In a feature from EDGE Magazine in late March, GameClub outed some of the titles they had waiting in the wings to be resurrected as part of their service, and one of those just happened to be one of the very best iOS games ever: Space Miner: Space Ore Bust from Venan Entertainment (who are now called Megaspace Industries). It feels almost silly to continually be saying “No, but THIS game coming to GameClub is my all-time favorite!" but it’s actually true; some of my absolute favorite games of all time are among those being brought back by GameClub, and Space Miner is totally on that list.
If you’re unfamiliar, Space Miner is something of an homage to the classic Asteroids and controls very similarly. You zip around in your ship from a top-down perspective by activating your thrusters and blasting away at asteroids to collect the sweet ore within. You then sell that ore for money, which goes into upgrading your ship, which allows you earn more money, and on and on it goes. That upgrade loop is absolutely fantastic and just as in Asteroids you need to contend with the inertia of your ship after thrusting so as not to go crashing into everything. Once you get comfortable with your movement flying around is like a ballet and those upgrades make Space Miner nearly impossible to put down as you go for “just one more mission" and “just one more upgrade."
Space Miner originally launched in February of 2010 and not only did we love it in our original review but we chose it as our 2010 iPhone Game of the Year. In February of 2015, almost exactly five years after its initial release, Space Miner was given a Platinum Edition update which improved the visuals, added support for the latest iOS device screen sizes of the time, and added in a whole new campaign chapter called “Skar’s Revenge" which added 16 new sectors to play through and continued the story from where the main game left off. Later in 2015 our own Shaun Musgrave gave Space Miner: Platinum Edition the Classic Reload treatment with a lengthy writeup, so be sure to check that out too.
Well it’s kind of hard to believe, but it’s been nearly five years since that Platinum Edition update, and sadly in those years Space Miner has become out of date and was removed from the App Store. Until today, as the game is officially now available through Testflight as part of GameClub’s Early Access program, and not only does it contain all of the Platinum Edition enhancements but it also now supports the full screens of the iPhone X and iPad Pro lines of devices. Revisiting Space Miner is like revisiting an old friend, and this is perhaps the one GameClub release thus far that doesn’t feel like it has aged a day. I’ve probably played through this game half a dozen times over the past decade and I couldn’t be more excited to do it again.
As was the case with Plunderland a couple of weeks ago, GameClub has actually been giving out access to their latest games early to those members in their Discord chat, and Space Miner has actually been available as of this past Friday for those members. If you want to get in on that EARLY Early Access, head over to their Discord server. Of course, just signing up for the Early Access program through their website will also get you access to new titles every Monday as well as access to all the previous titles they’ve released so far. As we learned last month GameClub will be a paid subscription service when it launches this fall, and whether or not you’re down with that pay model there’s no reason not to be revisiting these classics for free and offering feedback that helps shape their quality through this Early Access program, so get on that.