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FAQ by Majestic_Me / Gothic_Sara

Version: 1.0 | Updated: 02/22/2014

Written by: Majestic_me. This is my first attempt at an FAQ of any kind. If you like it, please feel free to use it for your benefit! I also have absolutely no problem with you printing it and giving it to friends or reposting anyplace else as long as you credit your source. I don't pretend to know everything there is to know about this game from a strategy standpoint. This guide is mostly intended to help anyone who is just starting to learn to game or is looking for paths to upgrades or some more subtle tips. This was done out of love. If you have found any good tips not posted here, please go to the Gamefaqs board and post them. I will add them to this FAQ and give you credit in the new version.

Version 1.0: This FAQ is as inclusive as I can make it. If anyone posts additional info on the message board at Gamefaqs.com I will include it here in an updates version.

General Info

Gem Miner: Dig Deeper is an Android game that is available for the Kindle Fire and other Android tablets as well as all Android smartphones. This FAQ follows the Kindle Fire version and other tablets and smartphones may have slightly different items or levels available. I was astounded to see that there was no FAQ available anywhere on the internet so I decided to create one for the benefit of all. While there is a handy tutorial available as you go, I would have found a few of the ideas below helpful in trying to complete the game. PLEASE NOTE: Many people get confused between Gem Miner and Gem Miner: Dig Deeper. Gem Miner is a free demo version of Gem Miner: Dig Deeper. It was most likely created to hook people in and have them purchase the extended Dig Deeper version. The freeware version does not go very deep and has no ultimate prize at the bottom. If you downloaded Gem Miner and liked it, I suggest you purchase Gem Miner: Dig Deeper because it is a LOT bigger challenge and much more fun!


You are a grizzled miner with a perpetually creepy smile on your face. Looks like the hooch back at the tent has finally kicked in!

  • Your goal is simple...reach the bottom of the huge mine and collect the Pink Amethyst for a whopping 100,000 dollars.

Presumably you'd then retire to the tropical isle of your choice, sipping pineapple adorned cocktails until keeling over from black lung disease. To get there you have to do what the name of the game suggests: Mine gems that you can sell at the only shop in town and dig deeper than you could initially imagine. No joke, the bottom of the mine will take you several hours to reach, even at the easiest of levels. You will not find any maps in this FAQ. Every mine is randomly generated giving you endless replay options.


There are 5 levels of difficulty available:

  • Freeplay: "You cannot die, your stamina is always full and there are no rocks. You can still get stuck if you run out of ladders so be careful!" The description the tutorial gives is not entirely true. There are some rocks around the outside connected to the ones that make up the outside wall that is inpenetrable. These can still fall on you and kill you (you are transported to the surface minus whatever you dug up that round). Still, it's the easiest way to play the first time around but not very challenging and therefore not very fun. Veins of ore are long and plentiful.
  • Easy: Some rocks and crevasses which make building straight down slightly more challenging. Veins of ore are slightly shorter and less plentiful.
  • Medium: More rocks, more cravasses to fall to your doom but still not impossible. Veins of ore are more spotty and shorter yet.
  • Hard: The rocks seem to really box you in on this level. Cravasses may appear side by side or even three across. Few places where ore is plentiful. Often it's a single gem with nothing else visible for squares around. You will need lots of supports and walkways to make it to the bottom.
  • Extreme: "Warning, if you die in extreme mode your save game will be deleted! No second chances! If you run out of stamina or get stuck you can still be rescued from the mine as normal...but if you fall too far or get crushed your game will end permanently!" Yikes! They aren't fooling around here! Your game save file is deleted if you die here, no teleporting to the top without your bounty. Truly GAME OVER!!

Beginning Equipment

Here is a list of what you start out each game with:

  • 10 supports
  • 20 ladders
  • 2 sesmic charges
  • 1 survival kit
  • 1 rescue service
  • 1 walkway
  • 1 short lift already in place in the mine
  • A campsite with which to replenish your life energy meter. This is also the only where you may save your game's progress.
  • No money, the ability to carry 10 items back from the mine, some sort of flashlight or basic lantern and a basic pickaxe
  • A General Store where you get cash for what you bring back to the surface as well as your only option for buying gear and upgrades. Several items you equip have upgrades available at the General Store, but only one at a time. You have to upgrade the level of your equipment one level at a time, you can't simply walk in and buy the top end pickaxe or campsite for example.

