The rock raiders crew are about to embark on a journey home to earth when their ship, the LMS Explorer, flies into an asteroid field. The ship becomes badly damaged and to make matters worse, they are sucked into a wormhole, taking the crew off course. When they come to, they realize that the ship is in an alternate galaxy far away from their own. With the ship running on emergency power, they find a nearby planet that is rich in energy crystals. Their only chance to make it home is to collect enough energy crystals to power the ship so they are able to fly back home.
Like most RTS games, you are given a set of objectives to complete. Most of these objectives normally involve finding lost rock raiders or collecting a set number of energy crystals. The enemies of the game are not opposing factions, but rather the environment. For example, some missions involve acquiring a set number of energy crystals before lava engulfs your entire base. Other enemies often involve Rock Monsters, Ice Monsters, and Lava Monsters which attempt to destroy your base. One special monster involves the Slimy Slug in which it saps your base of energy should it manage to sneak into your base. Each of them has a weakness and it's up to the player to exploit them.
Typically, the player starts by teleporting rock raiders to the planet to start the mining process. From there, they may drill walls extract energy crystals which can add to your mission objective completion, or to power your base. The ore may also be found which are generally used to build structures for your base.
In addition to Rock Raiders, mining vehicles may also be teleported down provided that you have enough energy crystals. They can aid in extraction, to clear debris, or quickly scout the area. To operate vehicles, however rock raiders must be trained to use them.
Rock Raiders can be trained in many different areas such as geology, driving, piloting, sailing, and explosives. Geology will allow the radar to pick up seams of energy crystals and ores much easier. Driving, piloting, and sailing allow rock raiders to operate respective vehicles that require those skills. Explosives allow rock raiders without mining vehicles to destroy hard rock seams.
When Rock Raiders "die" they are teleported to safety. They do not technically since the game provides each rock raider with an energy shield which depletes as they take damage. When they get damaged enough, they are teleported back to the ship. If they are teleported back to the ship, you lose that Rock Raider forever, meaning that all past accomplishments and training are gone.
Although the main goal is to collect energy crystals, some structures are needed in order to make said goal either faster or possible. The buildings can be upgraded so that their features are improved or added.
The tool store is the default structure that every base starts with. Not only is this the only structure that does not require power to operate, it also acts essentially as the foothold of the entire base until a power station is built. Typically, all extraneous supplies you collect will be stored here, meaning that ore and unused energy crystals will be stored here. Should you order a Rock Raider to obtain items, they will retrieve them here as well. The tool store also acts as a teleport pad until you construct a working one later on. Explosives experts may also be trained here.
Although it isn't functional when you first build it, the building itself is a requirement in order to build a power station. Unlike the tool store, the teleport pad will allow you to teleport small vehicles to the planet. In addition to being a teleport pad, you can oddly enough train pilots here.
The power station is the heart of the base...as well as the target of 3/4 of all attacks done by slimy slugs and the elemental monsters. When built, it powers your entire base as long as you have the energy crystal requirements.
Building docks allows you to teleport water-based vehicles. It will also allow you to train sailors.
The support station is the most crucial building you'll have next to the power station. Without it, you will not be able to produce the oxygen that is needed for your Rock Raiders to keep working. With this building, you can train drivers and your rock raiders will automatically take breaks so they don't tire themselves out. A support station will also increase the cap amount of Rock Raiders you are able to teleport to the planet.
This is where you can train geologists and allows you to have a radar map of the entire area.
This building allows you to shoot lasers to destroy most rock within a few hits. Bear in mind that a few shots will eat up an energy crystal.
Ore Refineries will allow you to refine ore into lego blocks so that it does not take as much ore to create a building.
Large Teleport Pad
This structure will allow you to teleport the big daddies of all mining vehicles.
The PlayStation version gets rid of the RTS aspect and replaces it completely with objective-based missions.
Most missions require you to either find and collect energy crystals or lost raiders sometimes even both, some missions must be completed in a certain amount of time.
Depending on how well you do in a mission you will be rewarded with a medal at the end of the mission.
There are three medals; Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Earning all gold medals unlocks special missions.
The PAL and the NTSC versions of the game have different missions.
The missions for the NTSC release of the game are slightly easier compared to its PAL counterpart.