Miner Dig Deep

Dig and expand your mine to find greater treasures from the depths. Build the deepest mine so you can make your fortune in rare gems and metals from the earth below.

When Xbox Community Games launched late 2008, CarneyVale Showtime, Weapon of Choice, and Biology Battle were the definite showpieces of the XNA addition. They are all excellent games to be sure, but it was James and Brendan Ribaux' Miner Dig Deep which had me figuratively stand up and literally take notice. The key here was in Miner Dig Deep's price, just 200 points (this was back when the pricing structure was at 200, 400, and 800 points for indie games). Two hundred points was a bargain, and the quality and length of the game made it a tremendous value at that price which has definitely been expanded as the price has been lowered to just 80 points.

Miner Dig Deep is a very simple game at heart. The miner must dig through the ground, looking for resources to sell to fund equipment upgrades to assist with said digging. This can be better pick axes to handle the tougher dirt, drills to break through ice, and better lanterns to see hazards such as pits and unstable rocks overhead. Grappling hooks, ladders, and elevators are also available to make navigating into the deepest recesses of the earth easier, and the miner can upgrade his bag to haul even more resources with each trip into the ground. All of these upgrades are available at a little house on the surface where unearthed minerals can be sold to purchase the equipment upgrades available there.

The simple gameplay of Miner Dig Deep is surprisingly relaxing and entertaining. The game easily absorbed most of my weekend while I dug out diamonds, gold, iron, and other minerals deep below, establishing a vast network of catacombs. Though the game sees some similarities to other mining titles such as Dig Dug, Boulder Dash, and Motherload, the breadth and depth of Miner Dig Deep is unmatched. Combing through the layers of dirt will take hours as several thousand meters of earth are there to be dug out. Careful mining to avoid lengthy falls or getting crushed by rocks will ensure success, and the variety of tactics one can employ to avoid such obstacles and scavage for minerals make it a real treat.

Miner Dig Deep is a very calming game with a relaxed soundtrack and makes for a great way to spend an afternoon. Although it lacks spectacular graphics (an understatement) or much variety of gameplay, what's here manages to be utterly charming and absorbing. It's a wonderful exploration game of lowkey spelunking which is well worth picking up. Miner Dig Deep may no longer hold the crown as the recommendation of choice on Xbox Indies thanks to its winning combination of low price coupled with long lasting gameplay, but it remains a shining moment for the channel, one which will continue to entertain many would-be spelunkers for some time to come.

★★★★☆
July 8, 2010
February 4, 2009 | 80 points
Developer | Video | Download

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