Credit where credit is due, Code Horizon, you don't give up and I'll be damned if your game isn't consistently improving. Wouldn't quite call it a must-own simulator, but it's definitely something that's worth a look. Yes, it's back. Gold Rush: The Game has released a DLC pack with some new machines that run the gambit from "this marginally improves the gameplay" to "This is a complete and total game changer." Now don't get me wrong, the game would still be better if it got rid of a few more bugs and the system requirements still have absolutely no right being as high as they are for a simulator game, but they've improved it enough to merit an extremely tentative recommendation from me. However, I will say what I said in both the preview and my original review: This game isn't for everyone. This game is slow-paced and repetitive, but it's something fun for your hands to do while you're binge watching something on your streaming platform of choice.
There still isn't much of a story here. You're a prospective prospector (I think I'm funny sometimes) and you start by renting some land from Old Arnold, a former gold miner, and through hard work and determination your goal is to hire more employees, improve your setup, get more land, and become a gold tycoon.
Gameplay wise, not much has changed from the original review. It's calm, meditative, not an ecstatic experience but it gave me something to do while catching up on some anime I've been meaning to watch. It's a very slow and low-maintenance game. If you want to see the mechanics broken down bit by bit, give my original review a read, then come back to this article to see what they've added and changed.
The main draw of the DLC is the new machinery available for purchase in the heavy machinery store. Most of the machinery is just improved equipment for a tier III mining rig, which I think make it all just a little faster but nothing to write home about. It never saved me a significant amount of time. The descriptions talk a big game but there's not any differences. There are exception to this rule. First is the Gravel Pump, which makes it possible to get more gold, but it also adds a new layer of stuff to do. The main attraction, however, is the namesake of the DLC pack: The Frankenstein. This is a mobile conveyor belt that's a ton easier to set up than the normal conveyor belt and that really streamlines the entire process. If you're a fan of the game, these two things would would almost make the DLC worth the 5 dollars. Almost, but not quite.
Changing of the seasons
In order to implement the benefits of this DLC pack, you need to start Season 2 of the game, which requires you to forfeit everything except your money and gold, which can be a huge setback. Thankfully, if you really want to get back where you were there is an option to make everything $1, which felt a bit like cheating to me but I only have a week to play these things and I have to do things like eat and sleep. I am glad they added that though, it could really help anyone who gets tired of the first two tiers being slow before getting all the stuff you need for tier III mining.
On top of that $1 equipment setting, which is kind of a cheat but definitely helps pick up the pace if you're tired of grinding for something, there are a few other things they added or at least fixed. For one, the autosave function. That was one of my biggest complaints in my original review, especially for a game as buggy as this one is, and Code Horizon finally added one. There is also a new targeting mechanism for the machinery to help you aim with the heavier machinery, which is…nice. I wouldn't have called that a necessity but you know, it's the thought that counts.
Not as many bugs
Maybe it's because I performed a major upgrade over the holiday season, but the game did seem to be performing far better than before. I never wound up falling through the ground as I did before and the whole thing seemed to run smoother. That said, it still wasn't perfect. Things clip through other things all the time, but thankfully the game has a feature now where you can go to the map and reset yourself or any of your equipment to get it unstuck, which is nice. It would be preferable if it weren't even necessary. Every now and again something would suddenly clip through the scenery and vanish. At one point in time my truck spun out of control and the magnetite trailer behind me flew off the back of my truck, into the woods, and into the waiting maw of the void, never to be seen again. It was easy to replace, so it was more funny than anything, but if it were full I would have been out of a good chunk of money.
Graphics and audio
The graphics and audio are still phenomenal. Regardless of the flaws this game carries, I take absolutely no issues with Gold Rush: The Game from an aesthetic standpoint. It's kind of a pity I spent half of my time playing the game with my eyes glued on Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood because it looks and sounds great, there just isn't really much reason to pay constant attention. It's a pity, but that's just the kind of game it is, at least to me.
Gold Rush: The Game is not a great game. It's a good simulator with somewhat intuitive controls that provides a good way to relax after a long day. It isn't fast-paced gold hunting action, but it could be worth the price tag as is if and only if you happen to meet the recommended system requirements. Frankenstein Machinery adds a few new bits and pieces to the game, but nothing to write home about. Honestly I don't think the game should have left Early Access so soon and that the machinery in the DLC should be standard, it does some stuff different but not enough to merit a whole $5 pack to itself. I'd say if you absolutely adore the base game it isn't completely unreasonable, I'd still put it a few steps below Evolve's old nightmarish labyrinth of microtransactions, but I still don't think it's worth it for the average player. The game still looks and sounds great and has definitely gotten far better, but it still isn't something I'm going to rave about.
|+ Calm, casual Gameplay||– Steep system requirements|
|+ Powerful feeling machines||– Still some bugs|
|+ Amazing music||– DLC doesn't do a whole lot different.|