This has been out for over a year, but it's Early Access so has kinda coalesced during that time. After enjoying it on a free weekend a while back, we picked this up in a recent sale and it's amazing.

The premise, to summarise in a few words, is "Left4Dead meets Red Faction & Minecraft" but I think that's selling it a bit short.

Players take the role of up to 4 dwarves, in a sci-fi universe where they work for DeepRock Galactic, the galaxy's premier mining firm, who dig in the places too dangerous for anyone else.

In each mission, players fall to the planet below in a dropship, and are tasked with a specific objective, the most typical of which is to mine a certain amount of specific materials. The game's played from first-person, and players can dig around, creating caverns, tunnels, and knocking through walls to reach new areas. The levels themselves are procedurally generated too. In essence this works similarly to games like Red Faction or even Minecraft; in order to get around, you'll need to bash through walls, dig out stairs, create access tunnels, negotiate drops, etc.

Players choose one of four classes, each with specific and diverse abilities. There's a gunner who can also shoot a zip-line which can be used to transport other players, or an engineer with sentry turrets who has a gun which shoots pellets that expand into climbable platforms... These guys have a lot of character too, along with magnificent beards.

The Left4Dead bit comes from the other half of the game; the caverns are dangerous. Enemies spawn in waves, while some are just found hanging around as you progress, and players have to work together to survive. If you just try to fight them straight-up, you'll probably die; when the waves attack, you have to build/mine defensive structures to keep you safe until the horde passes.

Finally, when you've gathered enough stuff, there's a mechanic where your employer sends your ship to collect you, so you've got to get back to it within 5 minutes or it leaves... During which you're also pursued by enemies - so you have to make sure you've dug appropriate access routes back to where you started.

The game's built for 4-player co-op, but it also has an AI drone which comes with you as a solo player that fills in for the other players.

Anyway, with the dry stuff out of the way... This thing is incredible fun! The levels are dangerous, sometimes downright unfair, meaning you really need to use the best of all your abilities to survive. It really forces you to work as a team, proceeding methodically and helping each other out, while the music, visuals and always-different levels impart a real sense of dread when you mine your way into a new chamber, wondering whether you'll find veins of gold or a hive of enemies!

I love games like this; games where you can make plans and have strategies together, and things work with military precision... But when it goes wrong, it goes very wrong, very fast. We've had sessions where we're all killed in moments and we've just found ourselves laughing out loud at how utterly ****ed we were.

Anyway, we're going to be playing this for a while, I suspect - and I strongly recommend it.