GamingReview: Aground

Review: Aground

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If I could sum up Aground in a nutshell, it would be Minecraft meets Steamworld Dig. Essentially, Aground is Minecraft but in the 2D art style of the Steam World Dig franchise, although it doesn’t break the formula and reinvent the wheel in terms of the survival genre. Aground is a charming 2D survival game full of nostalgia. That is sure to delight fans of modern survival games such as Minecraft and nostalgic retro era games.

Retro at its Core 

From the outset, Aground is a stunning game, not graphically but from an art style standpoint. The game takes the classic retro 2D pixel art animation that we all love and uses it to its fullest. The art style is incredibly charming, from the pixelated bit animation of the game’s characters to the beautiful 2D backdrop of the games in-game world. The art style is stunning. Likewise, the music also takes cues from this era of retro pixel art with a fantastic 8bit and 16bit soundtrack that makes you feel like you are playing a game from the 1980s/’90s. From a purely nostalgic standpoint, Aground is flawless. The game uses the sentimental but appealing art style and soundtrack from the retro pixel 2D era of games. It gives it new life mixing pure nostalgia with the relatively new survival genre. 

Out in the World

A Classic Survival Game 

As mentioned, Aground is essentially Minecraft at its core and has seemingly taken inspiration from SteamWorld Dig. The game has all of the Minecraft elements you expect, such as crafting, digging and trying to survive. Thus, the game is very similar to Minecraft and plays out similarly. Like its inspiration, it has easy to pick up controls, a fluid crafting system and addictive but straightforward gameplay. It also has a decent upgrade system allowing you to upgrade your character.

Nevertheless, its striking similarities to Minecraft means Aground doesn’t reinvent the wheel and, at times, is too simple with little challenge. In this regard, Aground falters, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Aground sticks to a proven formula but adds a nostalgic twist. The game takes everything we love about the more laid back games in the survival genre. Such as Minecraft, and adds a nostalgic flair to it, taking us back to our youth’s sentimental nature. The game has an odd but incredibly charming mix of contemporary gameplay and past nostalgia, balancing both perfectly. In this sense, the game stood out and was an absolute delight to play. It transported me back in time with a genre I love.

Mining for Treasure

Verdict

Overall, Aground is a fantastic game. Although it doesn’t reinvent the genre and is relatively unchallenging, it adds a retro nostalgic twist that is sure to please both fans of the contemporary survival genre and old school gamers looking to feel their youth’s nostalgia. It was an absolute pleasure to play and should be picked up by anyone looking to find a new survival game and those who love the retro era of games.

SUMMARY

+Stunning art style
+Charming retro soundtrack
+Superb nostalgic feel
+Addictive gameplay and fluid gameplay
+Great controls
-Unchallenging

(Reviewed on PlayStation 5, also available on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC)
Jack Boreham
My name is Jack. I've been a video gamer all my life since getting my very first starter Pokemon on the GameBoy Advance. When I'm not becoming a Pokemon master, I'm a freelance writer, podcaster and content creator. You can check out my work on my website PixelPolitics.co.uk

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