30 Minutes dissapeared in a flash in today's installment of The 30 Minute Gamer.

I had the chance to play A Miner Problem by Aaron Sequeira, a great little puzzle game. Honestly, i feel pretty good about talking about it, in fact i am still listening to the relaxing vibes it puts off.

When it first loads up two GREAT things appear; clean interface without a lot of flash, and a sound track that i actually turned off iTunes for. I think it might be a 15 second loop, but it definitely puts you in the mood to solve some puzzles, and if you'd rather your own tunes, you can mute it right at the main menu, a definite plus.

In fact, they have a total of 32 puzzles for offer, in a growing difficulty with tips and tricks along the way.

The concept is simple, rearrange 3 different types of gems, as well as a movable crate in order to clear the gems, while having a limited number of moves before losing. When you slide a gem in any direction, it keeps sliding until it hits a wall. 3 gems of 1 type clears them, allowing for challenging yet finite gameplay. Nothing open-ended here, so no feeling that you must continue and wind up late for work.

And like every good flash game, it stores your current progress on the local client. Now lets discuss the cons.

Well, while I do like the idea of a few different solutions per level, I really felt like in some levels either you find the gold solution, or nothing at all. On a few levels i would have appreciated some sort of hint guide, like showing the solution, or showing the first move. Anything to get the puzzle going.

Also, I think for the simplistic nature they could have added up to 50 levels just to add to the longevity of the game, but hey maybe that's just me.

Controls are easy to learn and very intuitive, in fact if you can't master them in 30 seconds, you should go back to ski-free. 

Now there is a level editing and creation mode, which i looked at briefly enough to know the following... I didn't want to use it.

However the ability to simply copy and paste the maps does allow for some community creation, which always helps to keep a game current.

Oh and here is what i could get in 30 minutes of game play. If you need any hints, check out the YouTube video found here.

All in all, I would definitely recommend A Miner Problem for a light lunch snack, but with nothing more deep then shallow water to dive into, it is not the kind of puzzle solver that has any addictive qualities.


Longevity: 1.0/5
Interface: 3.5/5
Addictiveness: 2.0/5
Sound: 4.0/5
Simplicity: 4.5/5

Overall: 3.0/5
... and yes i am still listening to the music from it

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