Mines of Mars is a genre-bending journey to the Red Planet that starts off like a cross between Minecraft and Metroid, but slowly morphs into something far more intriguing. It could stand a little more polish, but even with the occasional bump in the road, it's the kind of thing I can see myself playing for a long, long time to come.
Mines of Mars describes itself as a "procedural atmospheric mining game" inspired by games like Metroid and Motherload. It actually gives off a rather dark sci-fi adventure vibe at first, as the cinematic opening follows a grizzled miner forced to take work on Mars for reasons unknown. But things take a turn for the lighter following a rough landing on the planet, as he – that is, you – makes contact with the oddball commander of the Mars mining installation and a peppy robot who's eager to please.
It's an unexpected and rather sharp turn in direction, although it has very little impact on the gameplay, which very quickly struck me as a sort of 2D Minecraft – although in hindsight a comparison with Rust might be just as apt. You take a portal from the base to the mines below the surface, excavate dirt, minerals and gems, bring them up top, use the resources to craft better equipment and weapons, then head back down to do it all again. Read more »