Pixel graphics, mining, building AND a good story. Count me in!
➕ Adorable pixel graphics.
➕ Interesting characters.
➕ Tameable animals that can function as pets.
➕ Steam Workshop support.
➖ Interface could be a little easier on the eyes.
➖ Not many choices that make a difference.
The game starts like so many mining / crafting / survival games do: collect some wood and find shelter. The novelty in this game, though, is that all of it is a side-scroller.
You start with only your hut (which conveniently saves your game and replenishes your stamina). Through completing quests – yes, the very typical “collect 4 wood and I’ll build you something” – you add more buildings, which unlock more recipes, functionalities and quests.
As your settlement grows, you’ll meet more NPCs, each with their own skills and expertises. The only thing I’m a bit disappointed with, is that you have very little choice in who to invite – the game offers you a ‘no’ option in the very first minute of the game, but aside from that, there are very little choices that actually make a difference. The progression is very linear, but at the same time, that’s a charming quality. Just following the story to where it will take you.
Changing up your settlement is not punishing at all. The game allows you to destroy and rebuild your buildings, if for whatever reason you would like to arrange them differently. I absolutely love that, because I’m a sucker for organisation in this kind of games.
And last but not least, animals. It’s ALWAYS fun if a game has animals, especially monsters that can also be tamed as pets. Each animal has its own stats and buffs, so choosing the animal that fits your playing style best, is a lot of fun!
There isn’t much ‘tutorial’ to this game. Actions are very intuitive, though if you are like me, you might want to rebind the controls to something more WASD-friendly. Every quest giver explains what you need to do to complete their quest, and the quest journal is pretty straight-forward as well.
Those of you who know me, know I am a sucker for pixel art. This game stole my heart from the very first screenshot I saw.
Honestly, the interface could be a little better. There aren’t any dedicated areas for icons or buttons, so everything is in sort of a cluttered overlay. You get used to it, and to be honest, I don’t pay much attention to the keybind indicators anymore, either.
There is Steam Workshop support in Aground, but to be honest, I haven’t reached the phase yet where I’m ready to mod it. I haven’t tried out any mods myself, but since it’s a pixel graphic game and modding seems to be supported, I’m very, very sure I will at one point either install mods or make my own.
Aside from the Steam Workshop, mods for Aground seem to be most commonly shared over at mod.io – thank you, Airom, for letting me know!
And in case you’re interested in making mods yourself, come join us at Mod Bucket on Discord. We’d be happy to help you get started, test your mods out for you or just in general hear about your progress!
👍 I would 100% recommend this game! If you like pixel graphics, play this game. If you like collecting resources and steadily progressing your settlement, play this game. If you like to go blind into a game without knowing where the story will lead, play this game. Aground ticks all the boxes I need to get heavily invested and addicted to a game. If you’re one of those people, this is the game for you!