Dome Keeper – First Impressions

Dome Keeper (formerly known as Dome Romantik) is a Roguelike-Mining-Strategy game where you mine resources on an alien planet in search of a relic that will get you off this dangerous place. On your way down, you’ll mine for resources that will help you increase your odds of survival as well. After all, the local fauna consists of hordes of enemies that come for you at specific intervals, meaning that you’ll need to upgrade your mining efficiency as well as your dome’s weapons and gadgets in order to survive! Honestly, it’s incredibly to explain this game but the demo is available on Steam right now and there are plenty of videos out there on YouTube, including on my channel, that showcase it quite well. So feel free to try it out as well and share your thoughts on this game developed by Bippinbits and published by Raw Fury with me – also make sure to wishlist the game on Steam to support the development!

Dome Keeper combines a lot of different elements that I really like and I found it rather intriguing when I first stumbled across it and tried out an even earlier version of the game. There are three resources in the game: Iron, cobalt, and water. Iron is really common and is needed primarily for upgrading things, ranging from your dome’s health to your mining speed, carry strength, and flight speed to gadgets found deep underground. Similarly, water is relatively uncommon and required for some upgrade – but you’ll mostly need water for several gadgets like the Orchard that produces a fruit that boosts your stats temporarily. And well, cobalt is needed for advanced upgrades like your dome’s resistance but also to repair your dome. Some upgrade paths will lead to one where cobalt is also required to finish it up, so cobalt is quite important.

So, you start out at the surface within your dome and you dig down. You quickly will need to find resources and upgrade your dome but the map’s procedurally generated with random map layouts and random ore, gadget and relic locations. The time you have between the waves needs to be spent digging and you’ll need to successfully find resources – or else you’ll be in trouble, big trouble! As you go deeper, the rock gets harder as well. As you go deeper, you’ll also require more time to go up to the surface and to your weapons, meaning that you’ll need to upgrade carry strength and flight speed incredibly quickly. The more resources you carry, after all, the slower you go up, wasting precious time in the process. Drill strength also is important here but in general, it’s up to you to decide in which order or way you’ll play the game! At times, the procedurally generated waves are incredibly harsh and punishing, meaning that you need to get an early “Hardening” upgrade to reduce incoming damage instead of healing. Other times, you may wanna increase your laser strength, for instance, to deal with them faster. No matter what though, your goal is the same. Dig down, find the relic, bring it up and survive!

Along your journey, you also find gadgets that often can be real game-changers. One of the ones I found was a tractor-beam-like lift that would transport me and my resources up. Another time, I found a teleporter that cut my travel time severely and that allowed me to teleport back up after I upgraded it or that sucked in resources sporadically. These types of gadgets feel powerful because they impact the game greatly. Other gadgets like the stun laser or the condenser can feel a bit situation but still relatively overpowered… and then there’s stuff like the blast mine and I really dislike it personally but it is what it is. Maybe you’ll like that one more? Either way, there is a lot to find and you always have the option of grinding it down to get some cobalt out of it, which certainly would be worth it.

There are also little other features in the game like unlocks upon completing a run and upgrade paths that disable other upgrade paths – and I really like those kinds of things. I’d love to see what sort of modes and other features there will be as the demo features only three gadgets to unlock with more unlockable domes, modes, and astronauts being teased for the full release. My favourite thing in Dome Keeper, however, is the atmosphere that really nails this feeling of being on an alien and hostile planet! The soundtrack is amazing, the art style is distinct, the different biomes are colourful and interesting… and as you dig downwards, plants grow everywhere which may be useless in terms of gameplay but I found it really immersive and interesting… that may be my favourite part of the game. The plants. Yeah, rock n roll!

Overall, the demo is interesting, although the game’s rather difficult overall. Personally, I only managed to beat the game twice so far – and both of those times, I was playing on “hard but doable” the “easy difficulty” of the game. The game’s intended to be played on “Brutal” but I haven’t been able to do so just yet. Dome Keeper’s demo is available on Steam, so I highly recommend checking that out for yourself! It’s a pretty fun game!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

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