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Steamworld devs' promising survival game The Gunk resurfaces with new gameplay

Steamworld creator Image and Form, now part of Thunderful Games, brought a welcome update on its survival game The Gunk to today's Xbox Gamescom 2021 kickoff.

You may remember The Gunk from its reveal at a July 2020 Xbox showcase. We were instantly on board with its cute art and alien planet, especially with Thunderful at the helm. The Steamworld universe has absolutely nailed every genre it's ever tried, so a craft-'em-up survival game just made sense for the studio. But we haven't seen much of it since that reveal – in fact, the last update we got was an indirect delay as part of an Xbox Game Pass timeline. 

Today's reappearance confirmed that the game has indeed been pushed from its initial September target to a December release date, but it also brought some full-fat gameplay. The Gunk was pitched as an odyssey through an alien planet, hoovering up the titular gunk and getting to know the flora and fauna as you go. Today's trailer shows off the creatures, landscapes, puzzles, and hazards you'll encounter, and it all looks delightful. Things get surprisingly dark and alien at the end, too, suggesting this planet's got more to offer than some goo and plants.

The Gunk will launch on Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S, and PC in December, and it'll be on Xbox Game Pass day one. 

This was a great show for promising indies: check out the Dark Souls-inspired Stray Blade, the retro rogue-like Into the Pit, and a whole mess of Humble games coming to Game Pass soon.  

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.