The General Store

This is where you turn in the gems and other loot you find while down in the mine. When I say "mine", it's really all of the area under the surface. If you were to dig like this in real life you'd end up with a crater the size of Delaware and even if you managed to survive, the law enforcement officials would want to have a few words with you. Thankfully since this is a game, the laws of physics don't really apply. But I digress! When you bring back your goodies and walk in front of the General Store you will automatically be paid for your loot. The amount paid varies from coal at $21 each to the rare pink amethyst at the bottom of the mine which is valued at $100K. To buy from the store, simply stand in front of it and tap the green button that appears above. These are all of the items you may initially buy from the General Store. Any upgrades that are available after the below items are purchased are listed at the end of each description along with price. Please note that not all items are upgradable. All items are listed in the order in which they appear in the menu, from left to right:

  • Supports ($10 each): These are a necessity to have on every trip down the mine. I try and bring at least 5 on every trip, more as the game gets deeper and deeper. Anytime you dig directly under a rock (solid gray square) you will have about 5 seconds to use a support or the rock you are now underneath will fall and crush you. It is possible to move left or right in time and just let the rock fall but then you block the way forward and you have to dig around the rock. There are no upgradable supports.
  • Ladders (5 for $50): Also a necessity for every trip. I never go down without at least 15. Since the object is to get down to the bottom of the mine AND get back up you will need lots of these over the course of a game. It is possible to buy a saw once you get $2000 and reuse the ladders and studs, saving you money. TIP: Try and build as straight down as possible with ladders. The more valuable stuff is further down and you want access to those items as soon as possible There are no upgradable ladders but lifts can more efficiently replace them.
  • Small lantern ($200): Alows you to see slightly more around you in the mine. The basic lantern or flashlight you start with allows you to only see the 8 squares immediately surrounding you. The small lantern shows the same 8 on the map but gives you a little more "glow" when down in the mine. Each subsequent upgrade gives you more and more view around you both in the mine and on the map.
Additional upgrades:
Medium Lantern ($300)
Large Lantern ($450)
Small Torch ($650)
Medium Torch ($900)
Large Torch ($1,200)
Huge Torch ($1,800)
Light Pro 3000 ($2,200). Maybe it's just me but I think if it's called "Light Pro 3000" then it should cost $3,000!
  • Compact bag ($220): Allows you to now carry up to 15 items in your bag (up from 10). The more you can carry, the less trips back the surface you have to take (assuming you are also upgrading your campsite accordingly). No clue what you are carrying your treasures in prior to this upgrade. Perhaps you are simply carrying them out by hand or are using recycled plastic bags from Target in an effort to be green. Who knows? IMPORTANT: Once your bag is full, any additional items you mine are lost. Do NOT overmine, you are just wasting resources.
Additional upgrades:
Small Bag ($450) allows you to carry up to 20 items
Canvas Bag ($650) allows you to carry up to 25 items
Medium Bag ($1,000) allows you to carry up to 30 items
Large Bag ($1,500) allows you to carry up to 35 items
Huge Bag ($2,000) allows you to carry up to 40 items
Bag 5000 ($2,500) allows you to carry up to 45 items
  • Wooden Pickaxe ($450): Each upgrade to your basic pickaxe allows you to clear away dirt quicker while expending less of your life meter. It begs the question though...if the first upgrade is a wooden pickaxe what is your original pickaxe made of, plastic spoons?!?
Additional upgrades:
Balanced pickaxe ($800)
Steel pickaxe ($1,400)
Titanium Pickaxe ($2,000)
Diamond Tipped ($3,200)
Pick 2000 Lite ($4,000)
Pick 2000 Pro ($5,000)
  • Sleeping bag ($350): I guess the ol' man just sleeps on leaves at his campsite until you buy this upgrade. Every campsite upgrade lengthens your life meter allowing you to stay down in the mine longer. I would recommend upgrading to the sleeping bag as soon as possible.
Additional campsite upgrades:
Camp Fire ($700)
Hammock ($1,200)
Camp Bed ($1,600)
Small Bed ($2,000)
Comfy Bed ($3,000) I can't help but think of Monty Python's "Spanish Inquisition" skit where they threaten a poor soul with "the comfy chair"!
Coffee Machine ($5,000)
  • Short lift ($500): It is what you think it is...a mine elevator. You expend no energy when riding on a lift. A short lift is 12 squares long. There are a couple of important points about lifts that I found out about the hard way. The game will place a rock directly underneath your lift's bottom. No matter. If you want to make your lift longer, simply stand at the bottom of your lift and add another lift. It will extend the lift though whatever rock and dirt is below it! You can still stop and exit at the point where the two connect by tapping on either side of the lift to stop at the point where they meet. Also, the square you are on when placing a lift will be the top of that lift. You can't go higher that that point on that lift even if the space is open unless you dig higher and attach another lift. If you find yourself in a situation where you have a crevasse next to the bottom of your lift and want to build a second lift adjacent to it, first place a walkway, stand on that walkway, and place your lift. The walkway will be replaced by you standing in the second lift. You can upgrade any lift, short or long, with the pricey "Lift upgrade" below.
  • Long Lift ($1,200): Same as a short lift but twice as long: 24 squares. This makes the long lift less cost-effective than the short lift.
  • Seismic Charge ($150): Allows you to see a larger area around you in the mine. You get 2 of these to start the game. I do not find these particularly useful to buy. I prefer finding my way around myself. You will sometimes stumble upon a scroll in the mine that will have the same effect as a seismic charge, essentially netting you a free (though instant use) seismic charge. There are no upgradable Seismic Charges.
  • Survival Kit ($180): Gives you a small energy boost while down in the mine. Yes they are costly at $150 each but I can't tell you how many times I thought I had enough energy to make it back only to die 4 squares from home. Pay attention to when your life meter gets low. If it starts flashing you probably need to use a survival kit for a small energy boost (and just what doctor is prescribing this obvious amphetamine to you, anyway?!?). If you find you have a lot of extra cash in the game and have made all of your available upgrades, you can also buy and use these to stay down in the mine longer. There are no upgradable Survival kits though I would almost consider a beacon to be one since it teleports you back to the surface instantly with all of your stuff.
  • Basic Drill ($2,000): An upgrade over the pickaxes in that they do not drain your energy. The only downsides are that it is expensive and the fact that drills take longer than pickaxes to dig. This seem sto be true for even the best drills. If you can stand the extra seconds for digging, drills are the way to go.
Upgrades available:
Advanced Drill ($3,000)
Diamond Tipped ($5,000)
Drillomatic 5000 ($10,000)
  • Beacon ($2,000): These can be time savers when you are really deep in the mine. They instantly teleport you to the surface with all your loot. Too bad you couldn't use this to beam yourself DOWN to that point in the mine! ? Beacons cannot be upgraded.
  • Saw ($2,000): Allows you to disassemble ladders and supports already in place down below and reuse them. This can save you money later on as you have to buy literally hundreds if not thousands of ladders to clear out a mine completely (no I haven't actually counted. It's like finding out how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop. The answer is NOT "three" and would take way too long to figure out exactly). It is definitely not an early game purchase due to price and it is tedius to retrace your steps to retrieve ladders and supports. It can also be dangerous since removing supports usually results in a rock or multiple rocks falling towards you. You need an exit strategy. Same with ladders. One misstep and you are now falling to your doom. Even so, if you are willing to take the time, using a saw can save you some serious coin for other upgrades. The saw itself cannot be upgraded.
  • Lift upgrade ($1,000): Makes you travel on your lift quicker. When applied to daisy-chained lifts, this affects the first and last stop of the chain, so this effectively upgrades the entire chain. When extending an upgraded lift, the extension is upgraded as well. There is no upgrade to the lift upgrade.
  • Walkway ($50): This is how you get across a chasm or cravasse. Make sure you have at least 3 in stock for every run. The walkway will be placed in the direction in which you are facing. PLEASE NOTE: You can't simply change direction if you are next to a crevasse/chasm. It will cause you to move in that direction and fall. You need to dig out one square away from the crevasse and then move back in the direction of the crevasse. Kind of a pain, especially when you are between a rock and a crevasse or worse yet, two crevasses! Dig appropriately!! There are no upgradable walkways but they can be linked side by side.
  • Sign ($20): It's just a warning sign for trouble ahead. I never buy them. I simply look at my map. The only real use I could see for a sign is if when you get off a lift or ladder and come to a fork. You could potentially use them to tell you which fork to take or not take. This relatively worthless item cannot be upgraded.

