Dig Dug

aka: Arcade Archives: Dig Dug, Arcade Game Series: Dig Dug, DIG DUG for 6000, Dig-Dug, DigDug
Moby ID: 139

Description official descriptions

Dig Dug is a 1-2 player arcade game in which you have to use your shovel to dig your way through the earth. Stopping you from doing this are two monsters, called Pooka and Fygar, who will continually chase you around. The only weapon that you carry is an air pump, which you can use to inflate the monsters to the point where they explode. (if you start to inflate them but stop doing so, the monsters will get turned back to their normal selves). Furthermore, rocks are scattered throughout the earth, and you can use these rocks to squash them. If the monsters do not find you for several seconds, they will eventually get turned into ghosts, which can walk through the earth. They are invincible and cannot be killed. From time to time, vegetables will appear in the center, and you can get these for points.


  • アーケードアーカイブス ディグダグ - Japanese PS4 / Switch spelling
  • ディグダグ - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Arcade version)

5 People




Average score: 73% (based on 40 ratings)


Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 277 ratings with 4 reviews)

Who wants to go dig-dugging today?

The Good
Dig Dug is a nice little game from Namco, and like its games from the 80s, it has a simple objective: dig your way through the earth, destroying two monsters called Pooka and Fygar by inflating them with your pump. After a few seconds of play, they will start chasing you, either by traveling on the paths you make, or turning into ghosts and going through the earth. There are rocks scattered throughout the levels, and these are useful for crushing Pooka and Fygar if they are behind you. While tunneling the earth, I always enjoy looking at the series of paths that I create – not only because they look rather interesting, but you score a few points for creating them in the first place.

The further your progress, the more difficult the rounds are, with later ones having multiple Pookas and Fygars all in one territory, meaning that it is more likely that one group will follow each other too close. And it is these difficult levels where you really must decide which method you will use for killing them, by crushing or by inflation. Inflating them wastes a few seconds of your time, as it requires about four slow pumps to make them explode, and there is the likely chance that while you are doing this, another group of enemies will get you. Crushing them would be the more effective way of destroying them, especially if you are within close range of a rock. Besides, you get more points for crushing than than for inflating.

The enemies have different characteristics. All monsters have different shapes and colors, so that you can tell them apart. Out of all these monsters, Fygar is the most dangerous. He can blow out fire at you from quite a distance and can run much faster than the other monsters. He is also the most ruthless as he is able to blow out fire every two seconds if he wants to. Also if you have two Pookas together in one territory, it is really hard to tell whether there is one or two of them, until they turn as ghosts and go their own separate ways.

In my opinion, the NES version of Dig Dug is very close to the coin-op version, especially the graphics. Pooka, Fygar, and your character are drawn the way that they should, with nice animations. The levels are structured well, with one or more flowers at the top to indicate the level you are on. The earth lies underneath, and Pooka and Fygar in their separate territories. The music and sound effects are the same.

The Bad
I didn't like the way that the music stops when you stop moving, and continues when you start again. As far as I know, no games from the early eighties were like that – either they did it properly or not at all.

The Bottom Line
The NES version of Dig Dug looks and plays exactly like its coin-op counterpart. The object is to blow Pooka and Fygar up using your pump, or crush them under rocks. Both monsters follow you after few seconds of play - mainly by turning themselves into ghosts, traveling through the earth, and walking on the paths you make. Once you kill all monsters, you proceed to the next level, but the further you progress, the more difficult the levels are, with more than one of each monster for you to deal with. The primary objective of the game could be to see how many monsters you blow up and how many levels you pass without losing all your lives.

NES · by Katakis | カタキス (43051) · 2006

Arcade goodness for nostalgic kids who never saw the coin-op version.

The Good
Simplistic. Fun. And what is cooler then a guy wearing a helmet with a vacuum pump and a pick-axe? The anwser in nothing. Nothing can possibly be.

The Bad
In the age of 3d accellerated graphics, millions of Pollygons, Million color depth, and ultra hi res I must moan about the graphics.

The Bottom Line
Get this. Now.

PC Booter · by Yeah No (23) · 2000

A true classic, One of my favorites

The Good
I liked it because when I had my Nintendo, I always played this game, and it was a game I really enjoyed, The graphics for that time was really good and I enjoyed the game very much.

The Bad
To me there is nothing wrong with the game, I think that everything was perfect for the game. The graphics were good. The music and sound were perfect, and the gameplay was fun and challenging.

The Bottom Line
You play a character who goes around destroying other enemies that breath fire at you, and you can also crush them with rocks that you dig under. Dig Dug is a true classic, and has been something that I will always remember playing, and it will always be a classic.

NES · by AaronGamer (29) · 2007

[ View all 4 player reviews ]


1001 Video Games

The Arcade version of Dig Dug appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Arcade version

In the coin-operated version the game ends on round 256 (shown as round 0) since this board is unplayable. At the start of the level, a Pooka is placed directly on top of where the player starts, with no way to kill it. This is a famous example of a kill screen (a area of a game that is impossible to play, usually caused by the oversight of developers.)


Dig Dug was one of the "Fabulous Eleven" launch games for the Atari 7800.

Information also contributed by PCGamer77, Nélio and FatherJack

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

Casio PV-1000 added by Rola. TI-99/4A added by Corn Popper. Atari 2600, Commodore 64, Game Boy, Intellivision, NES added by PCGamer77. Wii U added by Michael Cassidy. Nintendo 3DS added by CrankyStorming. Nintendo Switch added by Rik Hideto. FM-7, Sharp X1, PC-8000 added by Infernos. BlackBerry added by firefang9212. Windows added by Evolyzer. Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 added by Sciere. PC-6001 added by Andrew Foldi. J2ME, BREW added by Kabushi. MSX added by Martin Smith. Atari 8-bit added by ZZip. Game Boy Advance added by Freeman. Wii added by gamewarrior. PC-88 added by Terok Nor. Arcade added by The cranky hermit. Atari 7800, VIC-20, Atari 5200, Apple II added by Servo. Windows Mobile, Sord M5, Palm OS added by Игги Друге.

Additional contributors: Satoshi Kunsai, Katakis | カタキス, monkeyislandgirl, Nélio, formercontrib, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, Starbuck the Third, Rik Hideto, FatherJack, Evolyzer, Andrew Foldi.

Game added May 26th, 1999. Last modified November 9th, 2023.