Day 1
I’ve found myself among the abandoned Mines of Mars (out now, $4.99) after some kind of space craft accident. It seems I’m the only survivor. Luckily I have this suit which allows me to explore the Martian surface. I just drag forward and back to move. Fairly standard controls.

Day 2
It seems my purpose here is to dig into the red, rocky ground and extract different kinds of minerals. I can then bring them back to the surface for crafting better tools and equipment. Hopefully this helps me get back home. I miss my cat. Also, my wife.

mines2Day 14
Digging is quite slow and boring work. My suit’s jetpack is painfully slow to bring me back to the surface, which I must do quite often since I don’t yet have the capacity to carry large amounts of precious minerals back up. Luckily the surroundings are quite beautiful, almost like a painting.

Day 20
I’ve seen a few robots here. I believe they are intended to be useful, but they only badger me with a handful of pre-programmed phrases that are more annoying than helpful. I’ve attempted to Wilson one that roams the surface. His name is Kras, he tells me, and I greatly yearn for his friendship.

Day 21
I destroyed my only friend. Driven mad by the tedious, repetitious task I’ve been given, I wondered if my bullets would have an affect on my robotic companion. Curiosity killed the Kras.

Day 42
In my attempts to find the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything on Mars, I have begun to uncover more of the planet’s secrets. I’ve encountered many beasts in her depths, which seem weirdly similar to Earth creatures like frogs, lizards, and moths. Perhaps the idea of panspermia is true? I’ve also come across vast caves with ancient ruins and statues. The thrill of discovery is finally beginning to blossom inside me.

image4Day 59
Things are picking up now. With several upgrades under (or on) my belt I’m able to tunnel much easier and fight off more powerful monsters. I’m travelling deeper than ever before and I finally feel like I’m progressing toward something. But what?

Day 114
It’s been a while since my last entry. I have been very busy exploring the many mysteries within these mines. It seems every day uncovers something new, and I’ve maxed out most of my equipment. I can’t wait until the people of Earth hear what I’ve found. They won’t believe me. I must start writing every single day and spare no detail. This changes everything.

[No more entries found.]

iFanzine Verdict: Mines of Mars by Wickey Ware and Crescent Moon Games is a side scrolling Minecraft-like that takes place on — you guessed it — Mars. The early goings are a bit on the frustrating side since the game throws you in with barely any directions while simultaneously expecting you to complete some sort of story. Making it worse is how incredibly slow the mining process is. Things do begin to pick up later on when you’ve mined enough material for some upgrades, but until that point it’s kind of a slog. Thankfully, once you really get going the game finally opens up and you feel a true sense of progression. Repeatedly digging down and then flying back up to the surface over and over goes from feeling like a chore to a thrilling adventure as you go deeper than ever before and uncover new mysteries. If you have some patience, this is not to be missed.