Mystic Mine – Review

After seeing my blog, Koen the only developer and founder of the gaming company Koonsolo contacted me and was kind enough to give his game Mystic Mine for a review.
I was happy to learn that Mystic Mines was developed on GNU/Linux (Kubuntu) using many FOSS.

Mystic Mine is a simple yet challenging and a very fun game for the whole family.
You play by switching the rails in front of your mine cart that is always on the move.
It is done by using only one key thus friendly to people with limited mobility and it supports “local multiplayer” games with up to 6 players on one keyboard.

The levels of the game are mine rails with impossible angles and structure, something like Escher paintings, which in my opinion is very original and beautiful.

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Each level has it’s own “goals” that can include : picking up coins, delivering diamonds, holding the Lamp as much time as you can, avoiding dynamites, achieving specific amount of points using any way you can and many more…
Upon finishing a level you get a rank (beginner, pro, expert etc..) based on how many points you managed to achieve on that level, the next level will adopt to your rank.
If you fail finishing a level the game difficulty will adept to your skills and next time when you restart the level the meeting goals will be lower making the level easier.
This sounds very good and it’s indeed an excellent system for most types of missions.

This system however can be sometimes very annoying, for example…
In a mission when you must hold the lamp for 1:30 minutes (of the total 2 minutes of the level), if you managed to hold the lamp for 30 seconds and you have 40 more seconds left, then there is no way for you to achieve the goal of the level, yet you must continue playing so your rank at the end of the level may be determined.
There is no option to restart the level when you realize you cannot finish it at this try.
A patch to the game that makes it possible to restart the level on the same difficulty or choose a bit lower difficulty without waiting for the level to end could be very nice to have.
On most other missions that I’ve met (picking up coins, delivering diamonds …) this is not a problem as you still have a chance to succeed finishing the level up to the last second.

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Mystic Mines supports “local multiplayer”, up to 6 people can play the game on one keyboard (each of them use only one key), the problem is to gather 6 people around one keyboard (this can be a bit “space” problematic ;) ), I didn’t try it but I’m sure that this is much more fun then playing with several bots which is also great.
The problem is that this game doesn’t support multiplayer over network – you cannot host or connect to online games like in “regular” multiplayer games – this is a big miss in my opinion.

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After finishing a level you can always go back and redo the same level again and try to beat your record on that level.
In the “Adventure” mode you have fixed levels, after finishing a “series” of levels you get a new type of missions and “collectibles”.
You can also play in “Quick Play” mode in which you get random levels of random goals, you can also skip levels in this mode.

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Overall this is an excellent and refreshing game with a very nice graphics and polished gameplay.
I highly advice you to try the demo for several missions and see for yourselves.

An interview with koen hopefully coming soon…

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4 Comments

  1. Tania September 4, 2009 1:32 pm 

    Amazing! Not clear for me, how offen you updating your lgn.linux-hardcore.com.
    Tania

  2. Maxim Bardin September 4, 2009 2:04 pm 

    I update my blog about 3-4 times a week, almost on daily basis, except weekends ;)

  3. Bodyc September 5, 2009 4:55 pm 

    Hi there,
    Can i get a one small picture from your site?
    Bodyc

  4. Maxim Bardin September 5, 2009 10:19 pm 

    Sure man…

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