Gold Rush Review

Gold Rush is a simulation game based on the Discovery Channel show of the same name. With an amount of glitches and bugs that would rival the best Bethesda games and gameplay that is overly complicated and tedious, this title practically begs you not to play it. That being said, I keep finding myself drawn back to its cumbersome yet comforting controls, toiling my day away in the dirt in hopes of landing a big score. 

I would recommend starting with the tutorial, although you’ll still be left scratching your head as to what is expected of you. After a bit of trial and error and numerous trips back to town to grab another power cable and extender, I was finally on my way to hitting pay dirt. Luckily, you quickly gain a tablet that you can order parts and supplies from and have them shipped to your location, saving you from making the tedious trek back and forth along uneven access roads. There is also an option to play in $1 mode, effectively turning the experience into easy mode.

Even with “easy mode” enabled, you will find yourself contending with the games overly complicated mechanics, including: running power from generators that need a constant supply of fuel; running water from a nearby lake, stream, or water tower to the machines that need them to operate; and fixing mechanical failures such as broken belts, flat tires, and pooped out pumps. After all these steps are taken, you’re ready to start panning for gold right? Wrong, you probably forgot to do something and will have to troubleshoot why your gold is being poured back into the earth leaving your pockets just as empty as when you started. Luckily for you, there are built-in video tutorials called DigTube located in your backpack. 

You will use a robust assortment of vehicles to aid your gold seeking quest including: a large and small excavator, a bulldozer, a dump truck, a front-end loader, a trusty pickup truck, as well as a wide assortment of pull behind trailers. The controls for each machine are way more complicated than they initially seem. Once again, we are lucky enough to have an on screen list of controls that can be toggled on/off at a moments noticed to troubleshoot why the big hunk of metal won’t do the thing it’s supposed to do. 

Random events are thrown into the mix to provide a bit of excitement. This feature can be turned off in the menus mid-game, so if you’re not into the extra stress, you can opt out. There is a day and night cycle and even season changes that present unique challenges, such as: the natural water sources drying out in the summer, or the lakes freezing in the winter. Weather also presents problems as rain, heat, and cold can cause your machines to wear and tear faster than normal.


Despite these complaints, I have tremendously enjoyed my first 40 hours and feel a sense of accomplishment when I finally get my wash station running and walk away with a pocket full of gold. This game demands your patience and attention, so it will not be for everybody, but for a select few, this game will provide hours of entertainment. 

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This game was reviewed based on Xbox One review code, using an Xbox One console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.
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  • Plenty of machine and vehicle variety
  • Hours of fun to be had by simulation enthusiasts
  • $1 mode essentially a sandbox experience
  • Even with a tutorial the learning curve is sharp
  • Encountered plenty of game breaking glitches
  • Graphics and sound design are boring
Gameplay - 5
Graphics - 5
Audio - 4
Longevity - 7
Written by
I've been playing videogames since my mum bought me an amiga for Christmas. I don't have a favourite platform but I like to play as many games as I can with the Souls series being my favourite. Fromsoftware are my preferred developers - the more difficult the videogame the better! I have a soft spot for 8-bit games and 8-bit soundtracks. Co-op games are also high up on my list.

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