Dungeons and miners from developer Angry Bugs is one of those games that has a story. It was originally announced in 2017 as an even lighter roguelike inspired by games like Dead cells and Potholing, designed for one-handed portrait-oriented mobile gaming. In 2018, the developer pivoted on this idea and decided to expand the game into a full roguelike meant for multiple platforms, ditching portrait orientation and a more mobile-focused game loop. Then the project went completely silent until the start of the year when it resurfaced with the news that it was once again a mobile-centric game and surprisingly it was on the point of end. This week, after years of roller coasters, Dungeons and miners finally launched on iOS.
So, was it worth doing all this time and this long wait? Heck yeah it was. It’s no secret that we love Dead cells around those parts, picking it as our game of the year 2019 and all, and it’s probably the game that reminds me the most when I play Dungeons and miners. Except it’s a lot smaller and, as promised, built from the ground up with mobile gaming in mind. But these facts don’t mean that there isn’t a lot of strategy and adventure waiting for you in Dungeons and miners, because there absolutely is. Maybe not to the extent of something like Dead cells when it comes to the scope of weapons and items. If you’ve ever felt this Dead cells was too complex, it’s a much more accessible approach to a roguelike action game.
As promised in the title, you’ll go through randomly generated dungeons hacking and slashing all kinds of enemies and collecting all the treasures you can find along the way. Between these dungeons, you will also mine. The entrances to the dungeons are all connected by exploitable areas where you will try to unearth all kinds of resources. These resources are then fed back into a vast skill tree system that unlocks new abilities, features and more. There are of course also tons of special weapons and items that you can upgrade, upgrade, and swap in and out of your loadout to try out different strategies. Dungeons and miners is a very slow burn at first, but once the details click and you’ve gone through several dungeons, things start to open up in an extremely satisfying way.
It’s a great concept, an accessible roguelite built specifically for mobile, but my only criticism is that Dungeons and miners is a bit rough around the edges at this point. You’ll come across spots where textures are missing, or you might fall through soil into a bottomless pit, pretty much ruining your run. Not a big deal in a game where you’re supposed to die over and over, but still boring. There are a few other minor issues as well, but Angry Bugs is aware of it already and in addition to these issues so I expect them to be resolved as soon as possible. It’s still something to be aware of. If you don’t mind that sort of thing though, Dungeons and miners delivers some really cool adventures with that special “one more hit” sauce that makes it a hard game to quit once you’re sucked into its satisfying loop.