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[PS3 Review] Super Motherload

Super Motherload is a digging adventure with a procedurally-generated world that changes each time you play. Purchase powerful upgrades and supplies for your mining pod as you progress and prosper.

Super Motherload – Launch Trailer

In Super Motherload, you are an employee of the Solarus Corporation and your goal is to mine minerals under the surface of Mars to gather resources that will end the energy crisis on Earth. As you get deeper under the crust of the Red Planet, you’ll meet some employees that got there before you, and you’ll notice that their mining trips didn’t go too well.

Playing Super Motherload is mostly drilling through the crust of Mars to recuperate common and rare minerals. Each mineral gathered will be stocked in the ship’s cargo, which has a small capacity at first but can be upgraded (more on this later). The ship can only drill horizontally or down (not upwards), which means that you will have to think carefully before acting: drilling carelessly will prevent you from obtaining some harder to reach minerals. On that topic, I felt that some segments looked like mini puzzles requiring to think ahead. You can also open the way by using different types of bombs, each having their own pattern and strength. And since the game is making you drill down as far from the surface as you can go, you can make your driller fly by pressing X.

At the beginning of the game, your ship has a small cargo size (which can contain only a few minerals), has a small fuel tank (fuel is needed for drilling) and can only drill soft soil (the one closer to the surface). After collecting minerals, you have to go back to a base to empty your cargo, and refuel your ship. When unloading your cargo, you get paid for the rarity of the materials you gathered and can then buy upgrades to your ship. The cargo size and fuel tank capacity will be the first upgrades you should buy so you can drill for longer trips. A few other specifications of the ship can also be upgraded, like its speed and its built-in smelter. The smelter allows you to create alloys using two different materials as long as you collect them one after the other. Alloys can be sold for more money than the individual materials, so there are incentives to try and make some.

Super Motherload has a built-in local co-op in which you can have up to three friends to help you. Each player will use a different character that has its own stats and upgrades, but you all share the same fuel tank. That is not an issue in itself because the fuel tank auto-balances along with the number of active players.

The only real annoyance I had with this game was constantly having to get back to a base to unload the cargo and full the ship. Even with an upgraded cargo or fuel tank capacity, you still can drill for only a few moments before you reach your ship’s capacity. Getting back to the bases is a short trip at first, but as you get deeper, having to go back more than 2000 ft to unload your cargo definitely break the pace of the game.

Final Thoughts

All in all, I liked playing Super Motherload. Drilling minerals and selling them is fun, and playing with friends on the couch is also interesting. I would have liked to spend less time getting back to the base and more time collecting minerals to have an even better experience, but this is still a game I would recommend.

* This release is Cross-Buy with the PS4 version of the game.

[review pros=”Collecting minerals is fun
1-4 players drop in/out Multiplayer
Mini-puzzles that require you to think ahead before going all-out if you want to get all pieces” cons=”Constantly having to get back to the base to unload cargo” score=80]

Cost: $9.99

PSN Game size: 340Mb

You can purchase Super Motherload from the PSN.


This review is based on a PS3 retail copy provided by XGen Studios.