Mines of Mars is releasing globally today - this link will update automatically as your region comes online, so check back as needed - and I’ve been digging busily for the last twenty-four hours in order to bring you some early impressions.
The thing is, it's the act of discovery that I'm enjoying the most in Mines of Mars - so the less I say about what you’ll find in this experience the better. I want each gamer to have as much fun as I’ve been having so far by unearthing its buried secrets. With that in mind, I’ll do my best to keep this spoiler-free, and try instead to leave you with an impression of the joy of exploration and discovery that is the game’s focus.
The base camp on the planet’s surface acts as the game’s hub. Here you’ll find facilities to smelt and cut the ore and gems you’ll dig for in your many mining expeditions. You’ll then feed those into the base’s crafting device to create new and improved tech with which to better explore below the planet’s surface.
There is a mystery here on Mars, and as you dig deeper you’ll come across vast caverns and small pockets filled with clues to unlock the secrets and artefacts of this alien world. Have your gun ready, too, as you are not alone.
The game’s sound does a great job of hinting at things yet unseen, waiting to be found. Dripping, tapping, some mechanical, all reverberating to create a sense of buried space and mystery. The visuals are a detailed treat, with newly crafted tech visible on your character, and smooth animations as you run, gun, jetpack and explore in this 2D world.
With bosses to fight, flora that grows, days and nights that become nights and days, and secrets to uncover, I've already found a lot to enjoy here. But I’ve said enough. I’m grabbing my pickaxe and heading back in, as I’ve barely scratched the surface of this exciting new game.
Have a read of our interview with WickeyWare’s president Tim Wickey here for some details behind the inspirations for Mines of Mars.
You can Grab the game right here. You can also explore deep into our Issue 1, for more indie gems on the App Store you didn't know existed.