Miner Review

Miner Review

Jul 26, 2013

Miner is an interesting game, with an interesting difficulty curve. I suggest teaching it to kids at school, to give an honest, un-romanticized outlook on life and work. At the core, Miner is a distant relative to Minecraft – but without the crafting part. Actually, yeah, Miner is a pretty sufficient explanation. Player controls a small private mining vessel, using only four arrows to move around, and embarks on a journey into the bowels of the Earth in search of various precious metals and minerals. After digging for some time, the vessel has to return to Earth to unload a cargo, refuel and repair, and this is where the challenge hides.

When the vessel moves through the ground, it runs through the fuel supplies quite quickly, and refilling those not only costs a significant amount of money, but also requires getting back up to the surface, and then – going all the way down again. Driving through already existing tunnels doesn’t require as much fuel, but still has its cost. The other problem is that the minerals are quite rare to come across in the beginning, and require lots of exploring around – again, eating the precious fuel. If Miner vessel gets too far down, it will overheat, and damage itself.

Miner 4The unusual part in Miner is that when the vessel loses all health, or fuel, it doesn’t get destroyed, but is instead transported back to the surface, repaired and refilled, but this costs a great deal. If the player doesn’t have enough money on his account, it goes into negatives. This puts miner into a tricky situation, where he not only has to repay the debt, but also try to earn money for the fuel resupplies. This is definitely a problem with the game’s design, as it won’t allow purchase anything, if there isn’t enough money to pay for it. So, stalemates will happen, when it’s impossible to repay the enormous debt, impossible to purchase upgrades for the vessel that would allow mining in the deeper layers, and thus – impossible to make any progress. The player will sells his soul to a company store, as the song goes. So, it’s almost a guarantee that the first try is going to be unsuccessful. Second will probably be as well. This can probably lead to some frustration.

But, in my opinion, it’s a golden mine for people who strive for a challenge and competition. It’s almost impossible to succeed in this game, but “almost” is enough to try again, and Miner has lots of stuff to purchase and upgrade, to provide hours of gameplay. It’s a very unusual game, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody. However, for people who like their games like they like their coffee – bitter, agitating, and potentially dangerous to one’s health – Miner will definitely be a welcomed addition to the library.

Miner Review Rundown

6
Graphics/Sound - Very rudimentary graphics and simple music.
6.5
Controls - Simple arrows are just enough, but the vessel is somewhat difficult to stop at the right moment
7
Gameplay - Even ignoring the difficulty, Miner is quite interesting to play.
8
Replay Value - The game is just frustrating enough to force to play it again and again.
7.5
Overall - It's a cheap, slow and frustrating game. Somehow, it's also exciting and interesting.

Download: App available at the Google Play Store »

Tony Kuzmin
Basically, a talking digital extension at this point.
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