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.

  • the Ghost of Sparta Jr.

    Can't wait to experience Space Miner on the high res screen. Have beaten it twice. The third time will be the charm and prettier.

  • Aaron Sullivan

    Space miner really deserves the Retina love so that will be good. I could take or leave the arcade entry but if it brings more people to Space Miner than more power to them. Smart about downloading the hi res assets but that means they will be hosting the downloads AND paying Apple to host the download of the original. Makes sense for now, but doesn't seem like a long term solution.

    The best news here is that there is a proper sequel coming. can't wait!

    P.s. When did you guys switch to Disqus? I love it.

    • Eli Hodapp

      Actually, if all they're hosting is static game assets, Amazon's S3 is incredibly cheap. Even if the additional assets it was downloading were 1GB which seems unlikely, it would cost something like 10¢ to download from S3. I imagine that number could be even lower depending on volume, or with other providers that don't offer such high levels of redundancy. Presumably, if you have a game that's advanced enough to have high-res assets as an optional download, you're not selling it for 99¢ so I wouldn't think it would be much of an issue.

      Switched to Disqus a while ago. 😉

      • Aaron Sullivan

        All apps become 99 cents. ;o) Still, it seems like a good solution and I'm sure they've done their math.

        It must be i've switched to lurker mode for awhile without realizing it!

  • Adams Immersive

    Space Miner: Space Ore Bust really is a great game. I bought it, but wanted to wait and not play it until the retina update. Still, I decided to give it a quick spin anyway, to see what it was like. I ended up playing it to the end, and when I won, I immediately went back in the same sitting and started over at higher difficulty! Now I’ve finished most of that too. Retina or no retina!

  • Anonymous

    Lots of iOS games are fun. Plenty are worth the money to spend on them. But Space Minder is one of the few that I would categorize as impressive in its presentation, gameplay, story, and just about everything else. I haven't played it in a while, but this will definitely inspire me to play it again.

  • deadclown

    GAh! Not more of these!!

    I LOVE Space Miner. It's one of the best video games I've EVER played. But a dumbed-down, action-centric, PUAP version? Hell, no, thanks.

    The beauty of Space Minder is its elegant synthesis of comic-adventure-shooter-RPG-exploration games. Not the pewpewpew.

    I'd pay money for a retina update for the real Space Miner game. I can't see even downloading this upcoming bit of fluff...

  • DotComCTO

    Look. I just want to know where the iPad version of Space Miner is! Venan talked about that ages ago, and no updates. What gives?

  • Anonymous

    does anyone know if venan is going to add profile synching with plus? I'd like to move all my SM:SoB save games from my old iphone to my new one...

  • Endersgame21

    Space miner or bust is so ridiculously addictive!

  • Nickmorgs

    Forget about Space Miner Blast. Give me the sequel to Space Miner.