Though it may not appear to be much, this little game might actually surprise you.

User Rating: 9 | Miner Dig Deep X360
Miner Dig Deep is a fun little game I recently discovered browsing through the Indie Games on XBLA. For merely 200 MS Points I found myself sitting there playing this strangely addicting game.

You start off with just a simple hole in the ground, a pick axe in one hand, a lantern in the other, and a discover to mine for anything you can find. After a brief break down of how the game works and what sort of things are at your disposal you set off to mine yourself from rags to riches.

Miner Dig Deep has a rather simple setup, you use your pick axe to dig as deep as you can. Along the way collecting whatever you find, and once your bag is full you return to the surface to sell off your finds for cash. The money you earn can be spent in several ways, from upgrading your lantern which will allow you to see a bigger area, upgrading your pick axe to dig through tougher dirt quickly, upgrading your bag size to hold more items, buying ladders, elevators, grappling hooks, and a few other things along the way.

Now this isn't something like Mr.Driller where you are just heading straight down, this game actually makes you think about your mining path abit more. First of all you can only jump 2 squares high, so if you find yourself in a deep hole, you won't be able to get out. Secondly you need your lantern to be lit otherwise you can't see what is around you in the dirt. If you can't see this could lead you into several really bad situation, from being crushed by overhead rocks to falling into pits you didn't know was there.

Your lantern runs on kerosene which slowly depletes the longer you stay underground. As your kerosene supply dwindles down, the area of which you can see gets smaller. As you upgrade your lantern, not only does it hold more kerosene, but it also lights up a bigger area, making it much easier to see what you are looking for and what to avoid.

Your grappling hook comes in handy for pulling you out of holes that you can't jump out of, though beware you need a ceiling directly overhead that it can reach, otherwise you are stuck and have to summon rescue. You grappling hook is upgradeable and ends up with a pretty good reach, which can help you in several different ways. I for one like to dig straight down for awhile, then use the grappling hook to help tunnel my way back up by making a side path that leads up to where I started.

Now if you "die" or have to summon rescue, you are merely returned to the surface and anything you've found while down there is lost. So I tend to make it a point to save before I head down. However there are no monsters or anything like that in the game, the only way you can die is by falling too far, being crushed by a rock, or a cave in. You can summon rescue at any time however the price can be rather stiff.

Ladders help by making it so you can climb up and down long vertical tunnels, though they must be purchased in individual sections. Elevators are great to cutting down travel time and are simple to deploy, merely purchase one, head into the mind, and select it when you've found a good spot. The elevator tunnels straight down to whatever the predetermined depth is on the elevator. Once it is complete you are free to use it as much as you want.

Drills simply dig constantly and cut down work time, though they do run on gas so you'll need to make sure you always carry a supply with you if you want to make use of these items.

Along the way, you'll come across different blue prints, which when you collect four give you the plans to either a better pick axe or drill. These special tools are used to break through barriers you find every so often that normal tools can't penetrate.

Overall Miner Dig Deep is a fun and engaging game that keeps things simple yet for some reason is extremely addicting. It is extremely rewarding in the more you play, the more you earn, the more you can do. I still have yet to reach the actual bottom of the mine I must say, and I'm well over 1,000 meters now and counting.

My only complaint is travel time down into the mine once you get deeper. Sure elevators cut down alot of travel time, but I typically spend one to two minutes going from elevator to elevator, which isn't a big deal, but the entire time my lantern is burning fuel. So by the time I reach where I'm working, some of kerosene is gone so I'm unable to see as far as I could be able to.

However there is a teleporter mid way down that warps you to the surface, but it is a one way deal though. Only up, not down. However it is only a miner (haha, I love stupid puns) complaint and doesn't affect gameplay or keep you from playing, just a slight annoyance.

Miner Dig Deep is available on Xbox Live Arcade under the Indie Games section for merely 200 MS Points, which is a steal for what you get.