Important Links Fact Sheet
MinerMite on Facebook

Free Premium Currency (mailto:gareth@ixorastudios.com)

MinerMite Community Page

Static Game Guide

Developer’s Website

MinerMite Press Kit (12MB)

Genre: Puzzle RPG / Indie       Audience: Everyone

Platforms: Facebook, iOS Tablets (Coming Soon), Andriod Tablets (Coming Soon)

Price: Free To Play

Description: Miner Mite is set in a kingdom in crisis. All the gems (which produce the kingdoms energy) have mysteriously gone missing from the vaults, leaving the kingdom in disarray! The game play follows a concerned citizen through his selfless journey volunteering in the mines. As he tries to do his part by replenishing the kingdom’s gem supply as fast as he can, he’s confronted with mysterious events going on underground…

Game play is centred around puzzle building and pattern matching, kind of in a Bejewelled meets Tetris sort of way. It is targeted at casual audiences and has been released on Facebook and is planned for both the iOS and Android tablet platforms.

About the Developers
Ixora Studios is a new games and apps company from Singapore. It was founded in 2012 by 3, passionate, like-minded friends from the National University of Singapore’s School of Computing. All three are graduates from the school’s Communications and Media Programme and have a specialisation in developing games.

MinerMite is the first commercial game the trio have produced and is actually loosely based on one of the school projects they did together. Their wider vision, however, is to create games which are seamless, in terms of play experience and game progression across multiple platforms.

Game Release Trailer (Trailer on Vimeo)

Gameplay Video (non-promotional, for reference only)
Selected Screenshots (Download MinerMite Press Kit)


Icons & Promo Art (Download MinerMite Press Kit)


Ad Banner Graphics (Download MinerMite Press Kit)


Credits Previous Coverage
SirSuperNice: Game Music Loop

Aiysha Plemping: Art, Game Assets, Story Line, Game Design

Daniel Ho: Game Programming, Security, Level Design, Game Design

Gareth Yeo: Game Programming, Social Integration, Level Design, Game Design, Promotion

“The game sets itself apart from others by not running on energy. Gameplay in Miner Mite is virtually limitless…”
-RobotsGoneBad

“…so: There are puzzle and RPG elements, there‚Äôs a mystery story to it and overall, we really liked the game.”
-A Gaming Nation

“It offers fast-paced action-involved small matches. With that small miner running around, you may find yourself lost in the game for hours. Dig it!”
-MMOHunter

Sample MinerMite Review
MinerMite is an adorable pattern matching RPG which offers an intriguing new look at the possible mechanics of puzzle gaming. One in which you, the player, are required to build your own dynamic colour patterns in order to maximise your score!

Players are thrust straight into action, as ‘Phoot’, the menacing overseer, beckons you to the mines the moment you arrive on scene. The player is put into control of a miner, whom we eventually find out, is called ‘Freckles’ and is taught the basics of mining in the first chapter of game play. Players collect and mine gems in matching chain patterns with dynamite, “juggle” their gems about, manage gem requests that grant you a score multiplier and meet “buddies” who change the dynamics of play!

Playing through the tutorial chapter gives you access to 3 different game modes. You either continue on playing the story mode, an enticing option given the suspenseful events in the last tutorial stage, or have a choice in accessing the game’s arcade and practice modes in the stage selection screen. Predictably, the game’s arcade mode, is where players would spend most of their time, earning experience points to level your in-game companions and also coins to hire new ones! In practice mode, players get unlimited time to hone their gem collecting manoeuvres, but are not rewarded with coins or experience.

Game Play
Game play is completely skill based and the learning curve is slightly steep for players who are new to gaming but this provides for play which is fun and also pretty addictive once you get the hang of the controls. Players use the mouse to navigate “Freckles” around in an attempt to pick up ore of matching colours while the left and right clicks are used to rotate the gem pattern “Freckles” is already carrying. Every once in a while a stick of “Dynamite” drops allowing you to mine a chain you’ve previously built.

In the arcade mode, players are thrown into a gem mining frenzy until their time runs out. Longer chain explosions reward players with a higher score and also add more time to the clock, but in order to maximise your score, you have to balance this with completing requests for certain gems which give you a higher multiplier. This is definitely more tricky then it sounds! In my 2 weeks of exploring this game, I have yet to find an optimal solution and my score, although in the top 100 list, is still miles away from what is attainable by the top beta players.

Game Continuity – Buddies, Items, story
The RPG elements in the game are well thought out. Players are able to hire companions (which the developers have aptly named buddies) for coins in the tavern and get to bring them along for matches. Buddies mostly enhance your score by significantly changing the dynamics of play! My personal favourite being Lumber, who gives you a score bonus if you mine gems in the closing seconds of play. Experience and levelling are also tied to your in game companions instead the player. Buddies that you bring into matches gain experience and it’s nice to see their skills grow in tandem with your skill as a player.

The developers have also incorporated an alternative adaptation of the standard energy system in order to manage the play time. Similar to levelling, energy is tied to your buddies instead of the player. You can bring a buddy with you, expending 1 point of his maximum 3 per match. After exhausting all 3, you either have to wait for energy to recharge at a rate of 1 per hour, or buy a “premium” recharge item. While it may be irritating not being able to bring your favourite buddy for every match, this mechanic does not limit your play time as a player and encourages you to explore dynamic combinations of different in-game assistants.

Items are pretty standardised in MinerMite and are split into three main categories – items that recharge energy, items that enhances a buddy’s skill, and items that provide additional coins and experience. Again, these are only usable in conjunction with buddies, and each buddy can only equip 1 item per match, after which, the item is consumed.
One of the pleasant surprises of the game was how entertaining the story mode was. Although the developers have only come up with 2 chapters, the scripted events and text really appealed to my dry sense of humour. Puns and subtle references to pop culture and memes are fare of the day. The creative mix of mechanics also remained interesting. Clearly not fully implemented, the end of Chapter 2 leaves us in suspense of what the developers have planned for next. Tip: You can also earn coins and experience for your buddies in story mode!

PVP and Social Elements
The social elements are what we’ve come to expect regarding a Facebook integrated game. Players are encouraged to share content sometimes with a reward of in game reward currency. While the number of junctures in the game which I am asked whether to share content is kind of on the high side, I personally did not find it overbearing.

The highlight social feature, which I could see myself participating a lot more in, should I have more actively playing friends, is the ability to send asynchronous challenges to other players! Players can send and play challenges between friends (and also complete strangers) for greater rewards compared to just the standard arcade mode. There is also a reward should your score rank among the top 3 if your friends for the week.

Monetisation
The game’s currency is split into gold and silver coins. Silver being the main currency for in game transactions and gold, a kind of pseudo premium currency. Items of “greater power” have a gold coin cost attached to them, e.g. energy recharge items and even your 3rd buddy slot. But gold is not solely premium as it can be attained through other means such as the random daily reward roll and inviting friends. This tempts the user even more into using real life currency to top up what little he is already given to get that next premium item, which I concede is a smart monetisation move by the developers.

In Summary
There are some things in the game that could have been better balanced, for example initial buddy costs and challenge rewards, but the major drawback of the game is that it is developed using Unity3D instead of Flash (the obvious choice for web games this kind of target audience). I had to download a plug-in to review MinerMite, something which is usually a huge turn off for causal gamers. However, there is a reason for that; the developers have mentioned that they intend to bring the game, with persistent game state progress, to mobile touch devices like the iPad and Android tablets. I must say, I for one, am looking forward to playing this great little action packed game on the go!