Saturday, 3 November 2012

XenoMiner (XBLIG) Review

XenoMiner was another of the games featured in the Indie Games Uprising III. It costs a measly 80MSP.
XenoMiner is a voxel-based sandbox game akin to Minecraft and a million other copycats. But this game is actually different. It has taken what makes Minecraft so addictive and put it in space.
There is no denying this game is beautiful to look at. Start it up and you are greeted by an AI called Dai-Se (Daisy) who will very kindly introduce you to the basics of the game. Ten minutes in and you're left to your own devices. I found this fine, having sunk many hours into Minecraft, I got the basic jist of things, but I can see that this tutorial may not be enough for everyone.
Not only have they taken us to space but they have also given the basic Minecraft idea a STORY and an ultimate goal! Albeit a rather brief story, but nevertheless it's there. You are the lone survivor of a crash and have lost your memory. You must, first and foremost, survive. This means keeping a close eye on oxygen levels and your battery power. You will need SO much ice, to convert to oxygen to refill your tank. You will also need to build plenty of AI cores to increase your crafting ability, or processor power. This processor power, once leveled up gives you more options to build.
There is no enemy in this game, no creeper-like dudes to blow up all your good work. You just have to look out for yourself. Radiation is a problem, so keep yourself hidden from the planet's sun and you'll be fine. Radiation works very much like in Fallout in that the longer you spend in a radiated area the more radiation damage you will take. It can be treated though through crafting. It is easy to make Radiation a non-problem, just build yourself a shelter and do all your mining down. If you do have to go out, do it at night. The light on your tool makes this pretty easy.
This game requires a HUGE amount of time to feel like you're getting anywhere. And it seems to be missing something. I can't even put my finger on it, but having spent hundreds of hours on Minecraft and losing track of time, I expected to feel the same about this game. I don't. This game makes you FEEL like you're sinking all of your life into it, for very little gain. If you have never tired of Minecraft and are looking for an absolute bargain this is a definite buy. No-one can argue the value-for-money aspect seen here. But I don't think this is a must-buy for everyone.

6/10 TRY IT!


  1. I appreciated this game for it's more survival based gameplay. It reminded me more of Miner Dig Deep than Minecraft. Still pretty fun though!

  2. Whilst I totally understand that, I don't actually feel that survival was that difficult in this game. I kinda found it tedious more than anything. But saying that it was still a fun enough game, especially when you consider the price tag!