Miner Dig Deep is an Xbox Live Indie Game released on February 4, 2009, and developed and published by Robir. Miner Dig Deep costs 80 Microsoft Points, or $1.00. The premise of the game is essentially explained in the title; the goal of the game is to literally dig deeper. This can be accomplished with the usage of a variety of items, uncovering minerals, rocks, and other materials. The game only ends after every single upgrade is purchased.
Developed by a team of three people ( James Ribaux, Brendan Ribaux, and Will Ribaux), an interview with James Ribaux revealed some information about the game's development. Initially conceived by Brendan Ribaux, the Robir team only consisted of two people until the game reached the end of its development, when the brothers brought Will Ribaux on board. Overall development time was approximately three months.
Miner Dig Deep is literally a game about digging deeper, collecting resources, and upgrading equipment. Collecting resources is done by digging into a certain area (with the pickaxe tool, available from the start), and then mining the resource by hitting it repeatedly. Resources vary in rarity and price, with early metals only worth $75 and later minerals worth over $1000. Along with resources are rocks strewn throughout the subterranean world. Rocks are triggered by digging beneath them, causing them to begin sinking into the earth, possibly killing the miner if the player is not quick enough.
Lantern oil is an important aspect of Miner Dig Deep's gameplay. As the player explores the underground world, the lantern reveals what is hidden in the earth surrounding the player. When the player is completely out of lantern oil, they can continue to explore, but are unable to see anything without actually hitting it. Lantern oil capacity, overall inventory capacity, and the pickaxe can all be upgraded for set amounts periodically.
Along with lantern oil and inventory capacity, there are a variety of other purchasable items in the overworld store. Ladders, elevators, and teleportation panels all help to speed up the exploration of the underground world. Ladders are the cheapest, and can be used to place a single climbable object underground. Elevators are sold in varying degrees, and can be used to quickly go up and down underground. Teleportation panels are meant for when the player gets truly deep underground (such as 1000 meters or deeper). They warp the player right back to the surface.
Both the overworld and the underground world are randomly generated with each play session. The grass and trees on the surface are changed each time the game is played, while underground the resources available are renewed after every play session. However, extensive exploration of the underground world can cause one particular event: earthquakes. Earthquakes are triggered when the pathways that the player has dug are far too unstable, causing cave-ins and tunnel collapses which adds a new level of danger for climbing the way out, effectively adding difficulty the further underground the player goes.