Little Cave Hero on Facebook mines for fun, strikes gold

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Little Cave Hero
Who remembers Dig Dug? You know, that classic 2D arcade game in which you dig through blocks of dirt, avoid obstacles and hunt underground monsters? (Maybe Mr. Driller rings a bell?) Play Little Cave Hero for about five minutes and the similarities become unmistakable, but trust us, this is a good thing. Developed and published by Chile-based Atakama Labs, Little Cave Hero embodies exactly what made those classic arcade games so nostalgic, while introducing interesting social features.

Upon logging into the game, its adorable pixelated graphics hearken back to a time when games delivered a sense of awe to your 6-year-old self. You are a miner, one of many who the mayor of a miscellaneous town has enlisted to help rebuild his city in ruins. To make it happen, you must venture into a series of small mines to dredge up resources and treasure. And like most social games these days, your day-to-day activities are guided through quests.

The Town ... and Mayor
But Atakama Labs decided to alleviate the monotony with a dash of humor. In fact, your interactions with the mayor will probably make for the funniest quest dialog you've ever read in a social game. The mayor essentially breaks the fourth wall with every chance he gets, making quips at the more obscure aspects of not just social games, but video game culture in general. All in all, it makes completing a seemingly endless amount of fetch quests a chuckle-worthy experience.

Atakama Labs isn't above borrowing the concepts that work in social games. Free gifts are aplenty, as are buildings, crafting materials and paid currency (known as Crowns). Little Cave Hero achieves that ultimate social game balance: Players gather resources to create new buildings; players use these buildings to create new tools to find better items and resources; finally, players use those resources and treasures to build even more grandiose buildings. And the cycle continues.

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The crux of Little Cave Hero is how you find those resources and buried treasure, and it's brilliant. It's quite simple, really. Just click on the blocks in the direction of where the treasure chest is, busting through soil, gravel and sometimes rare gems. Of course, each block destroyed, key acquired and chest opened consumes one Energy point, which leads to what ultimately makes this game so refreshing.

Each mining mission is graded on a scoring system based on the amount of Energy you use to get from the origin point to the ever-present treasure chest. However, certain blocks will require more than one whack to destroy, so you must choose your moves wisely and plan ahead. The less Energy you use, the higher your score will be by the end of it all, which results in more coins and more XP to level up with. Read this paragraph again and see if it clicks: Atakama Labs wants you to play for as long as possible without spending money.

Little Cave Hero score
In fact, it's challenging you to do just that. Never have I heard of a developer do this, and it makes for one of the most admirable games you'll have played in a long time. So, go on and see how many A+ ratings you can score--just cancel any appointments you might have for the next hour.

Click here to play Little Cave Hero on Facebook Now >

Have you tried this game on Facebook yet? What do you think of Atakama's approach to the Energy system? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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