Zupergames isn't one to abandon their little robotic workers, and after after two years, Glean 2, the sequel to the original Motherload-sy mining sim game has arrived. As before, you control a plucky little robot as it scours the galaxy for valuable ores and minerals, converting them not only into repairs and fuel, but also craftable upgrades to improve your abilities and allow you to survive better in hostile environments. With new worlds to explore, a revamped user interface and overhauled crafting system, as well as the chance to get eaten by new and exciting creatures, Glean 2 improves on the clunkiness of the original while expanding on the content you loved. Don't worry, animal lovers, there's no canary in this mining game... if things get dangerous, you just explode in a fiery heap of semi-sentient shrapnel! Plus, now with 100% more Doctor Who reference. Yaaaaay!
The tutorial will walk you through the basics, but it's actually fairly simple. Use the [arrow] or [WASD] keys to move and jump (and double-jump!), and hold [spacebar] to activate your drill, keeping an eye on your temperature so you don't overheat. To gather most items, you just need to drill into them and they'll be added to your inventory, where you can either cannibalize them for repairs and fuel, or carry them back to the surface to add to your stockpiles. From your ship, summoned topside with the [spacebar], you can travel to a variety of worlds, each with their own unique environments and alien life in addition to resources, or take advantage of the game's crafting system. By gathering specific quantities of each type of resource, or even finding treasure, you can create a variety of
While the original Glean was fun, it was also a little cumbersome due to the way it handled its menus and forced you to juggle multiple sizes for resource types in a way that felt just a little too tedious. Glean 2 has made a significant effort to improve, and for the most part, it works. Menus are cleaner, clearer, and items now only come in one size, so you aren't left scrounging for multiple different types. Glean 2 does, however, feel like it comes with a bit of trial-and-error, at least in regards to initially figuring out what's dangerous. Will that oddly shaped thing stuck in the rock bestow rares and riches, explode if you touch it? Only one way to find out! After the tutorial the game mostly rips off your floaties and boots you into the pool before kicking back with a mimosa like a bad babysitter to watch the fun, so don't expect too much hand-holding or direction.
For some people, however, that's the whole point, and with its streamlined interface Glean 2 is now a whole lot easier to sink into and explore. The new aquatic world is lovely, as is the aerial world, where the inability to drill upwards because of your propeller as you fly around adds a nice amount of challenge. Glean 2 is the sort of sequel we love to see, because it's one where it's clear that the developer had their ears open when players offered their feedback. It's not a fast game by any means, best suited to players who don't mind scouring everywhere for resources and upgrades, but it is both a lovely and oddly relaxing one.