Gem Miner: Dig Deeper stays pretty close to the formula that casual games follow on mobile devices. It takes an established genre–mining games–and focuses on making a clone that’s enjoyable when played in short bursts. The structure of the game manages to combine straightforward, easy-to-learn gameplay with a persistent world that lets you keep digging out your own giant mine in search of riches.
You play as a miner, and your goal is simple: Dig deep in search of coal and other riches while constantly expanding the mine and avoiding death. The game’s touch-screen controls are simple and effective. Just tap in the direction you want to go, and your little fellow moves there. If you tap on one of the square rocks that makes up the huge board, he automatically demolishes it.
Knocking out a rock that supports a heavier rock causes the screen to shake, signaling a potential cave-in for your mine. Thankfully, your inventory includes support beams that you can quickly drop into place. If you mine down, you need to place a ladder to get back up again; if you dig down deep enough, you can even place elevators.
All this mining also causes fatigue, and if your miner gets tired enough, he might find himself stuck if he doesn’t get back to base camp to sleep. You also have to return to the surface regularly to sell your bounty. The money you earn can go toward more supports and ladders, larger bags to hold resources, and an incredible variety of items. You can use your funds to buy useful devices like better pick axes, sleeping bags, health, and sonar devices that let you check out the mine around you.
Aside from the ever-expanding size of your mine, the ability to buy more-expensive items provides the only real sense of growth in the game. Your miner character never does anything other than buy new toys, and given that the gameplay itself never really varies, this shortcoming limits the long-term appeal of Gem Miner. This is especially true for players who might expect some kind of role-playing-game-style character advancement.
Otherwise, the game’s presentation is good overall, if simplistic. The graphics are sharp, though not particularly detailed, and the audio is minimal. On the whole, Gem Miner: Dig Deeper isn’t a particularly innovative game, and it might have benefited from some greater depth, but it’s still enjoyable enough when played in short sessions.
This review was provided by GameSpot mobile content partner SlideToPlay.com.