Feb 26, 2016
There a many a digging/mining game on Google Play, and several puzzle capers, so Dig Out!, a new-ish title from Banda Games, does have its work cut out for it.
Bright colors? Expressive visuals? Fun Sounds. All here.
The main gameplay area keeps to the 2D motif, and splits the it all into grids that represent physical underground. Each square generally represents some sort of material, or houses an object. For example, one can have dirt, rock or contain goodies, ghouls or just empty space. Our digger is armed with a rudimentary pick that allows him to get through regular dirt squares, but at a cost; each use of the pick reduces its efficacy, up until it is useless — which equates to ending the run.
Solid rock cannot be drilled through with rudimentary tools, so one has to navigate around them. Boulders can’t be chipped away at, but can be rolled, and there are colored jewels that one can collect by contact, and these or more or less the game currency. One can also collect special jewels that replenish one’s digging tool, but must look out for the bad critters and cretins, several of which can give chase.
The summary gist is such: one use gestures swipes to control our protagonist, one square at a time, past the baddies and obstacles, collecting goodies while traveling ever deeper and discovering new worlds.
The way the game is designed opens the door for a surprising amount of strategizing. For example, one quickly learns that the digging tool is definitely a very limited resource, as are the replenishing jewels. So, re-using paths and traveling through empty space is preferred to digging through dirt without purpose. Also, keeping the replenishments and only using when truly needed might be prudent. As noted, running out ends the session, as does getting crushed by an errand rock or caught by a creepy crawly.
The same opportunity costs apply to other pieces. Yes, one can try to use a boulder to destroy the movers, but could it be smarter to avoid them and save one’s tool? Decisions, decisions…
The colored jewels can be used to upgrade existing tools and procure new ones. there are tasks and rewards, and the game allows for in-game cash spending, but does not force it; in some cases, watching videos can be done to earn “continue” money.
All in all, it manages to stand out for it’s simplicity, groovy sounds and involved gameplay. be warned: it might be hard to put down…