. The feeling of creating your own home is powerful and unmistakable. And if the survival game can do it right, it has a perspective.
There is also a periscope. This allows you to look at the landscape before rising to the surface. But the childish joy of this device wanes when you realize that the rest of the world is pretty barren. The only thing to check through your periscope is the steampunk robot villains. All of them will be quickly destroyed by your ship’s turrets as soon as you surface (you will be taught to build these turrets within the first hour). So the novelty and interest of checking your surroundings through a periscope (or watching a volcano explode because of security) will soon evaporate when you realize that you shouldn’t be afraid to go up.
The graphics may not shiny, but it is done well. From the module models that you put on your drill, to the interface that, unlike the interfaces of other «Early Access» games, usually flaunting colorful squares (sometimes even without signatures!), shows us the confident hand of the artist. Which, by the way, took care to make all the icons, interface shapes, and even the smallest details beautiful.
The robots are the only enemies that inhabit the island, they also have drilling machines. And they can be fully raided: players raid, kill the guards, break down the door, break down devices and clean the slopes, and to top it off – destroy the structure and reap from it the necessary elements for crafting.
The robots themselves (presented in only a few variations, differing in color, strength, and loot type) seem to be victims of an organized and very destructive group of clones. Sometimes they even manage to escape by burrowing under the ground, but most often the raiders simply disassemble their huge mechanisms to the cogs with just picks.
In the end, the sailors, well-supplied and very pleased with themselves, return with the loot to their own machine, which bristles with turrets in their absence. Loot is divided exclusively through the storage, you can’t throw the same first aid kit on the floor or pass it directly to a friend.
In general, Volcanoids is quite nice game. The game, despite the fact that it is not the most advanced, will delay you for the entire time of passage, for which the developers bow low.