A surreal dream-world where everything is possible but nothing is easy. Peaceful and Zen. Brutally obstinate. Prepare to unlearn everything you thought you knew about voxel sandbox games.


  • A complete game, deep and complex, with mods available but not required.
  • An immersive 3D world, with no pop-ups and minimal HUDs between you and the world.
  • Paragon of the "voxel" concept, with virtually every in-world thing on the voxel grid.
  • In-world crafting systems with unique recipes.
  • Rich emergent mechanics, customizable machines built of discrete and fungible parts.
  • Complex in-game technology: optical logic circuits, hinged/rotary machinery, automated crafting.
  • Subtle dynamics: material angle of repose, fuel and soil quality, conservation and decay.
  • Exercise critical thinking and logical reasoning, and learn through experimentation.
  • Built-in new player guide, hint system providing low-spoiler guidance.
  • Playable and consistent across all platforms, single or multi-player. Mobile-friendly, gamepad-friendly.
  • Eggcorns! Pumwater!


  • This game is very likely (depending somewhat on how you play) to be difficult, complex, and unforgiving. If you want to unlock most of the content, expect to be mentally taxed, in both agility and endurance.
  • Only very basic, minimal-spoiler guidance is included in the game. Figuring things out yourself is part of the default experience. If you need more guidance, Join the Community (below).
  • Do not expect intuition you have built up from other games, including other voxel sandbox or puzzle games, to apply here. This game has its own logic and learning it is part of the full experience.


This package is the stable release of NodeCore. It's ideal for streamers, offline players or others who can't afford to deal with bugs, but new features may be delayed.

Alternatively, check out NodeCore ALPHA for the cutting-edge unstable version.

Join the Community:



Do you recommend this game?

  • This game delivers on all of its promises- but is frustratingly difficult to play "as intended".

    This review is pending a rewrite, 2021-10-25. My opinions of it have changed a lot since I first played it. It was initially more scathing. Pastebin for the old review here: https://pastebin.com/pb7tcRFg

    In short:

    • I played this game for nearly 5 hours straight and accomplished almost nothing. Got very frustrated with the early-game systems.
    • This was surprising to me- I normally take to minimal-instruction games like "The Witness" and "Understand" (as mentioned in another review) quite well- I've played both.
    • The next 5 hours, I focused on finding metal ores. They were very difficult to find, but I managed to get about ~15 "prills" (the basic unit of metal)
    • The game sped up massively after metallurgy. Forging metal tools not only speeds up the game, but unlocks most of the "interesting" content- Machinery, light logic, all of that.
    • I went from 15 prills after 10 hours over two sessions to having 40+ spare prills in between building machines to make my in-game life easier.

    However, this review is still a tentative "Not Recommend" because it was near impossible to play when played as intended. The intended way of playing is without spoilers, discovering everything through experimentation, with the hint system being pushes in the right direction. This sounds good in theory, but the implementation is severely lacking. Even the (unofficial) game wiki is no help past the "wood tier" of technology. I found more help reading the game's source code, and found that it gave me hints without making the intended action immediately obvious.

    This game is really good- but the good part is hidden under a lot of blind trial and error. It needs work, but the core (heh get it) is solid.

  • Unique and well-polished, but not for everyone

    I think it's safe to say that NodeCore is the best game I've played in Minetest, hands-down. The game features a lot of polish and accessibility features that I haven't seen elsewhere, and since I last played the dev has clearly put a lot of effort into making the game control in a smooth and convenient fashion.

    The design of the game is also quite unique, by making every craft and interaction occur in the world itself rather than an inventory screen and often involving the interaction of natural forces and materials. This makes many normally-trivial things harder, but also gives the player an incredible skill ceiling, with all kinds of optimization and automation becoming possible as the game progresses. But it's never as simple as getting the "does thing X but faster" block--the player must design their machines using the environment. It's one hell of a concept, and I caught myself a few times spending a lot of effort trying to puzzle out faster ways of doing what I could already do because doing so is genuinely useful and engaging.

    On the other hand, I suspect it's this very concept that makes me less interested in playing. When I play games, it's usually to unwind and not have to do serious thinking about design and interactions (my job offers plenty of that, thanks). As such, as much as I admire NodeCore and can tell that it's good, it's also a game that's never held me for very long. It also doesn't help that progression is at times tied to guesswork, having to work out how a new object works by brandishing various nouns and verbs at it can be tiring even if you know it'll let you do something cool in the end.

