Hydroneer's new Power and Logic update adds complex customization options

We've not taken a look at mining sandbox Hydroneer since its launch last year, but its come a long way since then. Update 1.6 released a few days ago, adding Logic and Power systems as toys in your sandbox, and a new store in town, Hobson's Powerworks, has an array of items for powering up and running your mining operation. Power comes through big red conduits, while logic comes through large bundles of cabling. 

The power system will be simple for those who already know the game: You make a big power reactor, fill it with shards, and then run power conduits from it. In their description video developer Foulball Hangover describes the update as "too many new items and equipment to describe." 

The logic updates are kind of wild: They send a numerical value through a bundle of cables, and give that value to everything they're connected to. That lets you do something as simple as sending 1 and 0 to start or stop an object, but can be as complicated as sending the RGB color code for a light—that's right, you can make a red alert switch and everything turns red.

Finally, the biggest update in my opinion is handcarts and a handcart store. You'll also now start with a handcart. Why is this exciting? Because this is the game where you have no inventory system. Everything has to be hand carried or placed in a bucket or on a vehicle to get moved around. Madness. Our Christopher Livingston said that he "can't decide if having no inventory system … is brilliant or brutal."

Finally, I'll leave you with this patch note, which sounds like an exceptional Occupational Safety Hazard: "Axes no longer occasionally fling into the air when being created on an anvil." You can find Hydroneer on Steam. 

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.