15 Jan, 2006
reviewed by Neal
Motherloadby Xgen studios
(visit the game site)
Motherload is a unique arcade-style game which involves digging deep into the soil of Mars with your mining pod. The object of this game is to dig as deep as you can with your pod, while collecting and selling your minerals, fueling up, upgrading your pod, and buying special items!
You can control your pod using the normal arrow keys, or the w, a, s, d keys. You can also use your mouse to direct the arrow of where you want the pod to move and dig! Go ahead, and experiment with your pod!
You receive a transmission from Mr. Natas, telling you about the strange activity that has been happening on Mars when other miners were working there. He said many miners were lucky to escape from the soil, since many weird things were going on. He starts you off with a basic mining pod to start digging for minerals, and earning money. And he will be the one helping you through your journey down into Mar's soil, so there's nothing to worry about! :)
In order to find out the secrets beneath the Mar's soil, you will need to use your pod to dig around the soil and collect some basic minerals. This will help you get started to dig deep into the soil, and soon you will able to uncover the mysteries and secrets of Mar's soil! The minerals that you will most likely find first will be: Ironium
There are still many more minerals in the game! it is your job to find them all, and collect more money to upgrade your pod! Remember, you will find more valuable minerals when you dig deeper, so make sure your pod is upgraded before going deeper into the soil. You will also find some Martian treasures as you dig, and those are worth a good amount of money! You will receive the money instantly without going up to the top and selling them! You will find items like dinosaur bones, treasure chests, and martian skeletons! So, make sure you keep an eye out for those!
Also, to sell your minerals, you will need to move your pod to the Mineral Processing station, located at the top of the soil next to the Fueling Station. You can automatically sell all the minerals you have collected!
Mineral Processing Make sure that your fuel tank is filled up before digging down deep into the soil. If not, then you will forget to re-fuel, and then your pod will get destroyed. Make sure not to dig too deep when you first start off, since you don't have a good fuel tank. When you collect a good amount of minerals (Not too much, because your engine may not be able to pull your pod up on ground) and you have half-amount of gas left, then immediately fly up on ground, so you will have time to sell all of your minerals. I reccomend using the money you collect the first time for an upgraded fuel tank! You will really need this feature first! Fueling Station
The upgrades are very crucial to obtain in the game in order to successfully beat it! The upgrades for your pod include new drills, hulls, engines, fuel tanks, radiators, and cargo bays. You will be able to get these upgrades in the Junk Shop. You will notice that every upgrade in each category has a different price; the basic upgrades being cheaper, and the best upgrades being expensive. Make sure to get basic upgrades first, since those are cheaper. You will be able to purchase the best upgrades in the future after collecting and selling your valuable minerals! Also, every upgrade is needed in the game, so make sure you get every part of your pod updated!
You are also able to buy special items to help you through your progress deep into the soil. You can buy these special items in the Repair Shop. Some items you can buy include the reserve fuel tank, which gives your pod extra gas automatically without moving your pod to the Fueling Station. Repair nanobots, which repair your hull at any time when you encounter any obstacles which may cause damage to your pod. There are also explosives to destroy any rocks or any other obstacles in your way, as well as transporters which can automatically move your pod to the top of ground without flying to the top. Also, you can repair any damage to your pod in the Repair Shop as well. So, make sure you maintain your pod, and keep it in good condition! :)
A really cool feature to this game is the Save Bot! Here, you can save your progress in the game, and start with the same amount of fuel, hull strength, as well as the upgrades, and items you started with before! You can also keep track of your score as you play!
This game really has the great qualities and features to make it a "superb" game! There are many neat things about this game which make it great in every aspect!
The graphics look really beautiful and sharp in this game, I can't complain! There are many neat things about the graphics in this game! The soil will act to the pod's digging when the dirt from the soil flies out towards you as you dig with your pod! Also, the background of the empty areas in the soil will change into different cool colors as you dig down into the ground! Also, the scenery on top of the soil changes everytime you play! First, the sun will come up, and the sky is clear blue! And then slowly, the color of the sky will become darker, soon turning into black. And when the sky is pitch black, the moon is out, looking blue, round and sharp! It's like you are going through day by day... trying to get as far to the bottom of the soil as possible! The pod looks and acts realistic in the beautiful game screen too! The smoke comes out from the engine of the pod while you move around with it, and when you use it to dig, it actively removes the soil with it's drill! The helicopter wings of the pod is pretty neat too! Also, the explosion of the pod is a very nice part to the game as well, because the fire brightens the game screen, which can really surprise you!
The soundfx is excellent!! The background music of the game can really get you hooked into the game! When I played this game, the background music somehow made me to dig more, and more! it was so catchy! The music really gets to your ears, and you really get to enjoy it! I did happen to notice that the Goldium version comes with many other different background music clips to listen to while you play! Now, how cool is that? Also, the soundfx from the pod brings the reality to the game very well! The sound of the engine purring, the racket of the pod digging, the engine hissing while it's flying, etc. To really enjoy this game, you just have to keep that volume cranked up!
The gameplay is the best part! There is so much you have to do in order to successfully beat this game! That's why it is so challenging to beat for many gamers out there! You have to collect and sell all your minerals, collect good amount of money, buy certain upgrades, repair your hull, save your progress at the right time, buy certain items you need when digging, re-fueling when you need to do so, etc. This game really does take skill, thinking, and intellect. You may think this game is easy, and simple, but wait until you start to play it! It does take a long time to successfully dig as deep as possible in the soil!
The concept of the game is sweet! I really enjoyed the storyline which goes on throughout the game! It really keeps you involved in what's going on, and what to expect when going through the game! You get transmissions once a while as you dig down through the soil from Mr. Natas, and other miners, so that helps to keep the storyline alive! I personally think that digging to find treasures, secrets, and obstacles is a really neat concept to really get the average gamer pumped!
Lastly, the lastability is unstoppable! What I mean by that is that gamers can play this game for hours non-stop! There is so much about this game that anyone can enjoy! As I said, this game has all the qualities to make it a very fun, exciting, and enjoyable game to play, for a long, long time!
Overall, this game really deserves a double thumbs-up! I really reccomend it to any gamer out there who's looking for an action packed game to play! Because it has the All-in-One package: challenging gameplay, attracting graphics, incredible soundfx, a wonderful concept, and long lastability! This is indeed a beautiful masterpiece by XGen! :)