Stardew Valley vibes meet top-down Minecraft in this incredibly fun game that is a blast to play solo or with friends. Despite still being in alpha (just released on March 8, 2022), I’ve dumped hours into this gorgeous and engaging game.

You start in a semi-cleared-out area, but much of the Core Keeper world is, well, not underground exactly… it feels more covered by ground. I’ve spent countless hours digging my way through various terrain types and continue to discover a hidden, and beautiful world.

Character creation is quick but adorable. I do hope they enable a “helmless” display option because it’s a bit of a bummer to create an adorable little 8-bit cutie with fun hair, only to have it covered up by my Daredevil-esque armor.

It’s hard to believe it’s in alpha with how much there is to do and see in the game. As you continue to explore, your map continues to expand, making the game feel like there are endless paths to explore. The craftable cartography table, which allows multiplayer participants to share their map progress, makes exploring even more interesting as you watch whole sections of the map appear in places you’ve never been.

Is it buggy? Not especially, actually. Yes, there are things I’d like to see them do differently, and yes there are things I’d love for them to add. I haven’t experienced any significant bugs other than a very rare (especially given how many hours I’ve already put in) crash here and there. Sure, there are little oddities on occasion, but generally speaking, it’s a solid, amazingly fun, game. Available on Steam! 

My other character has purple hair!