A downloadable game

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Brave the Alien Planet

Control a remote operated mining droid to mine the planet's most valuable resource: Cores. But, beware - the inhabitants don't take too lightly to their home being excavated. Use crank operated movement to weave around enemies, collect Cores, and dig deeper into the fault.

Equip Your Droid

Each level you dig brings options of equipment and upgrades. Install accessories that give you damaging attacks or boost your stats to try and get deeper and deeper in each run. 

Unlock and Progress

Collect Cores, try to get as deep as you can, and use your hard earned resources to unlock upgrades. Send your upgraded droid down again to get further! Repeat and hone your skills in this addicting, survivors-like game loop.

A collaboration between SquidGod and davemakes

Updated 25 days ago
Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars
(12 total ratings)
AuthorsSquidGod, davemakes
Made withPlaydate


Buy Now$6.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $6 USD. You will get access to the following files:

CoreFault.pdx.zip 17 MB

Development log


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Oh this game loop is devilishly good. It's like you reimagined slay the spire and made it even more fun. Well done, guys!

This game is amazing (save for a couple weapons, hehe). I would love to see an update (hell, just sell it as a sequel and I'll buy it) with  an additional carrot beyond upgrading your droid. If there were a final depth level to try and get to (maybe there is?) or something that felt more like an end other than upgrade everything (which I'm already enjoying doing), I would love that. Maybe a sequel where you have to rescue other droids and have to drill back up to the surface to get them to the rescue ship?


will there be an update to the itch.io build to have an icon in the launcher's list view?


If playdate counted playtime, this game would be my number one by now, I'm pretty sure!

Glad to hear that you're enjoying it! Thanks for playing


I played it a bit 


One of my favorite playdate games!


Hands down the best game I've played on Playdate. I love Survivor style games and this def scratches that itch but also includes some unique mechanics that make it feel like it's own thing. 

Would love leaderboard support if any future updates happen. Looking forward to maxing out stats and then transitioning to a pure DPS chase to see how far I can go down. I've only hit level 15 at this point but with more playtime and maxed stats I'm sure I can push it further.

Greated soundtrack, great art and so worth the price tag. I love it!

Thanks for playing Jordan! Loved watching through your playthrough.


If we bought this on itch, is there any way you could send us a vvoucher code to get it on Catalog?

Not that I'm aware of unfortunately... Only thing I can think of is requesting a refund for this game through Itch IO support and buying it again over on Catalog, which I wouldn't mind you doing.

I appreciate it, I emailed support to see if this is possible.  Happy you were able to get the game onto Catalog!  It's really great.

New here, so forgive the potentially stupid question, but what would be the advantage to having it on Catalog instead of itch. Isn't it all the same once it's on the device?

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benefit is automatic updates from catalog rather than having to re-download and sideload from itch

Ah ok, got it. Define benefit to being on catalogue then. Thanks for the quick reply


Really fun, polished, game. Would love to see this come to catalogue with leaderboards and some kind of 'endless' mode. 

Currently once you're maxed out on upgrades the 10 mins is the limiting factor, it'd be great to be able to allocate resources/cores to recharge battery, balance with other upgrades and see how far you can go.

Totally agree. I managed to max out in a few days and was not board of it yet, but there was little else to play for other than seeing the max level one could reach in the time, which for me was around 17. I think they are more or less done with it now, but hopefully catalog sells will incentivise them to implement a way to extend the playtime.

Is this game coming to Catalog? 

Yes, at some point


And now it has. Brought it here at the time of that message, and over there now too, happy to support your work. 

Thanks Toploader!!


this is one of the reasons I want to get a playdate

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Wonderful update!

I literally deleted my saved data with all the jazz unlocked after I tested the new balancing, and I'm experiencing everything afresh. It's even more fun this time through!

Awesome - glad you're enjoying it!

new update keeps giving me a download error on my playdate device

Strange... What does the error say?


I restarted the playdate and it’s fine now lol


Got a bug, when picking a weapon to replace with your new one they all show as level 2. Also some weirdness with the radio waves, the projectile count seems to be going up with every wave? And now that I've picked it as a starting weapon after a lengthy run with it I've started with it shooting 16 projectiles instead of the 5 it used to, is that tied to the total number of upgrades you have or something?

The early game is really weak right now, when you have only one weapon and it's at level 1 you're pretty screwed with most of the weapons. As others said, the circling weapons are waaaaay too slow. Plasma, prod and static field suffer from the way the controls force you to always keep going forward which makes it super easy to run into enemies by accident, they're somewhat workable but you'll likely take a lot of unnecessary damage simply because you have to take that risk just to attack. The pea shooter and radio waves are just by far the safest starting option since they don't require you to move into danger.

We've done some rebalancing to try and make the early game better and I think we were able to address those bugs. The update will be coming out today.


