Monday, November 17, 2014

Mines of Mars

Year: 2014
Genre: General

  • Platform: Android
  • Hours logged: 27.0
  • Playthroughs: 1
  • Rating: 7/10

Notes and Discussions:
  • Lee (11/4/2014): Mines of Mars... So much potential. I even forgave the massive game glitch that locked me out of the dungeons the first time I played it (a re-install of the game fixed the issue). I REALLY wanted to like this game. It had all of the right hooks for me: gloomy and mysterious Sci-Fi setting; unique premise; impressive physics; amusing dialog; addictive search for crafting ingredients; crafting of cool gear, tools, and weapons; etc...

    But honestly, I feel that the game failed to capitalize on all of those promising things it had going for it. From the moment that you are dumped on the surface of the planet, your routine becomes: jump into the portal, mine side-to-side and downward, collect a few raw ore and gems, curse at the limited size of your backpack, use the jetpack to fly back up to the portal to the surface, heal and refuel yourself, fill up on ammo, drop raw gems off at the gem cutter, drop raw ore off at the smelter, window shop at the crafting station, curse at your lack of resources, head back to the portal, repeat...

    The game allows you to mine all of the way down to the planet's core (assuming you craft all of the necessary heat dissipation gear) and craft all of the gear available in the game before you take on any of the dungeons. This feels clunky. And the dungeons (with their Super Metroid-like bosses) seem out of place...and kind of shitty. Also, the portals that you unlock are not evenly spread out across the depth of the planet, though that could just be another game glitch. And WTF is with the Offering Pit, artifacts, Museum, and the Arcade? These all feel cobbled together and pointless.

    Now that I've ripped into this game a bit, let's talk about the positives. I COULDN'T STOP PLAYING. Despite the infuriating number of trips that I had to take back to the planet's surface, I kept going back to mine more shit. There was something very exciting about digging deeper and finding a new vein of ore. And I loved spending my hard-earned ore and gems on new hardware. I simply HAD TO BUILD EVERYTHING. And also, this game was beautiful. The graphics and physics engines gave me a world that I wanted to live in and explore. It was so rich, so moody, so alone. Incredible.

    I heard a rumbling that the devs are planning on adding multiplayer capability, and while that is an intriguing prospect, I do hope it means that they are not done fine-tuning this game. Keep at it, guys. You are onto something quite good here; it just needs some polishing.

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