Volcanoids preview: a journey to the heart of the volcano

Volcanoids preview: a journey to the heart of the volcano

In this preview we will talk about Volcanoids, a survival game developed by a single person

Volcanoids is a survival in prima persona set on a volcanic island within a world steampunk. In the shop of Steam there are many titles of this genre, some are really interesting, while many others are extremely poor. If you want to find out which of the two categories Volcanoids belongs to, you can do it with us thanks to ours preview of the early access version of the game.

The abandoned island

The beginning of Volcanoids is very simple, but also very interesting. The story of the game takes place entirely on one mysterious and paradisiacal volcanic island. Initially this place was very hospitable and was inhabited by many people, but suddenly a large volcano began to erupt, forcing the islanders to flee.

The title is set a few years after the eruption and puts us in the shoes of a group of explorers looking for a way to restore the island to its former glory. To do this our adventurers will have to head to the center of the volcano but this will not be easy at all, since now the island is inhabited by lots of hostile robots called COGs.

Volcanoids preview: a journey to the heart of the volcano

Journey to the Center of the Earth – Volcanoids Preview

Shortly after your game starts, you will get hold of a huge auger that you will use as operational base and means of transport. This excavator is the fulcrum around which the whole game will revolve and to get to the end you will have to take the utmost care of it.

As you progress the drill will need upgrades, both to advance inside the harder rock that is near the core of the volcano, and to resist attacks from COGs. All of these improvements can be built within your vehicle, but to do so ayou will need a lot of resources like minerals or remnants of destroyed technology. All of these items can be found in abundance all over the island and you can get them by defeating enemies or extracting them with a simple pickaxe.

Drill management and customization is really fun, but the gameplay loop is something extremely simple and already seen, as well as very repetitive. Throughout the game, all you have to do is collect resources, build upgrades that can get you safely to a new area, and repeat it all with the new materials you find.

Volcanoids preview: a journey to the heart of the volcano

Volcanic eruptions – Volcanoids preview

Throughout the game you will have to learn to live with a very interesting mechanic, that is that of volcanic eruptions. Once every 25 minutes or so, the large volcano in the center of the island will erupt, creating pools of lava and covering every place with ashes. The only way to survive this phenomenon is to immediately head to your drill e dig underground to protect yourself from the explosion. This mechanic is really nice and initially hiding and observing the changes in the environment will be quite fun, but over time it will end up becoming more of a nuisance than a real danger.

During the game you will spend most of the time inside your drill or in its immediate vicinity, therefore you will never really run the risk of dying from the eruption. Escaping underground will therefore become more of a dead moment, since for a few minutes you will have to completely stop your production. Furthermore, if you have to carry out very long operations, such as the assault of an enemy drill, you will have to take the times well, otherwise you will risk having to stop everything because of the rash.

Volcanoids preview: a journey to the heart of the volcano

War on Machines – Volcanoids Preview

Given the great abundance of killing machines that inhabit the island, during the game you will often find yourself fighting. The enemies are all extremely similar robots which differ only in color and the damage they inflict. To defeat them you will have many different firearms that you will unlock by upgrading your drill. Although there is a good variety of weapons, fights will always be extremely boring. The shooting is nothing exceptional and the enemies’ artificial intelligence will always push them to advance towards you head-on until you are within range of their rifles.

A note of merit, however, goes to the assaults on COG drills. These means of transport really contain many useful objects and consequently are well defended by many robots and dangerous turrets. Also the only way to destroy the diggers is delete all their internal modules and to do so you will need a large number of explosives. This leads to the use of slightly more varied combat approaches and, given the great abundance of enemies, it also offers a more fun challenge.

Moreover, during the passage from one area to another you will also have to face a sort of COG “boss” represented by a large well defended fixed excavator. This structure, however, in the end is nothing more than a different type of auger that is easier to destroy, since overall it will have fewer modules and will be more exposed.

Volcanoids preview: a journey to the heart of the volcano

Lack of inspiration – Volcanoids preview

Overall the world of Volcanoids turns out a lot anonymous. The design of the enemies and the settings is extremely mundane and the graphics quality certainly doesn’t help. The only slightly more interesting element is the auger, but in any case it is nothing particularly original. Furthermore even the animations leave a lot to be desired and they don’t help immerse you in the game at all.

From the point of view technical instead the title is quite valid. During our test the frame rate remained stable all the time and we found almost no bugs whatsoever.

Volcanoids preview: a journey to the heart of the volcano


Volcanoids is not a bad survival, but certainly not even one of the best on the square. Drill management is fun enough, but otherwise the game is extremely repetitive, boring, and the map is very bare. If you really are of the great lovers of the genre you might find it interesting, but it certainly won’t be particularly impressed on you.

In any case we must take into account the fact that the game is still in early access and is developed by a single person. From here to launch many things could change and it is not certain that many of the defects that afflict the title will not be corrected. Also recently the coop mode, so if you want you have the possibility to play with a friend and make your experience more enjoyable.

Volcanoids is available now on Steam in Early Access. If you found this preview useful and want to stay updated on all the news regarding this title and much more, continue to follow us here on TechGameWorld.com.