A Look at a Small Facebook Title, Gold Miner World

Gold Miner World Gold Miner World, a relatively small title, from Grab, has been growing slowly, yet steadily, over the past month. Though it has never appeared on any of our top lists, the sudden appearance of a great many performance ads for the game warranted a closer look.

Though the Gold Miner has reached somewhat of a plateau, it still earns over 214,000 monthly active users. Some of those, it might be presumed, will be users of games like the popular Treasure Isle or Treasure Madness. However, Gold Miner World is very different from those two apps. Instead, it’s more of an arcade-style claw game that brings collection into the mix. It is simple, to say the least, but has a quaint charm to it. That said, the novelty is short-lived, as the repetitive nature of the game tends to wear on the user after a little while.

Players control a caricature’esque prospector who has a rather creative means of mining for gold. Seated within his railroad trolley, he uses an extending claw to grab, and reel in, chunks of gold, copper, rock, and so on. It’s quite easy to learn, as the claw swings back and forth and players time the extension with a mouse click or button press. From there, the claw shoots out and anything in its way is reeled in.

ScorpionsEach item is of varying sizes and types and worth a set amount of points. Small objects are worth the least, larger ones the most. The type of object (rock, copper, gold, etc.) will also contribute to that value. The catch is that the bigger the item, the heavier it is, thus the longer it takes to reel back in. This must be balanced against the of each level, which is to score a set amount of points in the time allowed.

Doing well is tougher than one might think, as it is not only difficult to hit objects further away from the player’s cart, but on each return, the level brings something new to the table. This includes any number of possible obstacles such as cacti and moving scorpions that stun the player, or immovable rocks that must be blown up.

In order to destroy these items (or any other, for that matter), players can purchase dynamite that will blow up anything attached to the claw. In addition to this, the app’s in-game store has any number of other bonuses for purchase as well. These include strength boosting items that will improve reel speed, lucky clovers for increased rare items on the map, or extra time on the clock. Furthermore, some items cost in-game currency, while others cost purchasable virtual currency.

CraftingUnfortunately, these items are all consumable (up to three can be used before beginning a level). In order to afford more, players must sell some of the goods they collect out in the world. This includes the rocks and ore one finds, the occasional rodent, and craftable goods.

These crafted items are rather important, as they can not only sell well (e.g. a Bull Skull), but are needed to advance to new areas. As an example, players start in Arizona, but must craft a certain number of gold and copper bars to create a train hitch that will unlock the next region, California. These requirements are also outlined an a Region Tasks List, on the map menu. That in mind, the materials for said item must be collected first. For the noted, Bull Skull example, players must reel in a the two horns and the center piece of the skull.

As for social mechanics, Gold Miner World is rather bland and basic. All that is truly noticeable are standard leaderboard systems between friends, gifting, and the occasional wall post. There are also some shareable achievements, but for a Facebook game, it’s not a lot to write home about.

The other real issue comes from the repetitive nature of them game. It’s actually kind of fun early on, but all the gold earned from selling items is then turned around and used to purchase items that only improve the ability to earn gold. The collection and crafting aspect is nice, but the game really begins to feel like an endless cycle of doing action A, to get item B, to do action A better, then repeat.

Grand CanyonSome of the repetition is broken up with different types of levels at least. As an example, once players can visit the Grand Canyon, the collection is vertically oriented, having the players descend a mine shaft and collect items on the left and right (as opposed to just below). Likely, there are more variations of these in other regions such as Russia, Japan, or Brazil, but it will be some time until these are unlocked for us.

Regardless, it is possible to get there with perseverance as the game has no limiting mechanism. Players appear to be able to play forever with no energy pool needing to recharge.

On a final note, the visual appeal will be a coin toss for some people. Grab tends to mix vector artwork with realistic photos for both level items and backgrounds, and it really just doesn’t seem to fit. That isn’t to say it’s bad, — in fact, independently, they both look fine — they just don’t feel like they compliment one another.

In the end, Gold Miner World is an alright app that is actually fairly fun the first go around. That said, the repetitive nature of its design will likely discourage many potential players, and with its AppData metrics showing slowed MAU growth and decreasing DAU growth, that possibility may already be happening.