APP OF THE DAY: Space Miner HD review (iPad and iPhone)

“Is this some kind of bust? Yes, it’s very impressive,” are the words of Sergeant Frank Drebin, Detective Lieutenant Police Squad. They have little relevance to today’s App of the Day on Pocket-lint but, given that our featured app has the word “bust” in it, we simply can’t get the quote out of our heads.

Space Miner HD

Platform
iPad and iPhone

Price
£2.99 / £1.99

Where
iPad / iPhone


It’s surprising that someone had the balls to even think that the classic arcade game Asteroids could do with a revamp but, as it turns out, they were absolutely right. So, how does one build upon the simplest of rotation-based space shooters? By tossing it inside a bunker with Elite, Shine Runner and a stick of dynamite, shutting the door and running for cover. What comes out smouldering and hissing is the fantastic Space Miner (Space Ore Bust) HD or otherwise, depending on which iGadget you’re playing it upon.

At its core, the game is the same. You fly a ship not unlike Winnebago from Spaceballs around certain quadrants of space, spinning, thrusting and shooting up big rocks into smaller rocks and eventually dust, as per usual. The trick is that sometimes in Space Miner they release sparkly ore of one kind or another which you can trade for cash back at the spaceport. With the cash you can upgrade your ship in all sorts of ways and eventually visit more faraway destination with rarer minerals as you level.

The Shine Runner ingredient to this space RPG/arcade cocktail is that the scenario is softened some by giving the whole experience the flavour of the Deep South complete with banjo music and astro-hicks.

It’s difficult to put your finger on why Space Miner is so addictive but you’ll just have to trust us that it is. It’s laid down pretty quickly that there’s not much more to it than powering yourself up for the sake of it, but then at least that’s more honest than most RPGs.

Ultimately, the gameplay is fun, the achievements compelling and the commitment still snackable, and that’s really more than you can ask for for £2.99. Our only complaint would be that it’s quite tricky to control on the iPad but then Asteroids was never supposed to be a cinch.

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