Hi, greate wee game.

not played vampire survivers yet but enjoying this.
already so polished but seems lackign on some areas since some is soo good already.
Death animations on enemies and mines/ damge states on mines. 
Id like to see the hit boxed tightend up a little, can hit head on enemies above too easly now and make it hard to dip and weve, give more head room as the characters are basicaly flat planes so colision shoud be roudn there feet/ bottom half more.

Also seems like some of the power ups and a but crap compared to others, I think it owudl be cool to have something like the always mine radius one always on then everything else is a bonus. but that probs needs some tweeking. 
Id also like some ikinda way to declane an upgrade , may alreayd be there but sometimes i has a good setup and seemed forced to replace somthign with a less good powerup.
I hear ur working on updates and am looking forward to seeing what improvments are in the pipe already
Some kinda push back enemy ability would be good, dono if any of the powers have knock bach atm


Hey Lowtek! Thanks for playing and the suggestions. Those are all good points, and at the very least I've already lowered hitbox for the next update.


Hello there! Having trouble sideloading this all morning, I'll try again after work. The game shows up in my Playdate library on the web page but nothing drops into my downloaded games refresh after refresh. I hope its just a goof on my end, looking forward to playing, big fan of your development!!

p.s. bought the game twice this morning thinking I got the wrong one, they were in fact the same file lol. 

That's very strange... There's also the option of using the data disk mode and uploading the game directly. Instructions are found here: https://help.play.date/games/sideloading/. Let me know if you're still having issues.

I've also went ahead and submitted a request to itch io support to refund the duplicate purchase.

Thank you! I'll try that tonight and thanks for the refund request! Truly appreciate it! 


Thank you!!! I got it working last night through the data disk mode and this morning after an update it works like a charm. Thank you again Squid God for the help and I'll swear off Calamari in your honor! Cheers from a fellow Dev (Niantic Artist). 


Really wish the PlayDate had a backlight, would love to play your games in the evening lol. 


Having a lot of fun with the game, it's already very good!

I have some feedback that I think would improve the experience a lot: Enemies really need some kind of death animation, particles, a little 'pop' animation, something at least. As it is right now the game feels super polished in the menus, but during gameplay stuff like lack of feedback upon enemy death and that enemies completely ignore walls is really jarring. It feels like a huge blemish on an otherwise super-polished product!

You also definitely need some kind of critical hit feedback. Enemies don't have health bars and they don't have pushback upon being hit, so there is almost no way for a player to know whether a hit was a crit or not. This makes the critical hit upgrades completely interchangeable with the extra damage one, as all you really know is "I'm probably doing a bit more damage on average".

Thanks for playing! And great points. Some more polish/feedback on that stuff would definitely be good - we'll look into that.


Played through quite a bit of the game so far, it's fun and surprisingly polished. I do have some criticisms/suggestions since I see you're working on updates.

The only real long-term goal right now is to max out all upgrades, which is a bit hollow since you'll exhaust the game's content long before that point.

The apparently endless(?) floors runs into performance troubles rather quickly, around the time the second large enemy starts spawning. By the time the third enemy was spawning I was afraid the game might just lock up entirely.

I think separate stages with limited floors could be a way to ramp difficulty without overloading the spawn rate. Add a stage boss and you've got a goal, plus the added difficulty/pressure of clearing the stage before your battery runs out.

Additionally, it took some time to realize that my equipment was leveling as I dug deeper. This element isn't particularly clear and in general a way to check current stats (maybe with the home button) would be welcomed.

Not sure how much time you and Dave want to put into this project, but I really think it could be among the Playdate's killer apps with some more content and polishing.

Thanks for playing and for the feedback! Yeah, the perf issues are still definitely there which are a bit tricky to address. The solution of separate stages with a stage boss sounds like a cool idea, though it would definitely be big undertaking.

I understand the permanent upgrades you spend to unlock. But what does spending to unlock the 3 tiers of weapons do? 

It increases the base level of equipment/weapon you find, but only after the third equipment/weapon you've picked up. We're going to change how it works to make it less confusing.

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I’m enjoying this game, but I must admit I was a bit confused by the diference between inter-level upgrades and the ones we buy from mined ore. Is there a difference? Also what is “Crit Chance”?

One suggestion, I would like it if the ore piles could have different art to show how close they are to being mined. Perhaps the mound could get more broken down, as you mine them. It wasn’t that clear to begin with that you mine them by attacking them in the same way you attack the aliens. If they were to break down as you mined them it would help show that progress is being made.

I agree that some of the weapons could be improved. The electricity weapons are amazing (static field and shock prod) but the lasers and rockets are rather frustrating to use. The way they rotate about you is annoying particularly as there is no way to aim. Perhaps they could fire in a random direction for each shot but give you some lead time with the crosshairs, so you will know where it will be. It would also be nice if hitting an enemy caused it to react in some way - perhaps have them pushed back a tiny amount.

