Battle Miner Review (3DS eShop)

Battle Miner 3DS Review

Battle Miner is the first attempt at a Minecraft clone we’ve seen on the Nintendo 3DS eShop sinced Microsoft purchased Mojang a few months back. Although a few Minecraft clones were revealed for the Wii U eShop, Battle Miner is the only one on the 3DS, so those desperate for block-building action might be tempted to pick this title up. Unfortunately, Battle Miner suffers from some major flaws that could’ve easily been avoided and those wanting to play it should hold off until this game receives further support from the developer.

From the get-go, players are presented with three options: Survival Mode, Creative Mode and Options. From the moment I saw the layout, I knew the menu system could’ve used an extra coat of polish. The overall aesthetic from loading screens to the crafting menu to the menu system itself could’ve been vastly improved.

Having watched hardcore survival TV shows like Survivor and Lost, I thought I’d be able to show the world my skills, so I naturally gravitated towards Survival Mode. I expected a lush 3D environment, but was instead greeted by a bland, empty world. More on that later in the review.

In Survival Mode, players are shown a compass on the bottom screen of the Nintendo 3DS. Said compass leads the player to other survivors within the map. After walking towards the direction the compass is pointing to for a bit, you’ll see the survivor stuck in an odd structure. To reach these survivors, you’ll need to place blocks in the surrounding area to reach them, speak with them, receive quests and learn how to craft new items. Oh yeah, often times the survivors are trapped by hordes of Mutant Ants. I know it sounds cool and all, but Battle Miner executes all of these ideas and features really poorly.

Battle Miner 3DS Review Screenshot

For starters, reaching the survivors is a huge pain. Players use the A, B, X and Y buttons to look around, R button to use items (like guns and grenades), L button to place blocks and the Circle Pad for moving around (the D-Pad is used for flying in Creative Mode). It’s really bothersome that the controls can’t be re-mapped because I’m sure a lot of people who aren’t familiar with handheld gaming wouldn’t find the control set easy to grasp instantly. When reaching survivors, I would have to stop, move around awkwardly and struggle to jump on to the survivor’s platform whilst he was screaming phrases such as “Hey!”, “I’m over here”, or “Come on!”. Needless to say, it got annoying…and fast.

When you reach the first survivor, he’ll give you your first item: a gun. This gun is used to kill Mutant Ants and can be upgraded to kill tougher ants later on. This is one of the few moments where the game can get quite exciting as a wealth of customization options are provided for weaponry. This part of the game never got old to me, but then again, who gets tired of blasting bug brains out?

I’ll admit it, shooting giant Mutant Ants in the face is cool, but it would’ve been even cooler if I did it with a friend. Yep, a local multiplayer mode is something that this game is missing and could have really benefitted from too. Who’s not to say this won’t come in a future update however.

Battle Miner 3DS Review Guns

Remember how I talked about being thrown into a bland world? Well, yeah. This game isn’t exactly one of the most beautiful Nintendo eShop titles. This game could also benefit from improved textures. I mean like, c’mon. I would’ve liked to have grass that looked like, y’know, grass? Sand that looked like…umm sand? Oh, let’s not forget snow either. I’m not sure if this was due to the fact that the 3DS couldn’t handle rendering highly detailed textures, but nevertheless, the game isn’t exactly visually appealing.

Something I liked in Battle Miner was the nice and straightforward crafting system. Unlike Minecraft, players choose what they craft, gather a certain number of the needed materials and don’t have to worry about memorizing countless combinations for a grid-based crafting system. This is great, because you don’t have to go searching on the internet for countless combinations.

Another gripe I have with Battle Miner is that the world just feels so empty and unpopulated. I would’ve at least liked to see animals roaming the land, but it’s totally bare. Wobby Tooth, the developer of Battle Miner attempted to fix this issue by adding the survivors I talked about earlier in this review, but it doesn’t help a whole lot.

All in all, Battle Miner has a lot of potential to be a great Minecraft clone, but to be blunt, it’s unfinished. This game could definitely benefit from a few updates adding additional features, but until that happens, you should just go play Minecraft instead. That’s why I’m giving Battle Miner on the Nintendo 3DS eShop a 4/10.

Review Copy provided by Wobbly Tooth

Battle Miner Review (3DS eShop)
All in all, Battle Miner has a lot of potential to be a great Minecraft clone, but to be blunt, it’s unfinished. This game could definitely benefit from a few updates adding additional features, but until that happens, you should just go play Minecraft instead. That’s why I’m giving Battle Miner on the Nintendo 3DS eShop a 4/10.
Visuals3
Gameplay4.2
Control Layout3
Music4
Pros
  • Bug-shooting mayhem
  • Serene music
  • Straightforward crafting system
Cons
  • Awkward controls
  • Bland textures and graphics
  • Empty world
4Overall Score
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