    Regardless, if you haven't given the game a try I really implore you to do so. You won't find another game like it, and the quality is apparent. For those who enjoy what the game has to offer, NodeCore is a veritable feast.

  • (Mostly) zen.

    Ores do not want to be mined. Stone does not want to be smelted. The only thing that really wants what you do to it is trees, and that is because without their leaves being broken for eggcorns, they cannot spread. It is tragic, but ultimately part of the trees' plan, that the tree will ultimately fall thereafter. Even the humble sponge would rather live its life than come with you.

    Metal is a distraction. Optics are a distraction. Arboriculture is a distraction. Enlightenment is knowing you do not need to struggle to survive.

    It takes hours to learn a new skill, but years to forget. Every day, we reinvent ourselves, the machines of the past, our previous crowning achievement becoming obsolete and stale. Resist the temptation to rebuild. What does it matter if it's beautiful? It serves a purpose. Perfection is a temptation.

    My friend gave me like 200 chromatic glass and I have nothing to do with it because I don't use it like she does. I spent two days learning how sponges work only to realize in horror that she had three untouched thriving colonies near her home, making my knowledge worthless. What I get from this game will not be what you get from it. I think you owe it to this game to see what you really will get from it.

  • An immersive "silent puzzler". Voxel building game optional.

    In another voxel building game you might have heard of, building a simple house is as simple as punching a tree, interact with menus and "draw" lines of wooden blocks that will become walls and ceiling, ultimately pieced together as your house.

    In Nodecore, before you even begin to idealize your house, you are tasked with the following: what are the ruleset of this game? That is one of the ultimate tasks that you will progress, before, during and after you've built your crude wooden home. The philosophy centering around avoiding explicit instructions allows Nodecore to become an enigmatic game with similarities to Understand and The Witness, which vastly entertained the puzzling mind inside me. Additionally, the limitations and mechanics in Nodecore is implemented such it is packaged with a well-rounded ruleset.

    One of the realizations i made while playing Nodecore is when i create structures, which looks rudimentary in other voxel building games, whilst knowing that the precursory knowledge and resource is not trivial. In other words, buildings, monuments, etc are unique in more ways than simply aesthethics. They require understanding the limitations of the ruleset you've learnt, and then finding ways to overcome that limitation such that it becomes another rule in your corpus.

    My main criticism would be forgetfulness, a burden that plagues humankind, even so far as to degrade my experience of Nodecore. I play Nodecore quite casually and do not play Nodecore often, resulting in higher probability of forgeting. In my opinion, this is the biggest hurdle for all casual players. There's many ways to solve this: the developer/community could make a (optional, separate) built-in reference, the developer/community could complete the wiki, the player could jot down notes, the player could create structures in-game to demonstrate a rule for their future-self, etc.

  • A breath of fresh air.

    Nodecore has always been my go-to game for a variety of reasons. And for such a simple project, it is truly surprising how much you can do, and how much there is to uncover; if you are willing to take a little time to get immersed in its unique world. The absence of mods makes it perfect for calm, zen-like play sessions, and the plethora of ambient sounds and subtle feedback cues really make falling into a comfortable routine when you just want to log in and make some progress. The gameplay is deceptive with its complexity, though forgiving and flexible. You can choose to immerse yourself in a simple world, governed by simple forces that you may at times find familiar (gravity, radiant heat, reposition). A world where resources exist to be found at your own pace, and can be found without having to go on long, droning excursions to prohibitively rare biomes. You wont be praying to the RNG gods if you don't want to. Nodecore has all you need for a gentle, stress-free, voxel game experience. You can enjoy building vast orchards, or enjoy terraforming your area into your own perfect sanctuary. You may be more of the ambitious, go-getter type, and that's just as valid of a playstyle. Trying to take control of the secrets holding the nodecore world together will be tough, but not impossible. If you prefer a stimulating experience, where nature is as much your ally as your adversary; you will find that there is much more to the map than pretty little blocks. There are forces at work that would be willing to lend you their power if you find a way to harness them; and most of them are all around you. Best to keep your wits about you regardless of how you play, nodecore has a habit of also being mischievious. If you like to play it safe, nodecore will happily be your sandbox. If you like to live dangerously, nodecore will respond to your challenge.

  • This game encourages you to build things to make your life easier.