Other than that this is really great. Definitely a worthwhile colaboration!


Thanks for playing olsiver! We're working on an update that should make the unlocks you buy with the ore more clear. Some indication of the ore pile mine status is a good idea. Crit chance is the chance that you get a critical strike with your attacks, which does more damage. And we'll be reworking the beam and sub rocket to be more fun to play.

(4 edits) (+1)

Please don’t take my comments as negativity. I am absolutely loving this game, but with a few refinements it could be even better.

A couple of other suggestions:

  • I think it would be good if there was an indication as to what level you are on. Perhaps display a title card at start of each level to display the current depth. E.g. Level 1 = 100m. Level 2 = 200m etc.
  • It might be too resource intensive but I though it would be cool if monsters could spawn out of holes in the ground.
  • With the right combination of luck and equipment choices I have found I can mine 100 ore from a single level, whereas other choices will only only get me a few per level. Maybe this is a feature, but it feels a little unbalanced. I find myself trying to get force field and radio waves plus the mining addon simply to get the big bucks, and then keep mining until the time runs out. Then I have loads to spend in the store for next time.
  • It would be nice if the radio waves looked like waves rather than balls. Perhaps little curve lines that fire out wards.
  • Sometimes between levels it is forcing me to switch to diferent weapons when I really want to keep the ones I have. Is this a design choice?
  • When swapping out an existing weapon, the replacement always seems to say lvl 1. Is this a bug?
  • Rather that’s ‘Deploy’ and ‘Unlock’, perhaps ‘Deploy’ and ‘Shop’?

The feedback is very appreciated - it helps a lot. These are good points - I'll be bringing this up to Dave in our next convo and we'll be talking about how to address them. And the forcing you to swap weapons is a design choice, though it could be implemented in a better way for sure.

167 ore from one level!


Just popping in to say that I've thoroughly loved playing this game so far. Definitely has that "one more run" quality. Excited to see what updates may come, and what games both of you might work on next!

Thanks for popping in maclgn!


Great work adapting vampire survivors to playdate and still feel fresh! Love the art and the use of just the crank. Would fit right in as a season game!

Some small feedback:

- Some weapons are very unfun to pick, especially in a early run. Like laser and rockets they just take too long to take out enemies, especially compared to the energy field.

- I somewhat guess it's performance reasons, but I feel like impact to the weapons could be improved. If not some particles, maybe knockback, hitstun etc

- This might be me, but the sound of shooting quickly becomes hard to listen for a while. I would be happy with lowering the volume of the shooting or an option to toggle off sounds.


Thanks for the feedback! Those are all good points - we'll work to try and address these things with the next update.


I'm really enjoying the game so far, I've unlocked most of the upgrades, though I haven't made it past stage 4 yet haha.

The Good:

  • Art, UI and animation are excellent.
  • Music is very atmospheric
  • The player character stands out, as do the enemies (this isn’t a guarantee in playdate games).
  • Enemy designs are really fun
  • Overall gamplay loop is great
  • Crank-based movement works very well and much better than I’d expected


Could be improved:

  • Beam and subterranean rocket are just kinda less fun to use, especially if picked first (this could just be a personal preference)
  • None of the weapons feel super impactful
  • The static field’s sound effect is a little grating over time
  • The Beam animation is pretty basic. Some extra particles, a fade or something could go a long way.



  • When entering a new stage your mineral core shows 0 until you break a mineral
  • Enemies can spawn in and walk through walls


Suggestions for future content:

  • It would be nice to separate weapons from other upgrades and allow equipping three of each. Maybe one can be based on XP from kills and another from finishing a stage?
  • Would love to see an end level with a boss. This could give some urgency to complete levels quickly before the time runs out. (I'm just assuming this doesn't already exist, but maybe I'm just bad and haven't made it far enough)
  • Games like Vampire Survivors have cool synergies between weapons and upgrades. Would be neat to see something like that here.
  • More variety in stage design, or maybe a new “planet”. Could be as simple as swapping the walls for water and creating different enemy sprites.
  • Single use abilities or items would be neat. Like a screen clearing bomb for example

Thanks for the thorough feedback! Got some feedback about the beam and sub rocket from some other people - I'll look into that this week along with the bugs.


Anytime! I hope my feedback didn't come across too negative, its a really fantastic game overall and I'm really excited to see where you go with it!


I love the whole presentation of the game and I'm looking forward to playing more of it!

A couple of things that would be great to see improved if you end up continue work on this: 

  • Don't let enemies spawn/walk on non-walkable tiles
  • Reduce the player hitbox to the base of the sprite instead of the full height. Right now it feels strange for the character to look 3D, but take damage at the top of the sprite.
  • Autotile the level as one complete unit after combining chunks so that it's more seamless.

Thanks for playing Kevin! Those changes sound good. We'll be working on an update this week to address some balance issues and bugs.