Volcanoids is an early access co-op survival shooter and base builder from similarly named indie developer, Volcanoid. In a genre that is chock full of popular titles and where competition is fierce, it is not easy for an indie developer to break in, especially with such an ambitious project. Will Volcanoids drill through that barrier or will it explode under the pressure? Let’s take a look and find out!
From the very first minute of playing Volcanoids, you know you are working with an indie title. It simply feels a little rougher around the edges. This shouldn’t distract from a great game, however, as high-quality visuals are the cherry on top, not the sundae itself. You start with some basic equipment and are immediately given a quest to complete. Many of the controls are standard and easy to figure out, but there is little direction if you do experience difficulty.
Once you start out on your first quest, you will be introduced to combat, crafting and your drill ship. A few more of the issues are revealed here, with extremely basic combat that provides no cover or strategy. Simply point and shoot your revolver, which is only identifiable by the gunshot sound. There is no recoil animation on the gun and seemingly no shot spread or accuracy loss on movement or with successive shots.
The crafting is possibly the most fleshed out aspect of the game, with multiple logical components combining into useful crafting objects such as parts for your ship, weapons, ammo, meds and more. As with most games, the crafting system will take a little bit of time to fully adapt to, but the game does do a fairly good job of introducing you to the system with its opening quests.
After a couple of quick quests, you are informed that the tutorial is now complete and that you are on your own to explore! It definitely feels like there should be more to this opening section of the game, as you are not even informed of the drill ship functionality or how to pilot it. Even more disappointing is what happens when you do eventually submerge the drill ship.
You are taken to a 2-D map image where you click around and your ship moves underground and collect resources. It does not feel very interactive, and the fact that you are only able to surface in preset locations removes much of the open-world feel of the game. While exploring these preset areas, you will notice an explosion timer counting down. When this hits zero – you better be underground!
It will wreak havoc on the surface and you will have to wait before surfacing again. Enemies will be waiting for you at almost every juncture, injuring you and damaging your ship. You will need to utilize the crafting system to replenish your ammo, heal and repair your ship.
Now feels like a good time to mention that, even though the game is early access, I can only review the game as it stands now, and I sincerely hope the early access continues taking this game forward, as I truly believe it has the potential to be great.
With a serious fleshing out to the storytelling, new animations and a revamp of how your drill ship works while underground, Volcanoids has the potential to be a wonderfully entertaining survival game. Unfortunately, as it is now, there is very little direction or purpose to the game beyond continuing for the sake of it. Keep your eye on this game, as there is a gem in here waiting to be uncovered!