Dig Dug Remix adds another ambivalent title to the Remix series’ up-and-down track record. While the new Dig Dug has much better graphics, power-ups and boss fights, it’s no more exciting than the original, and overpriced to boot.
Pump YOU up!
How’d you like it if some guy in white coveralls tunneled into your crib, jammed an air hose into your mouth, and inflated you till you popped? In Dig Dug, you pull that exactly that kind of home invasion on unsuspecting underground critters.
The idea is to wipe out all of the baddies in each level by popping them or crushing them with rocks. They generally start off in small caves that you have to tunnel into; once you meet them at close range, the air hose deploys at a touch of a button. It takes three or four pumps from there to pop them. The enemies can go into “ghost mode” and travel right through dirt walls, materializing behind you, so you have to watch out.
You can also tunnel your way to rocks seeded throughout the level, causing them to roll through the tunnels and crush anything in their path–including you! This is hazardous, but it earns you bonus points.
Classic Dig Dug plays in portrait mode, inside of a virtual arcade cabinet. It seems like a faithful port, but only hardcore Dig Dug fans from back in the day are going to want to play it for any length of time.
Remixed Dig Dug is the main attraction here, and Namco’s done a pretty good job fixing it up for the 21st century. The presentation’s been totally overhauled. The game’s now in landscape mode, all of the sprites have gone 3D, the background graphics have been redone, and the peppy music is digitized.
The game’s grown a bevy of new power-ups, such as magic shovels, power pumps and running sneakers, among others. You can carry several of these at once and use them whenever you need to. A big boss character every seven levels or so adds some variety as well.
One of the main problems lies in the controls. Both Classic and Remix have two options–virtual d-pad and swipe. The virtual d-pad is too small to be of any use; swipe controls are better, but still not as tight as they need to be. We got sick of accidentally veering into enemies.
Dig Dug Remix’s other big hangup is its price. There’s not $5.99 worth of game here. As far as classic Namco games go, Dig Dug is second- or third-tier at best–it plays fine, but there are superior games in the same genre for much less.
Unless you’re a Dig Dug freak, hold off on this one until the price drops to about $3 or so. That’ll make this title much more diggable.