Why it's on the list:
Back in the distant days of 2005, when I was in primary school, during free play time my friends and I would rush over to the computers and boot up Miniclip.com. Among the many quality flash games available there was one called Motherload. I played the absolute shit out of the game and actually finished it. At some point in recent history, I realised there was a sequel/remake, and I had to play it. No regrets.
How I played it: On my laptop, via Steam, with an Xbox controller.
When I played it: Sometime in the second half of 2016.
How far I got: I finished it (with a little help from Cheat Engine).
What I thought:
Don't get me wrong: this is not a great game. I'd struggle to call it a good game. But the deep nostalgia I felt for Motherload meant I had to try it (especially when it popped up on a Steam sale for three bucks), and propelled me through to the end. The core loop is fairly addictive, in the same kind of zen way that Minecraft can be, but the endgame is so incredibly grindy that I just about gave up. I reached the grindy parts in one night - maybe a few hours - and the game would be a fairly short, satisfying play if it ended there. But the grind artificially extends it way too far. Instead, I installed Cheat Engine and gave myself unlimited cash, just so I could see the end of the game.
The story is a little intriguing, but nothing special. You're a miner on Mars; there are odd transmissions from other miners; it turns out Mars was inhabited in the distant past and there's a buried ancient alien responsible for it all. Compared to the Satan reveal of the original game (yes, Satan is the final boss of Motherload) this was a little disappointing, but it does the job. It finishes with a frantic boss fight which was way out of character for the rest of the game, but kind of neat (if frustrating) in its own way. You're pursuing this ancient alien spacecraft to the surface, as it smashes through all the tunnels you dug on your way down.
I had a go of the co-op mode with my brother, which seemed kind of cool - we didn't play much of it though. It did seem a little tacked on, and the lack of split-screen (it's Smash Bros-style stretch-screen) made it a weird thing to put in; all you want to do is go off in your own direction. There's also a selection of playable characters which seemed downright extraneous.
Playing this game made me wonder if Motherload was any good in the first place, or whether it was just good by the standards of my idiot kid brain - a frequent occurence when there's nostalgia in play. But that might be the best thing to be said about this game - it comes with Motherload: Goldium Edition included, so at some point I might just go back and check.