The Lost Dutchmine game is a bit puzzling when you first begin to play. You can walk around, but not very far and the only thing you seem to be able to do is pan for gold. It is easy to say “this is an old game” and quit out at that point. It is quite a bit of fun though if you get the hang of it.
Firstly, if you persist in panning for gold you can get results and the gold is added to your belongings.
You can then walk into the town and visit the establishments there. Gambling in the tavern allows you to add to your money and the odds are fairly good that you will win, although you can occasionally lose money. It might be a good idea to deposit some gold in the bank for protection from your own gambling, and bandits you may meet – more on that later.
When you have enough money you can acquire a pick, a lantern and a horse. If I remember correctly, a mining title is also required. This allows you to go out on a larger mining expedition. Each time you dig with the pick, the computer calculates a random roll and tells you
what gold you have found, if any! Once you have exhausted one area, it is essential to move onto another area to look for gold, and as this is an older game bear in mind that you will have to use your imagination to fill out the areas in which you are panning for gold.
It is important to have water and supplies and you have to watch your provisions so you can head back to town before you die of dehydration in the desert. If you stay outside mining after dark you may get attacked by bandits and this is very frustrating because they will take all your gold and possibly your horse or some vital supplies. Mining has its hazards as when the computer calculates the sort of treasure you have found at a spot, it may produce a snake which could bite you.
As you play you will receive hints about a mythical gold mine lost somewhere in the area. This gold mine is very difficult to find, so you can play as long as you like just for fun. If you truly take on the challenge of finding the mythical gold mine it will take patience and a good deal of luck to complete the quest. To a certain extent you are dealing with older style computer programming and random number generators, but if you have a rainy afternoon this will appeal.
The point of the game is to live as a drifter in a western desert and you have to get into the spirit of things. The game does what it can with elementary programming and I am pleased to see that it is still available.