Dangers/Helping Hands

There are three chief dangers that you will encounter in the game. Each presents it's own unique challenge but can be navigated safely in at least one way.

  • Rocks: They can fall on top of you and crush you. They are otherwise just a nusance that you have to navigate around. Keep them in place by digging directly underneath them and placing a support quickly. Once the screen starts skaking you have about 5 seconds before it comes crashing down. You know that a rock is above and about to fall when the screen starts shaking a little bit. Simply tap the item button in the lower left which defaults to "support". Tap "place" and a support will go in place, securing the rock. The nice thing about supports is that even if you dig down, the support will continue to grow in length so you don't have to keep placing supports vertically the way you do with ladders.
  • Crevasses: I refer to pits in this game as crevasses. These hold two dangers. The first is if you fall down one. Unless you are only a few squares from the bottom of the pit you will die instantly, losing whatever you dug up on that round in the mine. Worse yet, in extreme mode it means game over and saved file deleted! The second danger is falling debris. Loose rocks or dirt can fall on you also meaning an instant kill. You will know there is falling debris by an audible sound that sounds like dirt falling down a mineshaft. To get across a crevasse, place a walkway while facing that direction.
  • Life energy meter: All that digging and moving drains your energy level. If you hit zero you die. Obviously the deeper you dig, the more tips you need to survive. First...ALWAYS ensure you have enough ladders and supports. If you dig too deep and don't have enough ladders to return safely you are toast unless you have a beacon or can dig laterally enough to get to another ladder and escape. Second...upgrade, upgrade, upgrade. Try and upgrade to a sleeping bag as soon as possible. The better your accomodations at the campsite, the more "rested" you are and the longer you can work down below. Using an axe takes away energy but somehow a drill does not. Use the drill as an alternative to a pickaxe. Third...bring survival kits. They give a small boost to your energy level and can be a lifesaver when you get distracted and forget you are close to dying due to fatigue. Fourth: Beacons are your friend. They allow you to teleport back to the surface with all your bounty. A bit pricey at $2000 but it sure is a time saver later on when the mine gets really deep. Fifth: Lifts. Lifts get you up and down quickly and drain no energy.

