Heavy machinery sim and TV tie-in Gold Rush: The Game becomes a surprise hit on Steam

Gold Rush: The Game

It’s always fascinating when a game that I was completely unaware of the existence of finds itself a top-seller on Steam. While only there briefly before dropping to 4th, Gold Rush: The Game launched into the 2nd place slot in the revenue-ranked Top Sellers list on Steam last night, nestled comfortably betweed PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Middle Earth: Shadow of War.

Not bad for a Kickstarter-funded heavy industrial sim paired with an American reality TV show.

Not that there aren’t a lot of well-regarded sims on PC. Here’s some choice picks.

While halfway concrete sales data on the game will be some time coming, the fact that the game is already so respectably high up in the Top Sellers would imply that there’s a respectable number of people throwing their money at the game.

The concept of the game is, well, what it says on the tin. You’re prospectin’ for gold in them thar hills. Gold Rush is loosely based on the TV show of the same name which I’m sadly only vaguely aware of, although I’ve heard tales of grand obsession with little payout among the miners covered.

Rather than get bogged down in personal dramas, the game plays it straight. This is a purely mechanical simulation – you’ve got a claim, you’ve got a budget, you’ve got equipment and you need to dig, pan, sort and more in order to get shiny rocks out of the ground and sell them in hopes of breaking even.

Sadly, user reviews seem to indicate that the game was perhaps pushed out a little too early, with poor documentation being a common complaint. It’s all well and good having access to these complex mining machines, but if you have no idea how to drive them, that’s a problem.

The developers do promise major updates in the near future, including several things described in Kickstarter stretch goals such as dump trucks, drilling machines and automated washing plants, and generally offering as much support for the game as their very small development team will allow.

Gold Rush is out now on Steam for $15.49/$18 with a 10% launch discount.