Mechanic Miner – Review
Follow Genre: Crafting, Survival
Developer: Hello John
Publisher: Hello John
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Mechanic Miner – Review

Site Score
6.7
Good: Different, creative take on crafting games
Bad: Feels a bit flat due to lack of dimensions, directions, and crafting options
User Score
6.7
(3 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 6.7/10 (3 votes cast)

While plenty of games are copying each other, some smaller indie games try to do things differently to make the product their own. These games that are produced by such indie authors are often rather complex, full of love, and creatively stimulating. With examples such as Minecraft and Terraria, it wouldn’t take long for somebody else to try to create a similar challenging game where you can go on an adventure to gather resources and build your own concepts. And so Mechanic Miner was (probably) born. With a twist. 

Story

Mechanic Miner actually does have a story mode, as well as a survival and a creative mode. So, depending on what type of gamer you are, there is already plenty of different gameplay to go around. Focussing on the story, your character, named John, is a brilliant inventor who gets contacted by his future self about his ship that’s going to lose its core. While trying to prevent it, John fails and the ship crashes down on Mars where he has to pull off something amazing in order to get everything working again. Mars has many secrets as well as resources in store though, so John quickly finds himself digging, analyzing, and crafting, to make (mobile) bases and uncover whatever is needed to survive.

Graphics

The graphics are pixelated or pixel art. Which, together with the HUD, reminds a lot of Terraria. That being said, because of how the game works (everything is physics-based, making whatever you craft roll, shift, and fall), there is a lot different at the same time. While most graphics look fine for what they are, though sometimes a tad simplistic, the animations and such are mostly physics bound and therefore can give off a clumsy vibe, even when everything moves smooth. There’s just not much detail in the world around you. You can tell it’s all programming-based and not by using art as the starting point. It doesn’t make the game or the graphics bad, but you will notice it nonetheless.

Sound

Much like how the game graphically seems to borrow some aspects from Terraria, the background sound does the same. With a combination of synths and retro-sounds, it gives off an ambient vibe as you move across the world. It’s the type of sound you wouldn’t really notice until you start to pay attention to it, and is the best type when it comes to creating atmospheric vibes. The tracks are not really memorable, but they serve their purpose. The same goes for any effects that are used to enforce hits on enemies etc.

Gameplay

Mechanic Miner has a story mode, a survival mode, and a creative mode. This means you can follow a written story with goals/quests that you will follow up on, survive and get better as well as you can, or go nuts with building whatever you want. But in the end, it’s mostly a crafting and survival game. Like most crafting and survival games, you go around to mine resources that you will, later on, use in your own projects to successfully improve and defend yourself, so you can grow along as the game gets increasingly difficult. But where you normally walk around with your character to get resources and build crafting stations or bases, Mechanic Miner decided to take a different approach.

The center argument of Mechanic Miner is that mobility and physics are cool to play around with and so it grants you whatever you can take to craft yourself a base… on wheels. That’s right, you can make a creation that has mobility, an engine, and defensive capabilities. By doing so, it truly feels like you are learning something about engineering because you have to connect engines and handles with cables and chains. Now, it’s very cool that the game has this as its main focus. It allows your creations to go wild, and it’s a different perspective on crafting games. On the other hand, it’s a bit flat, especially as you get further into it.

The story already doesn’t really give you much space to go around, besides walking left and right to complete your assignments, but the entirety of the game misses something that other, similar games possess, which is another dimension except moving to the left and right of things. Because Mechanic Miner limits you in your movement, the exploration is also instantly limited in a way. It does, however, use its physics engine very well, which makes whatever you craft feel more alive than creations in other games. And fair enough, it has surface entrances to caves that transport you to a ”deeper layer” where you can mine more valuable ores and such. All in all, it’s a neat experiment as far as it goes right now (it’s still in Early Access), but it could use more than one-dimensional direction of movement with little extras to craft. Stuff that you see in other crafting games that make a ”base” a ”home”, such as beds, windows, tables, etc.

 

Conclusion

Mechanic Miner is a pretty neat experiment, that works up to a point. The crafting of a mobile base is awesome, and it feels like you have capabilities you didn’t even know you had. On the other hand, it could use some more work because the movement is quite limited as you can only move left or right. The same can be said about the crafting options, there need to be more than there currently are.

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Rating: 6.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Mechanic Miner - Review, 6.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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Find me on youtube to see some playthroughs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuBrlulGywcb0EiYWBnA1ng

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