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05 March, 2014

Metroid, Guns and Minecraft in Mines of Mars

Update: The game is out now.Our first impressions are live, too - click here.

Yesterday we posted a freshly baked trailer for upcoming Mines of Mars, which releases March 6. We were pretty keen to learn more about this awesome looking game that mixes 2D running and gunning, with mining, crafting and planet exploration. We reached out and spoke to Tim Wickey - president of Wickeyware - about inspirations for Mines of Mars, and even got the inside scoop on some gun loadouts. 

I've been thinking for some time that a sci-fi based iteration of the crafting genre is begging to be made for the App Store. Can you tell us a bit about where the seed of inspiration for Mines of Mars came from?
The main inspiration came from MotherLoad and Minecraft - but when I got involved as a publisher, I brought in some Metroid influence as well.

Is it also inspired by 2D mining games: you name-check Terraria on the site for the game?
The mechanics of the game are very similar to MotherLoad, where you are trying to mine down further and further, in order to upgrade your equipment.
This game has a strong story line though, which is about the dark secrets of Mars.

Will the game involve building or is it more mining-centric, gathering minerals to build and craft weapons and tech?
It's really all about mining; currently it follows a story to uncover the ancient secrets of Mars. In order to find everything, you need to mine down as far as you can. You will face huge bosses, dark corridors and various other obstacles on your way down.

Any clues as to some weapon loadouts we can look forward to?
We've got various machine guns, grenade launcher, missile launcher, even an Alien gun - if you can find it.

Combining the 2D running and gunning gameplay of Metroid with planet exploration is an inspired combo, did the game start out more as one or the other, or was the goal always to be a mash-up of the genres?
It started out basically as a sci-fi mining game, but evolved into a deeper game where exploration of dark corridors is key (no pun intended!)

I notice on your website you note that Mines of Mars was originally called Jetpack Miner - was there any particular reason for the name change?
Jetpack Miner was a bit too pedestrian for the great expanse of depth in the game. Back then, actually, it didn't even take place on Mars! We decided to change it to Mines of Mars, to give it a spooky desolate feeling.


I'll be sinking my teeth into the game today and posting day one impressions as soon as the game hits tomorrow. For now, have another look at the trailer, and in particular watch out for the amazing looking Berzerk homage, Berzerkoid!

Garry Balogh

You may also like these interviews:
   - Tin Man Games talks Joe Dever Partnership
   - Mad Fellows talks Salvage
   - Miguel Oliveira talks Thralled

Game References:
  - Terraria
  - Junk Jack X
  - Minecraft - Pocket Edition
  - MotherLoad 

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