Okay, I am just a wee bit exhausted as I write this, and not because I just completed some hard, physical task. Nothing of that sort, no. I have recently put in some quality time with Battle Mines, however, and it is a labor of love. It’s been a while since I have found a browser-based game that could take up so much of my time, the last being the early days of Runescape – yes, I got addicted for a bit. And now here I am, some thirteen-years later, hooked on another browser game, though one of a different kind, and even more of a beast.
Developed by Red Asteroid Games, Battle Mines looks simple on the outside and, at the same time, somewhat intriguing. It has an art style that is both retro and modern with a world inhabited by you, and a cast of cartoony characters tasked with helping you succeed. And believe me, you need all the help you can get as you progress through the dog-eat-dog world, in an attempt to become a master of the battle mines.
While we are on the subject of battle mine masters, now would be the best of times to explain just exactly what a battle mine is. You can guess that it is at least kind of important, seeing as how is share a namesake with the title of the game. Battle Mines is an empire building game set in a post-apocalyptic world, and without a trusty battle mine, your empire is doomed to fail. A battle mine is essentially a gigantic tank that can drill and dig, alongside other useful activities one could ask for when building anew.
Gameplay itself is a behemoth comprised of fun, learning, and, at times, waiting. Everything is tactical and thought-driven. Many things must be put into consideration while carrying out activities, such as your industry, government, your political standpoints, and so on. If you want to send a spy over to another player’s location and have them act as a suicide bomber, then you are going to need the right government and a church. Impressively, Battle Mines gets surprisingly deep.
As resources are earned and spent, more of the land comes into view, finding neighboring players that one can decide to team up with, or otherwise act less-than-savory towards. The choice is ultimately yours, though don’t forget that your actions may also bring forth some rough consequences. You may receive a new foe that wishes to do nothing more than attack you at every opportune moment, resulting in your buildings being rendered to mere rubble without adequate defense.
Everything costs resources, pretty much no matter what the action is. You want to send out a spy? It costs one glass. Want to tear down that tree that is taking up building space? No problem, as long as you have some coal. It all works well, but there is one issue that does pop up that may turn some players off: The required payment of actual money to unlock the upper tech tree. It is the only paid content in the game. It isn’t necessary, nor does it devalue the enjoyment of the game, though the perks provided are nice.
Probably one of the biggest perks of Battle Mines is the fact that you can play this game for an endless amount of time, for months, maybe even a year, perfecting your civilization. But not all of your playthroughs have to be hours upon hours long. You can play for a few minutes and still accomplish something, be it just gathering available resources or dispatching a spy or two, or even launching an attack before bedtime. It is one that can be played in lengthy sessions or small spurts, and those that take the dive and begin learning the ropes may find themselves with a new digital addiction.
Battle Mines has a lot going on within it at all times. You have to consistently worry about everything – juice levels, pollution, and so on – as well as the effects brought on by your own actions. You have to worry about food too, because it will go bad, so waiting to feed your people can cause some serious problems. You can set up trades to carry out with other players, access the black market, or even close your borders. The possibilities are endless, and no two players are going to have the exact same civilization.
Battle Mines is a beast of a browser game. Those that are fans of civilization builders should definitely give it a try, as there is always something to be done within the game, even if it’s just sending an attack to someone, to let them know you are still the best. Like many strategy games, there is a bit of learning to do, and you shouldn’t be scared to take a peek at the instruction manual for the game either. Those that decide to take the leap into the world of Battle Mines will probably find it to be both an addictive one – I have it running in my browser as I write this now – and also a rewarding one.
Those ready to take the dive can do so by clicking here to create an account, before having a whole new world open up to them.