Best underground mining games?

It isn’t really about mining or resources. You can carve out the terrain, like Minecraft, but there aren’t really any resources to find or any reason to dig down. I really enjoyed it, but it doesn’t seem to fit the requirements.

Ah, well in that case, Portal Knights is not at all what you’re after. New materials are mostly discovered by going to different shards, rather than digging deep for them. In fact, digging deep isn’t really a thing you can do too much because the premise is that the world broke apart into these floating shards, so you can’t dig down very far before you fall out the bottom into the void.

Astroneer fulfills the first and third, somewhat the second, and the fourth is a matter of taste I guess.

But driving a drilling truck towards the core of the planet sure can be fun.

I mean there’s kinda Terraria…and then everything else…

I thought Satisfactory was mostly about automation and such?

There’s an entire level about exploring and rebuilding an ore mine.

Since it hasn’t been mentioned yet, you also need to consider Oxygen Not Included if you haven’t tried it. It may be more about survival and automation than mining, but it is a fantastic game.

Uh, I remember that grind all too well. I made a character specifically for grinding GM blacksmith called “the Devil”. The perk of reaching GM was, that your crafted items were marked with your name. So the char could make swords marked “Made by the Devil”. They sold like hot cakes.

That was a worthwhile use of a couple of months of blacksmithing… ehm.

It still seems to me to satisfy all the criteria put forth. Sense of going into the unknown, finding secrets, exploiting resources, satisfying a/v implementation. It’s much more exploratory than Factorio, certainly.

Red Faction series?

Craft The World - is a game about managing a group of dwarves as they mine resources in order to craft better gear and furniture. The deeper you go, the better resources you find. There is a bit of a RTS/TD element, as every so often, on specific time intervals, a group of monsters will portal in, near your base, and you have to defend/defeat/survive it.

While mining, you can run into various “rooms” that contain a boss creature or 2, or a chest with special loot. I think this game ticks most of the requirements mentioned in the OP. Also, this game was one of my top 10 of the decade, albeit I’m pretty sure I was the only vote for it.

Right. Though, I might say rebuilding a bar and entertainment area rather than a mine. :) But you barely have to “mine” anything, even on that level.

Junk Jack was fun.
Multi on IOS is horked though.

This is a great recommendation. I’d say the game has everything to do with mining, though in an “outside the box” way.

How survivalish is it?

There are alien animals who don’t like you, but there’s no hunger/thirst mechanic that I recall.

Again, thank you all for the recommendations. Keep them coming! ; )

I’ll go with Astroneer first (since it’s on Game Pass).

Oh man, didn’t think of this one despite the vast number of hours I’ve put into it. Definitely +1 to this one, and does meet the “dig deeper to get new / higher level resources” type requirement.

I had a fair bit of fun with Gold Rush. It’s really satisfying having your claim grow from almost nothing to a huge industrial operation. It is super grindy, however, and it lacks the variety of other mundanity sims.

Reminds me, “I Dig It” came out on iOS several years before the first Steamworld Dig but played similarly, except without any story to get in the way. It was all about upgrading your digger and base to go deeper and deeper, and find increasingly valuable ores. Pretty atmospheric down in the lower depths. There was a remastered version for iOS and Android released in 2016 which is still available.