Developer: Fancy Fish Games
Publisher: Whitethorn Digital
Platforms: PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 11/02/2020
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
Aground does not have a story per se other than survive. The story comes more from the NPC’s that your character meets.
Aground starts with your character is in a small settlement and tasked to build a few simple building and create items to you. This area works as a tutorial of sorts. Then you are left to build and dig. The story progresses as you do tasks for NPCs and then you get to go to some far-off places.
I feel as in survival games need less story and it’s what you do with your own playthough that creates the narrative.
Aground is a simple enough to pick up and play. With an axe equipped press down on the left thumb stick to dig, collect materials under the ground, bring back to the surface when bag is full then create the items you need. This is the overall game loop, but there is far more to Aground than just digging. The survival element is light with management of HP, Stamina, Battery, with a few more to unlock. They are all easy to maintain with plenty of opportunity to keep them topped up.
There is fishing, capturing animals, fights, boss battles, stories to uncover, seas to traverse. I feel as if the game just keeps on giving. With each new place you visit, you can build more and more. Get more technologically advanced. While you are away from your wee town, the town folks will keep on working for you. Harvests will be collected, animals will be maintained. This mean that the player can spend more time enjoying the game than doing the farm work. One small point to make, only the things you have on the current area can be used. You can have items transferred over far a fee. This means again less time sorting though bags and item management and more fun.
Not only is there crafting, but there are some light RPG elements to the game. With every block mined and enemy killed you will gain EXP, once leveled up you will get skill points that can be allocated to any of the 17 stats for your character from simple health, carry weight, to Trapping and fishing. There are 53 different blue prints. 200 individual times and around 150 items to craft. Oh I forgot to mention there are pets at all. Aground is loaded with stuff to do.
Graphically Agound goes for the pixel are style, and geez does it look good. The backgrounds can be stunning with some nice hidden surprises if you dig enough. Each crafting material has its own sprite these are easy to distinguish.
Overall, Aground is a stellar title and needs to be played by as many people as possible. It just keeps on giving and is so easy to pick up and play. I played for hours upon hours till I fell sleep with the switch in my hands. There is just so much to do, and is suitable for everyone, it will be worth it.