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Review: California Gold Rush 2

March 2, 2010 , Posted by App-reciation Reviews at 2:04 PM

Category: Games

Price: $ 1.99
Requirements: iPhone or iPod touch (2nd generation), OS 2.1 or later
Version: 1.0

What's good: If you're one of the thousands of California Gold Rush fans, you will doubtless recall just how much fun you had hacking away at the ground and picking up gold nuggets in the first title. Well, California Gold Rush 2 is finally here, and it's jam-packed with amazing new features like bonuses, new levels, and an all new game mode. Whereas in the previous game you played Mandy, you get to play Randy here instead, her good-natured friend who heads down to the mines and continues on the tough but rewarding work of gold mining. The basic premise of the game is pretty straightforward - dig around the expanse of earth, find the scattered gem and gold veins, and use your pickaxe to harvest as much wealth as you can. Depending on how much gold you bring back up, you'll earn up to three stars per level, with at least one star required to unlock the next stage.

To make the task more challenging, Randy has limited stamina points and backpack storage space, which means that the deeper he digs, the more energy he spends both to continue on and to make his way back out; while the more gold he finds, the more trips he'll need to make it back to the top to deposit them. To help him along, you can purchase various upgrades and items at the store, including a better pickaxe to increase the value of the gold you mine, a more spacious backpack to contain more nuggets, supports to prevent collapses that do damage to Randy's health, explosives to help blast through barricades, maps to reveal targeted areas, and even a winch shaft to give you access to the shop without having to make continuous trips back to the surface. Use these wisely and plan your routes strategically in order to achieve your target goals, and remember to keep a look out for the six lost Native American totem pieces, which will light the way to what has been called the Legendary Mine, rumored to be the richest in California. Apart from that, you can also discover locations of various Bonus Mines by stopping and chatting with locals at the shop, as well as gain bonuses by finding the Pandora's boxes that are occasionally buried deep underground.

All in all, a total of forty different mines await, with each bringing its own distinct set of treasures and dangers as well as a variety of challenging missions to complete. A nice storyline, great graphics and sounds, and the trademark Digital Chocolate level of polish caps things off nicely, making this pick-up-and-play casual title a definite must-have by our standards.

Suggestions for improvement: As with other games, addition of online high scores would make things so much more challenging and fun. For those looking for an easier time though, it would be great to have difficulty modes so that players are able to set the bar at a level they feel comfortable in.

Breakdown:
Graphics - 4.75/5 Creativity - 5/5 Gameplay - 4.75/5 Controls - 5/5
App-reciation - 5/5


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