The big Hydroneer mining sandbox just got… a whole lot bigger. The release of the updated version 2.0 today, Sunday May 8, 2022, adds split-screen co-op, Steam Remote Play, hundreds of new items, and an all-new vehicle system. it also adds two new areas to the world. Perhaps most impressively, the update is a complete overhaul of Hydroneer’s underlying code, putting it on more stable ground for additional optimization, new gameplay features, and multiplayer.
It’s a far cry from the game that I thought was getting quite detailed when it was updated to add power and logic systems in 2021. I couldn’t have imagined it would ever be a game that you would customize your character’s appearance for multiplayer. I doubt when our Chris Livingston tried it in 2020 he thought it would go this far.
Hydroneer’s best selling point, for the record, is still intact: it’s $10 for a sprawling sandbox building game. (30% off until May 15, even.)
That price has something to do with why multiplayer is co-op split-screen using Steam Remote Play, for the record. “Due to the technical limitations of the physics engines and our desire to remain independent and not hire outside investors, I decided the best thing to do was to turn the multiplayer aspects of the update into split-screen Steam Remote Play,” said the game creator and Foulball Hangover. directs Max Hayon. “We’ve tested this a lot and put it through its paces and I’m personally very impressed with how far it’s come since the last time I used it.”
The new world update is pretty neat, adding two new areas, each with its own dig site to mine. Icehelm and Snowrune Falls each have their own twists, but Icehelm is the most interesting to me: it’s a horizontal dig rather than a vertical one. Icehelm also has a few stores to buy, to boot.
You can find Hydroneer on Steam.