Lost Dutchman Mine is a non-linear adventure game which puts the player in the role of a gold miner, circa 1860. The game was the biggest success for its publisher, Magnetic Images.
The player was free to roam around the desert and town at will constrained only by the need to make sure they had enough food to eat and a safe place to sleep. Earning money could be accomplished in a variety of ways including panning for gold in a river, mining for gold in a cave, or capturing a wanted bandit. Food could be purchased or caught from a river if the player had previously acquired fishing gear.
The game became well-known for its breezy, free-flowing nature. The game was also notable for not having a single environment for the player to operate in; the location of mines and rivers, and the details of characters a player could meet were different each time the game was played.