theuselessgod's Miner Dig Deep (Xbox 360 Games Store) review

A charming, repetitive experience that feels kind of like work.

The Short

Pros

- Fun, simple mining game

- Digging deeper and unlocking more and more new utilities is addicting

- Use elevators, ladders, and more to construct the perfect mine

- Let me use the "You dug too greedily and too deep!" line from LOTR on my wife whenever she'd die

- To quote my wife's one sentence review: "This game is freaking awesome."

Cons

- Deaths can be very cheap and send you all the way back up to the top

- Can take a long time once you are deep in to get all the way to the bottom of your mine

- Lantern oil is the most annoying thing ever

- Controls, especially jumping, can be very picky

- Looks pretty ugly

- Could have used some more music

Believe it or not, this game is pretty dang addicting

The LongMiner Dig Deep reminded me a lot of Minecraft, if you took all the construction parts out of Minecraft. One of the first games to pop up and see relative success on the Xbox Live Indie Games, it is a mining game with a simple goal: get rich or die mining. As you get deeper and deeper in you unlock better tools, upgrades, and find more valuable minerals. It's an extremely simple concept, but there is a draw here that is undeniable.

The only way is down

You start the game with a limited amount of lantern oil, a weak pickaxe, hardly any inventory space, and little money. As you dig you find such things as copper and iron, and then take them back to the surface to sell them. Light is essential, as it both shows you what is in the walls around you (so you can bee-line for the expensive stuff) as well as if there are dangerous rocks above you, which will come crushing down ala Dig Dug and mess up your day.

As you gain more and more money and dig deeper you'll find blueprints...lying around underground (that makes a lot of sense) for new tools and upgrades. Soon you'll be building ladders so you can get to deeper, more fruitful parts. You'll have to upgrade your lamp so it won't die out by the time you get down there. You'll need a stronger pick so you can burrow through the ground faster.

Next thing you know you'll have massive elevators, spanning hundreds of squares to get you up and down as quickly as possible. You'll be able to carry massive amounts of loot. Your lantern's radius will fill the whole screen and last forever. Your mine will be a huge pit of activity, with each trip earning you loads of cash. You'll find warp points that'll take you to new places and see new sights.

And then you'll reach the center of the earth's molten core and...well, I'll leave the ending for those who get to it.

Don't dig yourself into a hole! Hur hur hur.

That is essentially the entire game: digging deeper and deeper, getting upgrades, and finally reaching the end. The game paces upgrades nicely so you'll be getting them quick, but also makes it so you'll be anticipating the next set shortly after getting the most current one. There's a weird draw to dig deeper, as if you can make it to the lowest levels you can make crazy amounts of cash, but risk losing your lantern light. Again, it's an extremely simple game, but has a sort of weird appeal for those who get sucked in.It isn't without problems. Jumping is the biggest one; your miner can jump high but often has problems mounting a ledge without several tries. Another issue is the cheap deaths: fall too far or get crushed by an unseen rock and you're all the way back up to the surface with none of your harvest, and at the end of the game that can be a 3-4 minute trip back down.

The game also looks pretty uninspired. I can tell they were trying to be cartoony, but it looks amateurish at best. Animations for the pickaxe are bland and the dirt is one uniform texture. The music is also obnoxious, with only two songs: one on the surface (which you won't hear much of) and one underground (which you'll get sick of pretty quick).

"WE MUST GO DEEPER!"

Despite the myriad of faults, Miner Dig Deep is an excellent diversion for those who want to turn their brains off and dig the ultimate cavern. It can be a cool experience to have an awesome, streamlined mine, and the fact that the game ends (something I was worried about) means you have definite stopping place. It's worth the $1 for sure, though I'd suggest picking up the six-minute demo to test the waters beforehand. If lots of repetitive busy-work isn't your thing in games, you might want to steer clear.Still, it's a charming indie title that deserves the success it's been getting. Three out of five stars.

More at http://nathanvsvideogames.blogspot.com

0 Comments

Other reviews for Miner Dig Deep (Xbox 360 Games Store)

    Cheap Fun for All 0

    Miner Dig Deep is a roleplaying game that will steal hours of your life from you. The goal is simple; collect minerals and occasional blueprints. The more money you get for mining will be spent on supplies to mine faster and elevators to make deep mining easier.The reason this game did not get a higher score is because of how easy and cheap "death" is. When you get hit on the head (with a huge hard hat that is practically useless) from a rock falling down, you get teleported all the way back up ...

    0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

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