Diamond Digger (DOS)

Diamond Digger DOS The mine objects.


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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39516)
Written on  :  Feb 11, 2014
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
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How one ghost can give the player hell

The Good

This game was released way before I had my first PCs, so I didn't get a see to witness Apogee's birth. Before the company was famous for Wolfenstein 3-D and other key action titles, it released several minor games. One was Raiders of the Forbidden Mine (aka: Gold Mine, aka: Diamond Digger), which was included in the Adventure Fun-Pak along with several earlier Apogee titles created by Scott Miller and various independent developers who submitted their games to Apogee for publication.

The object of the game is to collect as many gold nuggets while avoiding the ghost, get the key somewhere in the level, and make your way toward the elevator to get to the next level. This should be easy, except that you are equipped with an air supply which depletes as you move around the level, so it is important to get the icons with the letter 'A' inside them, and doing this will give you about five units of air. There are also walls scattered throughout each level that you will bump into if you don't see what's ahead of you.

Forbidden Mine uses two color schemes. In the odd-numbered levels, the dirt where you navigate through is brown in color, and the different objects are red. In the even-numbered levels, dirt is white while objects are purple. Having different color schemes doesn't make the graphics look boring, and there is enough variety to them. There is quite a bit of movement as the ghost makes it way towards you. The ghost can move in all directions, even through walls. The animation of the player dying is quite impressive, as is the grave appearing in its place.

The sound effects are minimal, but for a game like this released in the Eighties, there are not required. Nearly everything that happens in the game, from moving around to exiting the level, produces a sound effect of some sort. The effects sound quite good even through the PC Speaker.

I have no idea how many levels there are, nor do I know whether you can can extra lives. As far as I'm concerned, the game only serves as a “score attack” game, meaning that you are trying to beat your previous score every time you play. The objects (player, ghost, gold nuggets, etc.) are placed in different locations in each level, and you receive a bonus for each nugget you manage to collect without running out of air.

The Bad

How much air you have is carried over onto the next level, which means that if you only finish a level with only two units of air, you're basically screwed unless there is air near you starting position. Also, when you get hit by the ghost, sometimes it will not return to its position, which is usually located somewhere on the other side of the screen.

The Bottom Line

Raiders of the Forbidden Mine is a nice action game where you need to collect as many gold nuggets as you can before time runs out, and avoiding ghosts whenever possible. It contains basic graphics (with two color schemes) and animations, along with basic sound and gameplay. It would be good if there was a remake, which features more than one ghost, and the ability to use nuggets to purchase extra air, lives, and whatnot from a store between levels.