Imagine Minecraft in a 2D landscape, themed up in a hand-drawn steam-punk world. Deepworld by Bytebin is a new take on the MMO sandbox world that games such as Minecraft have made popular. The game is always online and on the cloud, offering an interactive World where the player can mine and craft their way through a persistent online universe, where there is always something new to do and something new to discover.
Just as is the case in this type of game, the character can use his shovel or pick and cut away the landscape, buried in this landscape are various enemies that should be avoided, various minerals that can be used to make items, and a host of other goodies that help you on your way to creating your own unique world.
Deepworld is a deep game, with a whole lot to offer. You can join friends to help build and discover, there are hundreds of different items that can be used to build your dream house and so much more. There is a weapon system that allows the player to fight off the numerous monsters of the World, and the great layout of the virtual keyboard means that activating various items is only a tap away.
A great feature in the game is the hidden lost technology, that when found can be used to build machines that restore the environment and make your world an even more interesting place to discover.
Deepworld has a unique look to it, although some would say a bit primitive in this world of hi-resolution life-like graphics. It scrolls nicely, the characters are hand drawn and look very nice, and the color scheme is very steam-punk and the animations are quite well done. But that is the problem, it’s all “quite” well done and nothing particularly impressive, but of course gameplay is more important than graphics.
As you make your way through the Deepworld Universe, there are different landscapes for both below the ground and above the ground. Everything looks very Lego-block-like, including the scenery, characters and items. Obviously this makes it easier to know what the player is digging, however with the power of today’s mobile devices, a little more imagination wouldn’t have gone amiss. Think of the graphics as doing the job as opposed to being awe-inspiring.
Just like the graphics, and to some extent the gameplay, the sound does the job and that’s about all there is to it. There is nothing extraordinary and nothing that will make the player want to keep the sound turned up loud. It’s a shame, because so much more could have been done with the sound and the steam-punk nature of this game.
Deepworld is a lot of near-misses. The idea of the game is a good one, with potentially a lot to offer, however there is something missing that has the player scratching their head and wondering exactly what it is. Real money is needed to expand the gameplay and the game World, which could be off-putting for many players.
The graphics and sound are also a near-miss, they could have been so much more, but are well below the standard of other games being released today. As mentioned, graphics and sound are not everything in a game, however in this particular case they could have added to it.
The ideas in Deepworld are good, the tutorial at the beginning sets the tone for the game and gives plenty of hints and tips.Exploring the vast world at first is interesting, but soon becomes a little boring. There are a ton of options, things to collect and make and so much more, but there is still something lacking from the game. That said, for those who enjoy the Minecraft genre, this game will no doubt please them with hours of digging and crafting.
A copy of the game with extra in-game funds was provided to Gaming Illustrated for the purpose of this review.