Along with the above dangers there is one helping hand item:

  • Scrolls: Sometimes you will come across a scroll in the earth. It's white in color and when you grab it, it shows a wide area around you in the mine. Sort of the Rosetta Stone of mining, if you will! For those who have played Civilization games, it's the equivalent of a "goodie hut" giving you a map of the local area. A scroll seems to uncover more area than a Seismic Analysis does.

Gems/Gem Values

  • Coal = 21 (This ore is represented by 3 wavy gray lines)
  • Iron = 25 (This ore is represented by 3 wavy orange lines)
  • Green Opal = 31 (This ore is represented by 8 green flecks)
  • White Opal = 34 (This ore is represented by 8 white flecks)
  • Silver = 40 (This ore is represented by 3 white lines)
  • Gold = 47 (This ore is represented by 3 yellow lines)
  • Ruby = 62 (This ore is represented by 5 red gemstones)
  • Red Opal = 70 (This ore is represented by 8 red flecks)
  • Emerald = 81 (This ore is represented by 5 bright green gemstones)
  • Black Opal = 90 (This ore is represented by 8 black flecks)
  • Sapphire = 100 (This ore is represented by 5 blue gemstones)
  • Diamond = 115 (This ore is represented by 5 white gemstones)
  • Uranium = 120 (This ore is represented by 3 bright green lines. Since your avatar is already old as the hills, what is a little exposure to radioactive material sans lead suit gonna really harm, right?) ;)
  • Platinum = 130 (This ore is represented by a single "dove looking" silvery object. I don't know how else to describe it but you'll know it when you see it since it's so different.)
  • Fossil = 150 (This is the one oddball that is represented by a t-rex head. Unlike other ores which tend to first show up in the order listed here, fossils can be found at any level, even early on in the mine. This is really helpful when gems are worth less, especially when playing at harder levels of difficulty)
  • Giant purple amethyst: $100,000. Once you get this, you will get a message saying, "You may keep exploring your mine, but why not try a harder difficulty instead?" I have not confirmed this but I have been told that beating the game on "Extreme" level will change your avatar from your current miner to a cow. I am sure there is a joke in there or at least a pun ("bovine mine", anyone? Ok, that's a groaner, I'll give you that).

General Tips

  • Make sure that each time before you go down in to the mine you have adequate provisions. I recommend taking 5 supports, 15 ladders and 3 walkways at a minimum. Take more if you can afford it. The deeper and wider you can dig on each run the less you will have to come up to the surface prematurely.
  • Try and dig as straight down as much as possible instead of sideways. Early on this is not always possible since you don't have much cash for provisions like 20 ladders or upgrades. The reason you want to go straight down is because the deeper you dig, the more valuable the gems tend to be. It also gets you closer to your ultimate goal of that big gem waiting for you at the bottom.
  • Speaking of lifts, they are crucial to allowing you to get deeper and deeper into the mine. They are pricey but well worth it. After upgrading your pickaxe, bag and sleeping bag once, put a priority on lifts.
  • When digging straight down, any ladders you have placed will fall one level for each square down you dig. Keep this in mind when calculating how many ladders you need to get back up.
  • Don't waste money on Seismic Analysis, Lift Upgrades or Signs. You get two Seismic Analysis' when you start and you probably don't need to use even those. Lift upgrades are seemingly a waste of money until later in the game. Use the map in the upper right corner of your screen instead of Signs.
  • Sometimes letting a rock fall instead of supporting it can have benefits (not on top of YOU of course, have your escape route planned!) Sometimes there is a rare gem on the other side that would otherwise be penned in by rocks on all sides. Another example is if the bottom of your lift has a rock on either side, preventing you from digging left or right. Try digging under the rock and letting it fall, thus getting it out of your way!

Hopefully you have found this FAQ to be of benefit! If you want to point out anything or offer additional advice, please post to the never used massage board at Gamefaqs.com.