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Dig Dug

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

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 73% (based on 40 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 272 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

Still -almost- gives me "misty eyes"

The Good
Its "simplistic" genius.

The Bad
Oh come on now :-P

The Bottom Line
This action game is the PC version of an Atari’s coin-op under the same name. We, as Dig Dug, are to exterminate all the parasites that infest the soil of our garden and threaten our flowers. Our equipment is a white astronaut-like uniform, a drill and a pump. The vermin includes two species, Pookas and Fygars. Pookas are basically overgrown tomatoes with sunglasses, while the more dangerous Fygars are small, fire exhaling, dragons.

We travel underground, opening tunnels with our drill, in order to meet the heathens and pump them to death. The little rascals do not need the tunnels to move around, they can travel through the soil and chase us. The last one alive will always cowardly try to flee the stage before we reach it. Apart from the creatures, the soil contains some rocks. When we pass under them they start to tremble and eventually fall a moment later, preferably on our enemies heads. This way of dealing with the invaders offers us more points. Other point-offering activities are the mere digging of the soil and the collecting of vegetables that appear when two rocks have fallen down. Points are important because they bring us closer to the extra lives that become available with the reaching of certain scores.

The graphics are designed with four colors, but they are still cute and funny. A jolly tune is playing in the background and several nice sound effects can be heard. But, like in all the great games of the age of innocence, the technical field is of secondary importance here. It is all about entertainment, addictive gameplay and high replay value. “Dig Dug” excels in all the above and it is one of the greatest representatives of its time. A joyful experience recommended for everyone.

(The game does not need slowing down. “Ctrl” is Sound off, “Num Lock” is Pause, “F2” is Exit)

PC Booter · by Iron Lord (40) · 2016

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

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

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by S Olafsson, Alaka, vileyn0id_8088, Scaryfun, Big John WV, Alsy, Wizo, Jo ST, Mr Almond, Patrick Bregger, CalaisianMindthief, RhYnoECfnW, nyccrg, jumpropeman, Jeanne, Evil Ryu, Tim Janssen, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy), Sciere, chirinea, FatherJack.