April 26, 2012 16 Comments
Gold Miner is an attempt at cloning Lode Runner. Fair enough. Lode Runner is a cherished classic, although the reasons for that are completely lost on me. I always thought it was kind of dull. It’s probably a generational thing. Lode Runner came out approximately six years before I was born. Maybe in those dark times, firing up Lode Runner on your Apple II beat adjusting the rabbit ears on your television set so that you could see the latest episode of A*Team. I don’t know. I do know that it’s one of those series that should be allowed a graceful retirement, instead of being dragged back out into a market it no longer has a place in. Granted, I hear that all seven people who bought the Xbox Live Arcade remake of it thought it was just peachy. And then there was the time they dressed it up in a costume and called it Panda Craze on DSi and PSP. Same shit, different name, still fucking boring as hell.
Gold Miner plays like a Lode Runner clone that was made by someone who got all their information on the series second-hand. And then programmed the game using just their feet. While submerged underwater. In a swimming pool filled with moonshine. It’s bad. You have to run around collecting gold while avoiding little bush monsters. Once you get ten piles of it, the map restarts and you keep going. You can cut a hole on a platform with the right trigger. If an enemy falls in it, you can smack it three times to kill it. You can jump with A, which is a much faster and easier way to avoid enemies. There are no Lode Runner-style puzzles here. Gold Miner is an endless arcade game.
And it’s terrible. Really, truly awful. The controls are slow, the jumping is floaty, there’s clipping issues, the sound effects sound like they were recorded using one of those teddy bears that you speak into, and it’s just soul-killingly boring. I can sum up everything you need to know about how much testing went into Gold Miner with this: if you press the start button in the middle of a game, it takes you to a menu. The menu has four options, including “new game” and “resume game.” No matter which you choose, the game gets restarted. Your score is lost, your lives are reset. Disgraceful. I only could stomach twenty minutes of Gold Miner, but with a fundamental mistake that big, I’m guessing that’s nineteen minutes longer than its own developer spent testing it.
Gold Miner was developed by Winsor Computing
80 Microsoft Points thought BurgerTime was the better game over Lode Runner in the making of this review. I know, apples & oranges and all that.
Gameplay footage courtesy of Aaron the Splazer