The Nardio Game Review







Freemium gaming at its very worst.

Long story short Pocket Mine 3 is not a fun game. It’s worse than its predecessors thanks to overly aggressive freemium game design. 

This is a game that squandered the goodwill from its two previous incarnations. We LOVED the first game and the second slightly less so. Pocket Mine was a great series so far…until now. Roofdog went too far with the aggressive in-app purchases and punishing game design.

The first thing we did out of our love for the past two games was buy the permanent energy upgrade and a few card packs. It went downhill from there.

Pocket Mine 3 has a horribly convoluted gacha inspired upgrade system. Because of this, you don’t feel progression anymore. Everything is randomized to a boring fault. Progression was what made the first two games fun. The more you played, the more you earned. The more you earned, the more you powered up your pick axe to play longer. The longer you played, the more chances you had of getting better gear and powering up your modifiers.

That’s no longer the case with Pocket Mine 3.

Want a new hero? You have to randomly get the card for it in a pack. Want to power up your hero? Now you need to get more random hero cards from the same packs and then pay gold to merge them. Want to upgrade your pick to be stronger? Nope. You get picks through packs and you can no longer level the pick to increase how many hits it has… Heck, you can’t even pick the hero you want to play anymore. You get a random hero card before you start the level and have to keep rolling (and paying gold) until you get the one you want.

It’s horribly convoluted and nonsensical. Sadly this is just the beginning. As bad as the user interface and the upgrading system is, Pocket Mine 3’s gameplay is so much worse.


What a horribly implemented design choice/mistake. Enemies now appear in game and they aren’t rare. Enemies are randomly placed in the mine. The tutorial notes that to avoid depleting your pick’s durability, you have to attack when they are stunned. Unfortunately, there’s a tiny margin of error here. The enemies are stunned for what seems like less than a second. When you clear areas with bombs or explosive coal, it doesn’t always defeat enemies. In fact, often they drops them down below your sight level. By the time you do drop down, you’re surrounded by enemies, wasting your pick strength and you.

This also defeats the very purpose of Pocket Mine 1 and 2, which was stacking your bombs, drills, etc. to get deeper. In Pocket Mine 3, the enemies basically punish you for this tactic. So you end up wasting hits and health on enemies. It’s ridiculous and a forced way to get you to use gems for continues.


But wait, there is more bad game design!


Because why? Even worse than the enemies. Mimics are enemies that look like treasure chests. So once again you waste precious hits because you now have to attack the mimic. It’s ridiculous. Why Roofdog Games?

We still haven’t even gotten into the cheap punishing levels that happen early on that force you to use gems to finish…

It’s just not fun anymore.

I get the feeling this game is going to lose its fan base. I’m ok with that. Roofdog Games got greedy and put bad freemium game design ahead of fun. This is supposed to be a game, guys, you need to make it fun. As is, it’s just a punishing chore that is too dependent on players buying packs and gems. The feeling of progression is totally gone. So is the fun and heart of Pocket Mine.

Both of us are already tired of this game. We were both excited about it coming out, but after spending an hour with it, we both have no desire to play it anymore. We regret buying the in-app purchase to get more energy and supporting this horrible, horrible game design. I know this sounds wrong, but I hope Pocket Mine 3 fails. I don’t want to see cheap, punishing and unrewarding freemium game design succeed.







I’m not promoting this.


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Bernardo Español

Hi I'm Bernardo Español. I'm a guy with way too much energy and not enough free time.

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