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The Dig (DOS)

83
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Halleck (383)
Written on  :  Aug 03, 2005
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars

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Summary

A beautiful game; a breathtaking adventure.

The Good

The Dig was a favorite of mine as a kid, even though I never completed it until recently (on modern hardware with the help of ScummVM). Visually, it is flush with stunning, eerie alien landscapes. The soundscape is nearly as expansive, with good sound effects and a nice ambient soundtrack that accompanies you throughout the game. The voice acting is also consistently well-done, as are the handful of in-game cutscenes.

All of these elements come together to evoke the feeling of being marooned on an alien world. You encounter wondrous and strange alien technology, and learn of its benefits and perils over the course of the game.

The plot is not without its twists and turns, and the truth about the fate of the alien species serves as a cautionary tale of hubris and pushing technology too far.

The end of the game is decent, including a compelling dilemma regarding the fate of the female lead. The ending itself will vary slightly depending upon your decision.

The Bad

I have few complaints about this game. The ending was a bit on the corny side for my taste, as were the aliens (except for "the inventor").

On a few rare occasions, the visual styles of the game clashed, such as a 3D animated monster trying to attack a cartoon-style sprite.

Also, a few of the puzzles struck me as a bit too complex, but one would expect them to be, as they are of alien craft. Namely, the "servo" puzzle was a bit tedious, and I admit to seeking help on it.

However, I did not find the "bones" puzzle to be quite as awful as most people said it was. It's much easier if you're observant enough to locate the nearby fossil, which provides valuable clues as to the shape of the animal.

The Bottom Line

An elegant adventure with a compelling storyline, beautiful graphics (for the time), and a pleasing soundscape that come together to form an immersive experience. Pay no heed to the critics. If you enjoy science fiction at all, or want to feel the thrill of investigating the abandoned world of a lost alien civilization, pick up a copy of The Dig by all means.