In case you haven't noticed, we've been interested in Crescent Moon Games' Mines of Mars ever since it got announced earlier this year. Recently, we had the opportunity to check out a work-in-progress build of the side-scrolling mining title. Despite its early pre-alpha status, I still came away pretty impressed with what Mines of Mars had to offer, making it an upcoming release well worth being placed on your TouchArcade [Free] app Watch List.
At first glance at the screens, you'd might think that Mines of Mars falls in the 2D sandbox genre that we've seen explode on iOS lately with the likes of Junk Jack X [$4.99] and Terraria [$4.99]. While Mars may share some visual similarities and does include limited crafting, the gameplay is far more structured with a focus on quests and combat, with exploration as a means to solve those quests. While the version I played hadn't yet incorporated a structured story, we do know it involves exploring the underground ruins of Mars' former inhabitants.
One area I did get to experience is the game's core gameplay, which primarily involves digging and mining for gems and minerals. While the game's quests will most likely involve digging to specific locations, Mars' randomized underground is littered with a large variety of ore that can be refined into gems and minerals. Your explorer only has a finite amount of pack space so you'll be ferrying ore back to the surface to get it refined. You'll then be able to use it to upgrade your pickaxe, armor, weapons, and purchase additional improvements to your suit.
Even at this early stage, I'm digging what Mines of Mars has to offer. The iterative upgrades do a good job of giving that feeling of character development and improvement. Meanwhile, the visuals and music give that impression of being in an exotic, extraterrestrial locale. Most importantly, with its darkened field of view underground and strange enemies, Mines of Mars already does a great job giving off that feeling of tense exploration. There's something about getting lost in a tunnel system you've created, hoping to get back before you run out of fuel in your jetpack, that I loved.
While there currently isn't a firm release date for Mines of Mars, the developers are hoping for a release before the end of the year. Personally, I'm pretty hyped and hope it comes out sooner rather than later. Regardless, feel free to add it to your Watch List for future updates and a release notification and check out the forums for our community's input on this upcoming game.
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