Core Keeper launched into Early Access last Tuesday, 8th March. And since then, it’s sold a quarter of a million copies.
We’re not surprised, having spent several hours roaming its dark, mysterious and utterly captivating world. Core Keeper is a hard game to pigeonhole; there’s a bit of Minecraft in there, a sprinkling of Stardew Valley and a flavour of Steamworld Dig. But this is also its own beast entirely; a mysterious adventure that you can approach however you see fit. It certainly seems to have captured the attention of Steam users, however, who have rushed to purchase it in droves. Selling 250,000 copies in a week is no small feat.
It’s so impressive, in fact, that it’s earned Core Keeper a place in Steam’s Top Sellers list, nestled just under Elden Ring. Wow.
Core Keeper plops you down inside a dark cave, sealed in from each side. Nearby, there’s a strange machine emitting a blue glow, but interacting with it tells you it’s powered down. It’s attached to three smaller devices, which seem to require something to be put in them. Maybe that’s what will power them up? Who knows – that’s for you to figure out as you make your way through Core Keeper. But before you can even think about that, you need to figure out what to do. Heading into your inventory will allow you to build a basic pickaxe – and with that equipped, you can get exploring.
This is a game about discovery, with players learning the ropes as they go along. There’s no hefty tutorials to be found here – indeed, no tutorials at all. Core Keeper expects you to figure things out as you play, and thankfully, the basics are pretty easy to get to grips with. The joy of Core Keeper is figuring out something new. Like the first time you find ore, which you can use to make a better pickaxe, or a new weapon. Or the first time you find a mysterious relic. Or when you’re minding your own business, busily mining away, when you run into a huge boss who’s going to destroy you in one hit.
If you enjoy games like Stardew Valley that inspire you to take the reins of your own adventure, then Core Keeper is well worth checking out. It’s available now on Steam in Early Access, where it’ll remain until at least the end of the year. Better yet, it’ll only cost £10.99/$12.99. An absolute steal, considering the amount of content waiting to be uncovered and explored.