Crystal Mines (NES)

Crystal Mines Box Art

Crystal Mines

System: NES

Release Date: 1989

Developer: Color Dreams

Publisher: Color Dreams

Genre: Puzzle

I’m back with another unlicensed Color Dreams game, this time it’s Crystal Mines. So, I tried to research the actual release dates for the Color Dreams games, but couldn’t narrow them all down, as such, I just plopped them in the year of release and figured, “Hey, good enough!” Crystal Mines is a puzzle game in a similar style to Bomberman.

You’ve invested your life savings into a plot of land on a distant planet and have purchased a CM-205 Mining Robot to do your bidding beneath the surface. Your goal is to collect the quota amount of crystals on each level to open up a passage to the next level. It’s not exactly so straightforward, though. There are roaming creatures and obstacles in your way.

You are equipped with laser blasts and can pick up bombs in the levels, as well. Dirt can be shot and destroyed. Boulders can be pushed by the robot, which I just learned now by rereading the manual. Maybe I would have enjoyed the game a bit more if I had known that… You can shoot and sestroy some enemies, but need to crush others, which I tried by shooting dirt, but man… pushing boulders would have been a lot easier!

Graphics: 1.5

Graphics are nothing special, but I can tell what all the powerups are and that’s a plus in my book.

Sound: 1.5

Music and sound effects are plain, but not bad.

Gameplay: 2.0

There was enough to do to to make the levels more than just walking and collecting crystals. The physics behind boulders landing on some blocks and then falling to the left or right was not fully understood by me, but it’s there.

Difficulty: 2.0

The stages present a level of difficulty that will challenge you. I’m sure you would quickly get to a point of proficiency, as long as you weren’t rushing.

Fun Factor: 1.5

I wasn’t incredibly impressed by this one, but it wasn’t an awful time.

Overall Grade: 1.7

Crystal Mines earns a C-. I will say that it’s a pretty decent unlicensed game. Most of them are straight up garbage, but this one is playable.

Crystal Mines Video Review on YouTube