Miner Disturbance

  • iPhone / £0.99

Pausing only to high-five fellow subterranean classics like Boulderdash, Dig Dug and Miner 2049er, Miner Disturbance tunnels straight through your stony heart, hits you in the gut, and reminds you of the time when the pinnacle of gaming excellence meant mining for gems in dark, dank and mysterious caves.

That time was 1984. Some of you probably still wish it was the summer of 1984. Quite right, too. The Smiths were ripping it up on Top of the Pops again, Matthew Smith was a teenage god, and games loaded to your computer via the medium of sound. What's not to like?

Apart from R Tape Loading Errors and the dreaded Lenslock, not much. This breezily confident stab at recapturing those heady glories succeeds remarkably well, cheerfully borrowing leftover ideas and refashioning them with a spring in its step and a song in its heart.

With a simple task of reaching a collection target within a specified time limit, you have to balance your kleptomaniacal desires with the need to get a shift on. Pickaxe in hand, you bound around like the grumpy prospector from Toy Story, mindful that hazards lie in wait.

Miner Disturbance: Manic.

Bats flutter, and the ground crumbles precariously overhead, threatening to bury you and its secrets if you act hastily. With so many crafted levels to explore, you'll want to lose yourself to its simple pleasures, but the fiddliness of touch screen controls never gives you the precision you need.

Perhaps when ported to Minis or DSiWare we'll see Miner Disturbance reach its lofty potential. For now, though, it's a delightful nod to early eighties platforming, but one held back by an ill-suited input method.


Astro Dodge

  • iPhone / £1.24
Astro Dodge: A storm in heaven.

Prolific indie powerhouse Assyria returns with what amounts to Asteroids for pacifists.

As the title helpfully indicates, it's all about dodging pesky space junk. Presumably your laser's packed up, leaving you with little choice but to try and steer out of the way of the oncoming shower of rock without getting hit.

Merely dodging spinning hunks of debris on its own would be pretty dull, so for high-score kicks, you're tasked with picking up as many glowing green blobs as you can. But with only one life in stock, it's a delicate balancing act as you try to hoover up the shinies while surviving the projectile onslaught.

To make matters even more taxing, you also have to keep out of the way of nearby black holes, which suck you to your doom should you get too close. With passing cosmic showers also blasting you off course, it's enough to put you off the idea of space travel for good. But with ship upgrades to aim for, and Openfeint leaderboard glory dragging you back for more, the one-more-go factor lures you back again and again.

Once again, Assyria's knack for producing super-cheap, instantly addictive micro-games in the style of classic eighties arcade games makes this a no-brainer purchase.


About the author

Kristan Reed

Kristan Reed


Kristan is a former editor of Eurogamer, dad, Stone Roses bore and Norwich City supporter who sometimes mutters optimistically about Team Silent getting back together.

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