CastleMiner Z puts a spin on normal mining indie games and adds a survival horror atmosphere featuring your trusty pickaxe and guns. We all love guns right? Developed and published for the Xbox Live Indie Games Marketplace (XBLIGM) by DigitalDAN3. I have played CastleMiner in trial form much like its Z counterpart. The games are not only different from a atmosphere and visual standpoint, but most notably with gameplay.
Menus at the start up screen featured Play Online, Play Offline (playable), Purchase and Exit. Play Offline is the only playable option in the trial. Play Offline broke down into the following menus Endurance, Survival and Free Build. Endurance gamemode is about seeing how fast you can travel across the map while encountering the rising dead and skeletons. You are scored by how far you travel. I earned the achievements Self Defense and First Contact. Survival mode has to do with building/creating by using materials while being attacked by waves of zombies. Freebuild mode lets you build and explore with no monsters. The trial mode doesn’t let you do any co-op but the full game does, for all modes.
The button configuration in CastleMiner Z via the Xbox 360 gamepad: LS-move, Start-players, LB-last item, LT-use/shoot, select-menu, RS-look, X-reload, A-jump, Y-item/craft, RB-next item. I didn’t like the button layout in regards to scrolling through items. However the shooting was good. Aiming down my ironsights with my pistol taking out zombies and skelatons felt decent enough. And just like with CastleMiner, CastleMiner Z it takes a million hits with the pickaxe to crack an object. You start Endurance mode with a compass, pistol, torch, pickaxe, knife and bullets.
Endurance mode in CastleMiner’s Z’s trial doesn’t start you off with materials to create with. You can obtain materials and objects by digging. You can also explore and find items when not being eaten by zombies. The atmosphere in CastleMiner Z is clearly that of a horror flick. The sky which was once sunny and blue is now dusk. There is a huge skyscraper tower in the middle of the map. The music is more haunting. You can hear the groans from monsters rising up out of the ground before they attack you. You can use your avatar in the full game of CastleMiner Z.
The visuals are good. The zombies all pretty much look like smoke colored ghouls. The game did stutter a few times in Offline mode. As you explore deep in the map there are skelatons that will attack you. You can use your knife and pickaxe to kill the monsters but the pistol was the most effective. Your health is composed of heart containers that “health regen” when you recover from monster attacks. Endurance mode in a nutshell is about running around and killing monsters. It is probably the least layered gameplay mode in the full game.
I’m sure CastleMiner Z is worth your 240 MSP when you consider its not only a full fledged mining game that you could spend days creating worlds. With or without friends. But now you have monsters, guns and new gameodes that favor the new atmosphere. Its a bold move on the developers of CastleMiner to publish CastleMiner Z. I personally would buy this game for the content alone. Thanks CastleMiner of youtube. Thanks for reading.