Total Miner: Forge Review

Total Miner: Forge is a mining game by Greenstone Games for XBLIG. This Xbox indie game is a block based mining and building game similar to Minecraft for the PC. Total Miner has two game modes currently and is a very addictive game for all ages. At the bottom are two photos that was taken of my families experience with Total Miner.

Total Miner’s first game mode is the creative mode. In creative mode you start of with a very large map and are free to do what ever you want with it. You won’t be running around looking for equipment or building new blocks you can get as many of them as you like and build to your hearts content. To be honest I personally found this mode a tad boring, at least until I turned on combat and placed some spider eggs. Overall though this mode is really about building the things you really want to build then sharing it for others to download and see what you managed to create. Reminds me a little of playing with a bunch of Lego blocks without any instructions.

Total Miner’s second game mode is called Dig Deeper. The object of this mode is to reach the bottom of the randomly created map. That happens somewhere around a depth of 2000.  It can take quite awhile to get there too. A few of the restrictions that this mode sports is you can’t build equipment or special objects until you have found the blueprint to do so. This is where the challenge comes in to reach the bottom you will need a much better pickaxe then the one you start with and you are only going to find that somewhere deep underground. While the map created in this mode isn’t nearly as wide and long as the one in creative mode it makes up for it in its depth.

Many perils await you in the mines or even your homemade mines. Cave-ins for one are fairly common, although there are ways to protect yourself from them. For starters any blocks you place won’t move from a cave in, so placing a ceiling above you could be a life saver although it is also quite time consuming. Giant spiders are another thing that await you in the depth of the mines. These giant buggers will chase you and multiply as well. If you find a spider egg you will never be rid of them until you get a weapon that can actually destroy it.

To make the game easier normal mode has shops that you can use to buy things you have unlocked. If you don’t feel like digging up all the materials and crafting it yourself this can be helpful. In dig deeper the farther you go the better pickaxe you will need. All of that aside one of the things is great is that both modes support local split-screen for up to 4 players.  This makes this game great for sitting around with the kids or your buddies and building incredible structures or working as a team to hunt down the blueprints.

Now the music can get a bit annoying after a while. It starts and stops for what seems like completely random reasons. So you can go long stretches with the only sound being that of your tool hitting blocks then poof music for a short time. More variety to the music or an option to have it run constantly would be nice. Although you could just listen to your own music and turn it off. If you get into the game like my family did, you’ll spend so long in front of it that your own music will become necessary.

Overall this game is a great game to lose yourself in. Play it with family and friends. Help build and dig or destroy each other. With the designer planning to release future updates that will allow online multiplayer as well as a survival mode of some sort and other additions this game is looking to become even more addicting than it already is. For 240msp on the Xbox this game is a must buy.

5 out of 5!