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The Lost Mines Reviews
Author: Mel S
Date: 2002

Reviewed by Alex Kingsbury

Not bad.. 

Writing was good and lots of objects had descriptions unlike other games. However, there was a bit of guess the verb and you couldn't use objects for other things. i could think of a hundred things to do with the axe but i couldn't and wasn't even told why not. 

I need a pen for the coupon, I have been everywhere-can't find it. I can't light the dynamite either.

Reviewed by David Whyld (1)

Not bad at all 

Quite an interesting, well-written little game. The puzzles were reasonably straightforward and the style of writing quite an improvement on your last game. 

A fairly easy game, too. I got 50% without too much trouble but then couldn't seem to do anything with the dynamite or at the blockage (and was unable to buy drinks from the bartender!) 

I found a possible bug in the room with the gamblers. The hints system told me to exchange an item I was carrying with one already on the table. I tried this and it worked, despite the fact that I wasn't even carrying that item! 

That aside, a pretty decent game. 

6 out of 10

Reviewed by David Whyld (2)

I have to confess I was never a particularly big fan of Mel S' games in the past. While some of them were quite well written, and others had interesting storylines, they all seemed to fall down at some point - mainly through guess-the-verb - but, with The Lost Mines (an adventure about hunting for hidden treasure), he seems to have hit gold (pun intended).

The best thing about The Lost Mines is its ease of use: it's one of those games whereby you can figure out some of the puzzles right at the start and you don't start in one location and have to struggle to reach the second only to find yourself stuck with an even worse problem. The puzzles were all (fairly) logical (although a couple did require a bit of use of the old grey matter) and quite well thought out. Guess-the-verb surfaced in a few places and was the only real downside to the game; aside from that there is little to actually find fault with here.

I encountered a few bugs but these tended to be fairly minor ones that didn't affect the game too much; indeed, there are a couple (one with the axe, the other with the playing cards) which makes the game considerably easier - the axe doesn't need to be carried to be used, and the task involving the cards can be executed whether or not you've actually found the second pack of cards. So while bugs are always a bad thing in a game, this time they were easy to forgive.

The Lost Mines was unusual in that I don't think there's a single way of die during the game - is this a first? I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not. Dying is generally a pain - it happens at the worst possible times and if you haven't saved your game previously then a lot of hard work has gone down the drain - but it also serves a purpose in making the game more challenging. A game where the player cannot die is a game that rapidly becomes monotonous. That said, I'd 90% finished the game before I realised you can't die and it didn't affect the gameplay much (if at all) so I'm probably just nit-picking here.

All in all, this was a pretty good game, if a little on the small side for someone who prefers vast epics, and if Mel S can produce more games of this quality I'll be looking forward to playing them. 

Logic: 6 out of 10
Overall the puzzles were reasonably straightforward but there were a few (the one involving the boulder being a good example) that I had real pains with. 

Problems: 6 out of 10 (10 = no problems)
One with the axe, another with the playing cards, maybe a few other minor ones, but nothing that really affected the gameplay.

Story: 6 out of 10
Interesting enough although the idea - a hunt for treasure - has been used a lot of times before.

Characters: 5 out of 10
Only two characters in the game that you can interact with which is a pity as the game could have used a little fleshing out.

Writing: 7 out of 10
Certainly the best in any of Mel's games so far. The location descriptions were all well written and the style of writing interesting.

Game: 7 out of 10
One of the better of the recent ADRIFT games although a little more work could have made this a great game.

Overall : 37 out of 60 

Review by DS490

Overall a good game... 

This is a generally good game. The only complain I have is there was some guess work, such as getting the pen. I don't see how the ring was hard to get; you just have to examine everything. Overall, 7/10. I would recommend this to any casual player like me, who wants a realtively short game which they can finish in a couple hours.

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