Meet Infiniminer, a great game idea that was about team based competitive mining. It’s also the one from which Minecraft was inspired. Unfortunately, this little sandbox game didn't make it in the real world for too long because its source code got extracted from the binaries and from that point on interest for its development faded until it disappeared entirely.
The one that started the block-based sandbox madness
Infiniminer gave way to a very large number of open world sandbox games. In the original, things were a lot simpler. Two teams had to race each other in a procedurally generated world, mining ore and converting it into cash until one reached the required winning amount.
There are four classes to play as, miner, prospector, engineer and sapper, each one with a designated role in a team. Ideally, a team had to have all four classes but there are workarounds. One player can go ahead and find mineral deposits, another can build the bank and surround it with force fields while a third player can plant TNT charges for fun and demolition.
It get’s boring rather fast
The downside to Infiniminer is that no one really plays it. Anyone can create a server but the game doesn’t attract people. Development for it was killed shortly after its release and it’s still rich in bugs. It’s totally playable but it’s just not appealing.
Creating a server and configuring what little there is takes a few seconds and you can start playing shortly after. Gameplay is simple and it can be engaging if you find a few people to play with. Playing alone however, Infiniminer is barely any kind of fun.
One for the history books
To wrap it up, Infiniminer is kept alive for historical reasons. Kind of like how fossils are found in museums. It shows you a precise point in gaming history, the one from where a mastodong rose and became a phenomenon.