Most life has evolved to live on the surface of the Earth, with even the aerial creatures needing to land sometime while the marine life swims in the water covering the sand below. There’s enough space for everyone but that’s also a bit of a problem, in that all there is is space. Under the surface, though, is buried wealth beyond all imagining, from minerals and ores to rare gems, enough to make a stoic dwarf’s eyes glow with excitement. With pickaxe in hand and a good-natured greed in their hearts, the dwarves will face any lurking danger or hostile creature in their vast underground kingdom because there’s gold down there they haven’t mined yet.
Below the Stone is a dwarven mining adventure set in deep caverns, where the glimmer of mineral deposits lets your dwarf know there’s something buried in the earth. Viewed from an overhead perspective, each square of dirt takes a couple whacks of the pickaxe to shatter, with boring old earth and rock leaving nothing behind except a clear path forward. Starting with little more than a rusty pick and sword, the dwarf mines the veins visible in the tunnel walls plus the occasional sparkle embedded within the stone, bringing as much back as possible to get better gear for the next run. Different biomes hold different monsters, some of which are best tackled with better equipment and others easy cannon fodder, but all of them may drop a component that goes towards potions, weapons, or armor.
Only if the dwarf survives the run, though. Death sees everything lost forever, including equipped items, but fortunately healing mushrooms grow pretty much everywhere. Granted, they only heal a couple points, but a little patience in healing is a small price to pay for screwing up a combat encounter. Forging good armor and strong weapons can go a long way towards minimizing the danger, but there’s always that last enemy rush when calling down the exit-pod to make bringing the loot home just a little bit more difficult.
Below the Stone launched into Early Access today with a good amount of resources and upgrades to chase after through many trips into the subterranean gloom. Multiple biomes with a variety of monsters make up the landscape of the caves, and a successful run with see your dwarf noticeably more powerful for the next round where overconfidence in the upgrades can be your worst enemy. It’s a long way down into the mines, but a dwarf wouldn’t be anywhere near as happy anywhere else.