    TL;DR: In Nodecore you craft things in the world instead of a crafting table GUI. But it's a lot harder to craft and smelt stuff in Nodecore than in Minetest/Minecraft. Nodecore encourages you to build ways to make crafting stuff easier for you.

    My full review is over 2000 characters, so I put it on a pastebin: https://bin.snopyta.org/?f71dc35e96f07c59#14tSVFcuzFtDnZDYkRHEbGD8gTAMRFwDg8NTTqDAFKz1

    Edit: I also put it in the comments

  • Like the crafting mechanics but many hints are practically useless.

    It is a prime example of an idea executed poorly, most of the hints that are supposed to help you advance/progress through the game are too vague and confusing/hard to be interpreted. It is near darn impossible to figure them out on your own.

    Also there is no documentation whatsoever to help you when you get stuck. I got a headache trying for hours to figure out the most trivial tasks like (an example) growing sedge on moist grass and still failed to do so. Don't get me started on melding and leaching and mixing how the heck could these be interpteted in the game..

    I like the crafting mechanics in this game but I hate the completely esoteric vibe it has, It's as if only the guy that made it knows what the duck is going on with the "recipes".

  • A great game with a different system!

    It's great fun to play and there are no bugs. It might be a little difficult to find your way around the new system, but then it's really fun!

  • Simple idea, great gameplay.

    If you have ever played multiple block game then you know you must punch down a tree to get wood, but in NodeCore, instead you get sticks from leaves and then you make a adze, I am not telling how to do anything beyond that because I don't want to make your experience boring due to knowing everything. Smelting is cool but I ain't telling ya how to do that! My favorate part is jumping off cliffs because it is full of the exaggerated swagger of a NodeCorian teen, just remember to pick up your stuff once you do land, yes this game does not have dying.

  • Unique systems

    A refreshing game where all crafting is built in the world. For example, shelves can be built using frames and sticks, similar to making an iron golem in minecraft. The lack of death and danger helps the player steadily work through the game with no pressure. However, the exact method of crafting can be hard to work out. For example, packing different materials into ash.

  • An Axiomatic Survival Experience

    Nodecore is a game that will appeal to fans of xkcd, hofstadter, turing machines, the game of life, dwarf fortress, and factorio. It has a small number of basic building blocks, with rich interactions between them. There are no mobs, no nightfall, nothing to rush you. Experiment and discover at your own pace. The game has many built-in challenges to get you started, and you'll soon be thinking of your own challenges as well!

    To give you a taste of the rich interactions in Nodecore, here's an example. How do you imagine you would smelt something in a world with no furnaces? In Nodecore, smelting happens automatically when a block is next to fire. But you can't just place fire, you have to use fire spread mechanics. You'll brainstorm your own designs, figuring out where to place flammable and non-flammable blocks to get exactly the "furnace" you want, and you'll end up with a machine that truly belongs to you.

  • nodecore is MC for gamers

    Nodecore's 'punish you for not being careful' style makes it a challenging game. Also, multiplayer tends to lend itself to a lot of collaboration do to specialization and emerging tech with machines that can be built inside the game.

  • Great game, 17/17 eggcorns

    My first impression when I joined was that this was minimal_dev/devtest but with trees. Then I found an eggcorn and some sticks. After a few days of forgetting everything I knew about MTG/MC-like games: It slowly started to click, and I've been addicted ever since. Poor MTG only receives attention when I'm maintaining my mods, a few of which I've already ported/started porting to Nodecore

  • Innovative design

    Whilst NodeCore is very different to classic gameplay and so may not be for everyone, it's certainly very impressive and well designed

  • Name same as the game

    while playing nodecore I literally remembered playing minecraft hardcore but with one change that the mechanics the principle were based on real life. Suprisingly I was adddicted to this game becuase of my frustation on playing this and it also reminded me of a game called survivalcraft which somewhat had the same principle like nodecore.

    Thanks for this game

  • Great Game

    This game provides very interesting gameplay mechanics that are quite enjoyable even though they may be tough at times.

  • great game

    A welcome and challenging alternative to the default minetest game and the like

    The graphics are well made too

  • Well done but lacking intuitiveness

    A great experience when you know what you're doing, but the crusade against formspecs makes the game very hard to pick up. I recommend adding an in-game guide of some kind, as I initially thought this was a terrible game before actually learning what it is. Overall a good game, 8.6/10.