Underground is a new type of puzzle game for the WiiU developed by ‘Grendel Games’. When you begin you are shown the story of a little girl named Sari and her friend, a robot butler named Sw4nk. Sari’s father, unsatisfied with the robots job performance sends him away to work in the mines. This prompts Sari to go against her fathers will and save Sw4nk from his impeding doom in the Underground. Along the way they will face numerous threats and challenges while also helping the other robots in the area reach the exit. It’s a fun concept but the way you must navigate through these maze like mines is a whole other story.

Using the left and right joysticks on the WiiU gamepad you control a set of corresponding robotic arms. These mechanical appendages are your only tools for escaping and overcoming the obstacles that are stopping the robots from reaching the exit. Both of the arms are equipped with tools like a welder, drill, claw (used to grab) and a sharp poker you can use to crack ice amongst other things. These tools can be accessed through the WiiU gamepad screen by tapping on them. The origin of this idea started in the medical field believe it or not. Underground is marketed as a game that is  “designed to be an entertainment product as well as an innovative training tool”. It is currently being used to help surgeons train their laparoscopic surgery motor skills, which is pretty cool potential for a video game. The medical version comes with a special controller however, which would probably make for much less frustrating and more precise gameplay but who knows.


While the idea of controlling 2 huge robot arms seems pretty fun, I found it very nerve racking. If you want to zoom in or out of the scene to get a better view of the level you need to move the joysticks inward (moving the arms closer together) or move them both outward (moving the arms farther apart). Which sounds easier than it actually is, and while it is confusing it’s something that you will get better at as you play which I suppose is the whole point. Guiding all robots out of the mine is how you complete levels but Underground is also chocked full of collectibles you will want to grab along the way if your one of those people who loves completing everything! Also there is a harder difficulty for players who prefer a greater challenge.


While the graphics are not amazing there are still some eye catching moments worth seeing in the game. For example, the cutscenes you watch are all without dialogue or text so they have to be a bit more intriguing and detailed so you know what’s going on. There are also some pretty neat looking levels as well as 4 different worlds to travel through and bosses to defeat along the way. Underground is also equipped with a great soundtrack that was performed by a full orchestra. So even if your not fond of the clunky robot hands there are some positives to playing it. I personally found it much more work than fun but that’s just me.


So if your looking for a new puzzle game that isn’t like any other on the WiiU eShop think about giving Underground a try. If you enjoy a challenge and don’t mind having to master the controls then you might really enjoy playing it. One thing I cant get over though is the price, at $19.99 I wouldn’t say its ‘unfair’ but I do recommend waiting for a sale or discount seeing as there are a ton of awesome games available on the eShop for half that price. But then again those other games wont give you the skills you need to become the most amazing laparoscopic surgeon of all time now will they? (DISCLAIMER: Underground for WiiU will not transform you into a licensed laparoscopic surgeon.)