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Game Info:

Miner Meltdown
Developed By: Mighty Pebble Games Inc.
Published By: Mighty Pebble Games Inc.
Released: Aug 2, 2017
Available On: macOS, Windows
Genre: Action
ESRB Rating: Not Rated
Number of Players: Up to 8 players online
Price: $6.99

Thank you Mighty Pebble Games Inc. for sending us a review code!

I’ve had the glorious opportunity to explore caverns. They are a very interesting, yet very dangerous experience even when you know what you are doing. To be honest, I wouldn’t recommend most people to actually partake in cave exploring because many things can go wrong instantly. Stick to video games or something safer. Luckily, Miner Meltdown can possibly pique your curiosity when it comes to cave-dwelling action.

Miner Meltdown is a 4v4 2D sprite-based side-scrolling action game where you and up to three others engage in mortal combat. Deathmatch, Crazy King, and Diamond Dash are your three game modes. Deathmatch is self-explanatory, Crazy King is a king of the hill variant, and Diamond Dash is a game mode where you must collect diamonds and return them to your base.

Miner Meltdown
Highlights:

Strong Points:  No two maps are the same, making every experience unique; gameplay is smooth, enjoyable, and contains lots of weapons; runs on nearly any PC
Weak Points: Multiplayer is non-existent outside of very specific times during the weekend; rope mechanics are buggy so it’s easy to clip out of bounds
Moral Warnings: Blood; characters explode into giblets when killed; some NPCs consist of mutants that resemble zombies

Your miner starts out with a pickaxe, a sword and a rope. The pickaxe and the sword act as your primary weapons (used with the left-mouse click), which can be picked from the 1-4 keys. Merchants are scattered across the map which let you buy more weapons with gold ranging from flamethrowers, pistols, shotguns, and rocket launchers, with even more to unlock as you level up. Gold can be obtained by picking at the cave walls, or killing other players. Be cautious! Other miners and merchants are not the only living beings in the caves. Mutants also want nothing more than to see you dead!

Movement is pretty simple, using the tried-and-true WASD with the space bar to jump. Right-click is to use your gadget. By default, your gadget is a rope, which lets you swing around like Spider-Man. Unlike our friendly neighborhood wall-crawler, the rope mechanics do have a tendency to make you clip out of bounds. You can also buy gadgets and secondary weapons/items from the merchant such as a jetpack to help you traverse the field, or a glow stick to help you see a further distance. The pickaxe is also a very important for movement, as the map is 100% destructible. You know as they say, when in doubt, dig out!

I like that developers haven’t given up on using 2D sprites, as Miner Meltdown looks nice, although goofy. The character design has charm to it, and character heads can be swapped through many combinations such as a pirate miner (isn't that an oxymoron?), a “puberty miner,” and even a ninja miner. I guess being a miner is very profitable, considering anyone and everyone is doing it. The sound quality is nice, and the sounds the characters make are pretty funny too.

Miner Meltdown
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 76%
Gameplay - 14/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 84%
Violence - 3/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 9/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Digging around, shooting people, and swinging are all quite enjoyable (there is even a dedicated button to pelvic thrusting). The game is very simple to pick up, and can be enjoyed by casual players and hardcore players alike, but there is one itty-bitty, teensy-weensy, pretty substantial, super-huge, massive problem. The multiplayer is dead. Outside of some moments during the weekends, there are usually zero players playing. I was only able to get one PvP match with a human player. All the other times, I could only play with bots. Unfortunately, Miner Meltdown never seemed to have a huge player base in the beginning.

There are some moral concerns with the game, however. It looks rather cute at first, but once you kill your first enemy, you realize it is rather bloody for a 2D sprite-based game. Not only is blood left on the floor when characters are killed, but they have the tendency to explode into giblets when slain. It's quite exaggerated in a cartoon-like manner, as the giblets look like pork chops. As previously mentioned, there are some mutant characters, but the human-shaped one acts more like a zombie.

If you have a group of friends, or an online chat group, or a LAN group, you can buy Miner Meltdown and have a good time as it runs on any computer that came out within the past decade, and is cheaper than a lunch. The portrayal of Miner Meltdown might be a bit too violent for young kids, so I would only recommend buying if you have older people to play with; otherwise, you’ll be stuck playing against bots 99% of the time. It is such a shame as Miner Meltdown is a good game and has well-executed ideas and mechanics; it just happened to get caved-in among the hundreds of other Steam games.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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