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Video Game / Glean

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Glean is an Adobe Flash video game developed by Zupergames and published by Positech Games released in 2012. In it, you play as an orange robot with drills who must travel from planet to planet, collecting resources and trying to dig deeper and deeper. Along the way, you have to watch out to not take too much damage by overheating and to not run out of fuel. You're free to explore planets in whichever order or way you like - the only limit is in how many upgrades you have.

Glean 2 was released in 2014. It is a very similar game to the original in terms of style and gameplay, though there are new worlds to explore as well as minor gameplay and interface tweaks.


This game provides examples of:

  • Continuing is Painful: Dying (or quitting the stage) makes you lose all resources you've found.
  • Convection Schmonvection: You can get close to pockets of lava, but that won't hurt you. That said, the temperature does rise as you go deeper and it's higher on volcanic planets, so that can cause damage if you lack cooling.
  • Critical Annoyance: The game will make sure to let know that you're running low on fuel by displaying a warning on screen first and then letting out a few beeps once it really gets critical.
  • Double Jump: The drill can jump again in the air. If you keep holding the button after that, it'll glide down slowly.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Playing the game on a Flash game provider like Flashpoint (which is likely the only option players have after 2020) makes it impossible to load a video that accesses the Galaxy Map. Trying to skip it or close the window doesn't work either, preventing the player from visiting all the other planets in the game. Reloading the game seems to fix it in the original, but not in the sequel.
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  • Lethal Lava Land: Volcanic planets, which are hotter and have plenty of lava. Minerals are more frequent on them, but crystals and gas are rare.
  • Level-Map Display: A map of all the paths you've currently drilled in is displayed in the bottom left corner, with dirt being black and drilled paths being white.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: The second game is very similar to the first, with pretty much the same style and models and new worlds to explore, though the items interface is changed slightly.
  • Money Multiplier: During a special bonus time, you get twice as many resources.
  • Product Placement: The ship clearly has the sponsor's name, Positech Games, written on it.
  • Rainbow Text: Some parts of game tips have their text be a different color, for instance, mineral names are yellow and some actions are blue.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Glacial planets, which have a very low temperature, but the constant exposure will chip away at your plating. Gas and crystals appear on them more often, but there are fewer minerals.
  • Violation of Common Sense: You collect Small Lava Globules by touching lava droplets dripping from lava pools, damaging your ship in the process. What's even better is that you use them to upgrade your ship's cooling systems, which is necessary to drill deeper.