Skyworks is well known for their sports arcade games such as World Cup Ping Pong and Arcade Bowling. Recently, they released a different kind of game called Mad Miner. Mad Miner is a timed maze game. You are the mad miner trying to collect all of the diamonds in the mine before you run out of time. The mines themselves are a confusing labyrinth of passages that you must navigate. Some even have secret passageways. You must also avoid snakes, bats, runaway mine cars, and falling stalactites throughout the mine. Your guide is a radar on the left side of the screen that shows your location in relationship to all of the items in the mine to be collected. Even though it doesn’t show you how to get to the various items, this radar can be very helpful in trying to find everything.
As you move throughout the mine, there are spots in the floor that are lighter in color. These are the spots where the mad miner can dig. Once he digs through the floor, he will be able to climb down to the level below. He can also climb back up the pile of rocks left behind. There are also, lifts within the mine to help you move from level to level in the mine. In addition to collecting the diamonds in the mine, there are other objects that will give you different bonuses. Gold nuggets give you bonus points, hearts help heal your health, miner faces give you an extra life, and hourglasses add time to the clock. The game ends when you run out of lives or run out of time, whichever comes first.
To move around in the mine, you have a directional control pad on the left side of the screen. Touch left or right to move in those directions. If you touch on just the tip of these buttons, you will run instead of walking. Touching up and down allows you to climb up and down piles of rubble in the mine. In addition to the controls on the left, you have an up and a down arrow on the right hand side of the screen. The up arrow makes you jump and the down arrow makes you duck or dig with your pickaxe. These controls sound straight forward, and they are. However, these controls, for me, were very difficult to use, at first. I got frustrated when I couldn’t get the miner to do what I wanted him to and I was running out of time. After playing the game for awhile, it did get easier and feel more natural.
Overall, mad miner is fun and challenging. I had enjoyed trying to find everything in the mine before time ran out.
Mad Miner is $1.99 in the iTunes App Store.
Developer’s Website: http://www.skyworks.com/iphone/