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Miner Disturbance

For: iPhone

Precious seam

Product: Miner Disturbance | Developer: Jagex | Publisher: Jagex | Format: iPhone | Genre: Adventure | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.1
Miner Disturbance iPhone, thumbnail 1
Tin mining dominated my new home of Cornwall for 4,000 years until, after decades of decline, 1998 saw the closure of the last mine. It left the South-West English county almost wholly reliant on tourism to balance the books.

It’s funny how things come around, though. Thanks to fresh demand for metal from the developing world, the price of tin has rocketed and tin production is set to resume in the region.

A similar small-scale miracle can be seen with Miner Disturbance, which wears the influence of past underground hits such as Dig Dug and Mr. Driller on its grubby sleeve.

Mine, all mine

Your goal as an industrious tin miner is to dig up gold, silver and other precious artifacts and return safely to the mine entrance. You need to avoid cave-ins, floods and vicious beasts along the way.

The controls are familiar: a virtual analogue stick taking care of movement, while virtual jump and dig buttons handle the rest.

The analogue stick also determines the direction in which you dig, allowing for eight-way pick axe control. While this level of control is welcome, its implementation is ever so fiddly.

Getting your miner to stop where he is and dig diagonally up rather than run off in that direction is a hit-and-miss process. You're sure to experience accidental cave-ins (achieved when you take a single swing at a block of earth hanging above you) as a result.

Still, keep digging and you'll unearth a gem of a game. While the core gameplay remains unchanged throughout, Jagex picks around such repetition with some nicely honed features.

Mining a rich seam

For one, you’re sent into each level with three distinct goals such as collecting a certain quantity of silver or completing each task within a time limit. This keeps things fresh through the early stages.

Managing your environment requires much attention. Keeping the encroaching water level at bay, for example, is a supremely satisfying game in its own right, opening up a whole new realm of tactical considerations.

Then there are the delights of the shop, which lets you purchase ability enhancing devices such as an aqualung or a better pick axe, and a randomly generated volcano level which allows you to compare scores with your buddies via OpenFeint.

Despite some sticky controls and the feint whiff of repetition then, Miner Disturbance ensures that, once again, the mining industry has proud video game representation.
Miner Disturbance
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 15 July 2010
You have to dig through a layer of questionable controls, but at the core of Miner Disturbance lies an ingenious adventure-puzzler
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Anonymous | 09:59 - 15 July 2010
As a game i really enjoyed this :)