Dive into the exciting world of finding long forgotten treasures. Grab your metal detector and set off to explore the countryside. What today looks like a peaceful meadow might have been the scene of a fierce battle in the past, hiding now the valuable artefacts. Ready to dig into the past?
Developed by Drago Entertainment and published by MD Games, Treasure Hunter Simulator first made its appearance on Steam for PC way back in 2018. With the game now unearthed on the Xbox family of consoles, will it hold as much enjoyment as other treasure-related titles such as Sea Of Thieves?
Now I’ve always secretly liked the thought of venturing out into the open with a metal detector. The thought of finding something super rare which has been buried for hundreds if not thousands of years sounds exciting. The simulator genre of games is a rather congested one. You can farm, drive a bus, be a goat and now go on a treasure hunt. It’s difficult to find out which simulator games are worthy of your time as they are a mixed bag. If you don’t want to invest in the technology of a real-life metal detector, they are very expensive! Then taking up the virtual hobby may dig out an interest you thought you never possessed.
What lies beneath?
Treasure Hunter Simulator sets you off on a brief tutorial lasting approximately five minutes. Here you will learn the basics of movement, how to access your PDA, metal detector and how to locate the objects that buzz away when you are close. Stick with it during the early phases of the game, there is a little more depth than waving a pole around and waiting for it to make noise.
There are two game modes to choose from here, story and exploration. Exploration allows you to select every location on the world map and treasure hunt for fun at your own convenience. The story puts you in the role of an anonymous treasure hunter whose uncle has recently passed away. He has left some inheritance behind but with a set of instructions behind some dodgy-looking email. You know the kind of emails you have hiding in your spam folder promising you millions of dollars, yeah that kind. Anyway, you have to trust this information and go with the flow. Conduct favours and carry out treasure hunts for organizations and individuals in exchange for rewards. The locations are based on real-life versions such as Gettysburg in the US and Gader Valley in Slovakia.
It’s all about the dollar dollar bills.
The main focus of the majority of jobs you’re assigned is to go and hunt treasure. However, there are other tasks such as sorting out trash, taking photos, and finding specific objects. These seem like mundane and boring things to do, but with each area quite vast it does become quite fun searching for the unexpected. Any treasure you find is yours, you’ve got your hands dirty and earned it. You will dig up plenty of junk and more valuable stuff as you progress. The choice is yours though, keep the items for your personal collection or flog it all and build your finances. Ticking off all the jobs will earn your prestige which will allow you to buy more powerful detectors. You pay for what you get in life, so these improved models have a larger scanning range and can search much deeper into the ground for you.
Graphics don’t make a game but it helps at times.
If there is one factor the developers have nailed, it is the environments on show here. There is a great balance of locations with some beautiful backdrops. Walking along places such as the Scottish coast or traversing through a Scandanavian cave. Treasure Hunter Simulator could have done with some polish when observing some of the landscape up close, but for the most part, it appears great. I encountered some frustrating bugs at times, such as the metal detection disappearing under the ground. Aside from this though there were no issues with the game performance with game worlds loading almost instantly on Xbox Series X. The digging animation was a little rough, digging appeared to be the same depth every single time. If digging was a little more varied and unpredictable it may have made this element of the game a bit more fun.
The sound effects are nothing to shout from the roof about. The detector sounds are what you’d expect, with the ambiance of background noise such as waves crashing and birds tweeting blends in nicely. The music is extremely relaxing and if you play this at 3 am in the morning like me, it may send you to sleep. All in all though, no complaints about audio here, it does what it needs to do.
Treasure Hunter Simulator isn’t the best title I have played in the sim game genre. It certainly isn’t the worst either. It offers completionists the opportunity to go and grind for gold, so to speak. Longevity is the real issue here, in my opinion, it doesn’t take long to come across the same items in the ground over and over again. It becomes stale extremely quickly which is a shame because the concept is exciting. With more work on the animations and perhaps more flexibility with a bit more exploration added, it may have been a real gem of a game. Whilst I didn’t uncover every single collectible piece of treasure on offer within the game, I can imagine that once you do there is no real reason to go back. The depth of hitting objectives and raising money just about props the game up for at least some hours of fun.