Pocket Mine - Tablet Tuesday

Zyngor | Tuesday, August 04, 2015

This post is brought to you in good-enough definition by Day 4 of the Blaugust Initiative, and by viewers like anyone that has ever been here in any plane of existence.

I've never been one to stray off to handheld computerized devices (unless you're gunna rip on me for that Cybiko gadget I used years back). Heck, my cellphone is still one of those flip devices I'm pretty sure can craft pancakes. However, when my laptop fan conked out one day, I took it as a sign to give it a bit of a rest before having it replaced.

That itch to game just wouldn't go away, so I just had to scratch. Fortunately, the family had a tablet available, so it was time to bite the touchscreen bullet. It's not that I'm totally unfamiliar to technology, but it was a new frontier to explore.

Anywho, I have messed around with a couple of games on the tablet since, and I figured I can do my own weekly segment where I do a bit of a chit-chat on a respective game. For my first installment of Tablet Tuesday, I'll be talking about Pocket Mine.

Pocket Mine (Roofdog Games, 2013) is a distance runner digger that tasks the player to, well, dig. It's a very simple concept for a game that was well-designed for the tablet. It will only run in portrait mode on the tablet, which suits the natural progress down the mine shaft.

I wouldn't call this an endless runner per se, as your tapping is limited based upon the quality pick you wield. Fortunately, that can be upgraded to an extent through cash accrued in game, and the randomized levels contain various explosive items to assist delving into this 2D spelunker.

Upon leveling up (through experience, gained by depth/money earned in the field), you'll gain cards that provide bonuses to various aspects in the mine. For example, one may provide more of some bomb type, certain gems may be worth more money, more healing blocks, yadda yadda. There are other means to gain cards, and you'll be able to use three cards every time you start up a dig (the game chooses three at random from your deck - you can reshuffle for a bit of coin). These are tools at your disposal to have some form of control over the RNG design in the mine.

There is a sub-objective within each level to perform some specific task. Doing so will reward you with two keys, which can be used to open chests randomly found in each level (the further down you get, the better quality chests you'll find). These will contain various goodies, depending on chest quality, including cash, rubies, and cards. Artifacts can also be found in the levels, which, upon collecting a whole set, can be turned in for cards.

Some elements of the game may deter particular players. Majorly, each normal dig costs one energy, of which you have up to five (respawns at a rate of 15 minutes per energy). It can be upgraded to a max eight limit through a real cash purchase. This may lead to another point - while there is absolutely no denial to access of the game itself, there are some convenience real cash purchases available. This should not come to a surprise at all, as this is standard practice for free apps.

Also, as a minor point, you'll probably want to have some screen protector affixed, or clean it after playing a while. Each move requires a tap on the screen, and as your pick durability can get in the hundreds, you may find many individual fingerprints douring the screen.

Surely standing atop this block while smashing it is a fine idea - what could go wrong?

Overall, it's a fun game for a short little session at a time. Playing the normal option does not require Internet access, so it's easy to do on the go. If you do have a connection going, I recommend pressing on the rubies at the top (these are your premium currency), pressing "Free Rubies!", and completing at least some of the easy, free offers. Some just ask to watch an add (1-2 rubies), or perhaps install and run an app, which you can always remove shortly after receiving the rubies (usually around 8-30 rubies for this). Among many other uses in the game, the rubies are the only way you'll be able to pick up some of the more advanced playable characters in the field - these will come with their own benefits (such as double cash, extra grenades released, rarer artifacts, etc).

Pocket Mine is a free download for Android, iOS, or on Amazon. A sequel, Pocket Mine 2, was released in March 2015.
Pocket Mine Start Screen by nardio.net
Pocket Mine Level Image by beevoz.com
Pocket Mine Pick & Blocks by gamewise.co