Back in June we caught up with Venan Entertainment at E3. At the time, they showed an ad-supported free version of Space Miner [$4.99 / Lite] called Space Miner Blast that took the core shooter gameplay of the original and applied it to a fast-paced arcade style mini-game.
Space Miner Blast will be supported by unobtrusive in-game advertising, with optional DLC which will add features to the game and disable advertisements entirely. Most of the original Space Miner has been stripped out in favor of a quick survival game with a very basic upgrade system. All you do is see how big of a multiplier you can keep going by blasting as much ore as you possibly can (while defending against enemies of course). Here is a few minutes of gameplay:
Back at E3 they were reluctant to get specific on the release date of Space Miner Blast, but assured me it would be available "soon". Recently Venan posted a bit of an explanation on their blog, and like quite a few projects that were in the works at the time by other developers, both iOS 4 and the iPhone 4 threw Venan a curve ball. Aside from apologies, a few interesting tidbits come out of the blog post. First off, Venan has developed a system to download high resolution assets from within their games while still staying under the 20mb ceiling of over the air downloads. With any luck, their implementation of this system will inspire other developers as how to support the high resolution displays of both the iPhone 4 and iPad while staying under the over the air download limit has been the topic of discussion of quite a few iOS developer threads.
Venan provided the following high-res screenshots of Space Miner Blast:
Also, Space Miner will be getting some Retina Display love:
Space Miner Blast is nearing submission to Apple, and next up is a Space Miner sequel. I loved the original Space Miner, and really can't wait for both Space Miner Blast, and Space Miner turning in to a proper game series.