The other day I received a press release in my inbox announcing the free "Lite" version of the iPod/iPhone game Space Miner: Space Ore Bust. I was between iPod games at the time, so I decided to download the full game, not knowing what to expect.
I'm really glad I did.
Like all of the best iPhone games, Space Miner seems simple at first - it's basically an updated take on Asteroids. You fly a little ship and blast space rocks out of the sky. Simple, right? The genius of Space Miner is that it combines this basic gameplay with role-playing game elements - after a couple levels of busting space rocks, you're granted the ability to upgrade your ship with better weapons, engines, shields and more. Asteroids drop minerals which give you cash to buy these upgrades, and as the game progresses you'll encounter more and more hazards that ups the challenge of collecting these minerals. There are more enemies, more dangerous asteroids, even boss fights that pit your mining ship against giant out-of-control robots. Fortunately, the gameplay never gets too tough - If you're ever stuck, you can always take on an earlier mission to earn more money for more powerful weapons or shields.
Completing the package is a continuous story that's actually funny, strong visuals and a great honky-tonk soundtrack that really sells the mining aspect of the game. Since I purchased the game, I haven't been able to put it down - it's fun, funny and addictive. Space Miner: Space Ore Bust is another great addition to the iPhone's growing library of excellent games.