Core Keeper Review – Another Outstanding Sandbox Sim

This Core Keeper review is here to evaluate the game’s Early Access stage and all the content it offers. But before we get into that, let’s answer the most commonly asked questions about the game!

What is Core Keeper?

Core Keeper is a survival sandbox game where the players assume the role of an explorer that has to overcome an ancient cavern full of unique trinkets, valuable resources, and dangerous creatures.

Who made Core Keeper?

Pugstorm made Core Keeper, and Fireshine Games published the game.

When is Core Keeper coming out?

Core Keeper was released on March 8, 2022.

How much is Core Keeper?

You can buy Core Keeper for 12,99€.

Where can I buy Core Keeper?

You can buy a cheap Core Keeper Steam key on HRK Game.

Core Keeper review
Image credit: Pugstorm

A familiar start

Core Keeper is a game that drops us in the middle of a vast cavern that’s procedurally generated. From here on out, you must mine and get resources to survive. You need food, ore, tools, and everything to thrive and explore more of this mysterious underground.

Core Keeper is a game that follows the survival sim formula quite nicely. Players can build bases, and many Core Keeper Steam players describe the game as very reminiscent of titles like Terrarira, Don’t Starve, Stardew Valley, and Valheim. Like most games from this genre, Core Keeper lets up to eight people play the game together.

Core Keeper review
Image credit: Pugstorm

While it takes a lot of inspiration from its peers, Core Keeper has its own gameplay loop with a very satisfying and engaging grind. You may even say that it’s a dungeon crawler. While exploring areas through the early game, players are surrounded by walls and many areas stuffed with loot. Dig through the dirt and explore multiple regions that make out the game’s world. As you will find out at the end of this Core Keeper review, I quite liked the game’s similarity to my other favorite titles, like Terraria.

Core Keeper won’t force you to battle bosses

Once you get some gear, you take on the region’s bosses. But, the game doesn’t force you to go through them. You can play throughout most of the mid-game without ever taking them on. Even though it’s an indie game with a charming art style, some monsters are genuinely scary.

Core Keeper review
Image credit: Pugstorm

It’s a classic pattern: spend resources to strengthen your base, craft things that allow you to explore further, prepare for the boss fight, build backup bases, and enhance return routes to critical locations. As the paths you’ve designed become more complicated, you can rely on your map, which you can display as an overlay. While bosses make the game more complex, the crafting-focused sandbox concept is ideal for those who are less interested in serious fighting and more interested in base-building. 

All of this is aided by Core Keeper’s straightforward skill system. The more you engage in one particular activity, the more points you accumulate to spend on perks. 

Multiple unique starting classes

You select a starting class, which provides bonuses – I chose to be a cook, which gave me a cooking pot and some tasty mushrooms. I chose this profession because it was adorable, but the food-related stat benefits are fantastic. When cooked, a particular variety of spicy flowers, for example, grants speedier running and resembles a burrito. Eating food is also essential for replenishing your “hunger” bar and staying alive. So yes, Core Keeper is one of those PC games where eating food is necessary. Which may be bothersome for some players.

Core Keeper review
Image credit: Pugstorm

This is a surprising amount of depth for a game that appears simple at first glance. Core Keeper does an excellent job of gradually introducing its crafting system and the variety of ways you can construct your stronghold. You primarily learn by doing — obtaining new bonuses or discovering new materials and asking, “What can I do with this?” — an uncommon trait in a genre that numerous antiquated rules and difficult-to-navigate interfaces may blight. I also enjoy those types of games, but I appreciate Core Keeper’s simplified simplicity, which allowed me to jump right in.


Core Keeper keeps its gameplay loop simple but engaging. The crafting system has a lot to offer, and there are enough regions and content to keep you occupied for a good while. And let’s not forget that game is still in Steam’s Early Access at the time of writing this Core Keeper review. So there’s a lot more to come for Core Keeper, and I think this survival sim will only get better as time goes on. For now, though, it has everything you need to scratch that indie survival sim itch, and I definitely recommend you pick it up if you’re a fan of this genre.

You can buy a Core Keeper Steam key over at HRK Game.


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