#38 Dig Dug

Posted: 21st March 2014 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , ,

316th played so far

Dig_Dug_FlyerGenre: Maze
Platform: Arcade
Year of Release: 1982
Developer: Namco
Publisher: Namco

One of the more… interesting entries on our list of genres is the maze genre. Half of it are different Pac Man entries, there’s the previous Mr. Do, and then two other digging-based games. The old Boulder Dash, pretty well known (surely?) and then there’s today’s game, Dig Dug.

Another game where you dig to defeat enemies. More than that… yeah, let’s see.

Our Thoughts

As is often the case with these early games, there are only a few game mechanics at work. The pre-requisite for these maze games is (obviously) the maze, and in particular the making of them here, digging through the ground. As a prelude (almost) to later games like Boulder Dash, you can get boulders to drop, crushing enemies, or yourself if you’re not careful. Still, your usual weapon will be your pump (well, I guess that’s what it is), inflating your enemies to the maximum possible so they pop and die.

From there, the game adds in some additional difficulties. The main thing is that the enemies, after (as normal) walking up and down the corridors, sometimes turn into just their eyes and travel through the dirt. You can still take care of them once they become real in the tunnels, but this does give them a chance to escape. The final enemy will always do so, making finishing a level an even trickier affair.

The game is simple to play, and the game certainly starts off pretty easy, with the first few levels being a cakewalk (your pump really is by far the most useful at this point). Beyond that, the difficulty actually ramps up pretty slowly – more so than I am used to from most arcade games.

In the mean time, the graphics are nice and cute. Sure, the usual version of pixelly, but mostly cute and colourful enough to appeal. It’s just not something that’s really outstanding here, just good for its time.

Final Thoughts

As a game, it feels like Dig Dug just… is. A next step in maze games, showing the power of physics (and gravity) as a gameplay mechanism, but not offering a lot of gameplay that truely wooed me.

A solid gameplay experience, but not much more. I’m just waiting for the chance to play Bubble Bobble… not really relevant but I had nothing else to say here.