One of the reasons why I like indie games over big AAA projects is the level of creativity. As big games are very expensive products, they are developed by large teams with great cash inflows. Thus, investors need to be assured of profits, which leads to making a mass product instead of a piece of gaming art.
On the other hand, indie game studios are not afraid to experiment, because their main sources of funding are either early-access or crowdfunding. At least, these were the most common ones at the beginning of 2010s. Now, indie game publishers have appeared that allow more creativity to be implemented in their games due to the industry peculiarities.
SteamWorld Dig was one such unique and creative project. It took already popular mining gameplay and combined it with the ascendant metroidvania genre. The game was beloved by players and got several sequels.
Mines of Dalarnia is a blockchain game that shares a similar concept but without metroidvania features, at least in their original meaning. The Metroidvania genre provides players with a semi-open world, in which separate parts are available to enter only with a special item/equipment/ability. Thus, a game in this genre encourages exploring and discovering new horizons.
Mines of Dalarnia provides two types of gameplay: for miners and for landowners. Miners are digging on rented land in search of resources and new equipment. Landowners rent their plots to others in order to earn more crypto and buy more. The main currency is DAR, which has almost reached #350 by total market cap. Therefore, the game is a combination of planet exploring and an economic simulator.
Does it have some similarities with games in the metroidvania genre? Indeed yes. Every new planet to explore has a particular level of equipment needed to dig in. On the other hand, this is all that players can get so far. Literally, the point of the game is to explore and get more resources, which is fine taking into consideration the fact that the currency is exchangeable with USDT on major exchanges.
However, the gameplay does need some improvement for it to stop being so repetitive. Of course, the planets differ in every four worlds available in the game. But some storyline is essential for players to stick with the game.
The developers of Mines of Dalarnia understand this and recently updated the roadmap on the official website. They announced a planetary storyline release in Q1 2022, tournament gameplay implementation in Q2 2022, and a mobile platform launch in Q3 2022.
These enhancements do seem essential. After getting rid of repetitive gameplay, the concept has all the possibility of becoming an interesting and unique play-to-earn game.