Easy there, partner. Don’t expect that you’re just going to be able to jump into this review and mine it for all sorts of informational nuggets. You need to pace yourself. Every couple of sentences, take a break, maybe have a sip of water, and cool down, or you might blow a gasket. At least then, you’ll match the patient pacing of I Dig It, a buried treasure game with a lot of tricky variables to master.
Like our recent favorite California Gold Rush, in I Dig It you have to mine for underground treasure and bring it to the surface, where you can cash it in for helpful upgrades. With an elegant, realistic-looking visual style and animation, I Dig It is an attractive counterpart to the cartoony California Gold Rush. I Dig It is much less user-friendly, though, because your machine can bust up pretty easily, and it’s possible to dig tunnels in a way that makes certain treasure inaccessible.
Finally, we’ve discovered the Lost Bottlecap of Somewhere Under the Porch!
While in California Gold Rush, you automatically build support beams and ladders that let you dig sideways even at the top of a mineshaft, in I Dig It you have no such support. Your drill is a flying apparatus, but it can’t drill sideways unless you’re settled on the ground. This means you’re mostly heading downward, but a rapidly expiring fuel tank, temperature gauge, and hull integrity mean you won’t make it very far if you push too hard, too fast.
It’s the temperature gauge that really gets to us. Having to go topside for fuel every minute or so is workable, and the hull integrity can be maintained if you don’t go bumping into walls when you activate your jet boosters. But if you’re hauling ass, drilling through rock at a breakneck pace, the temperature gauge will glow red-hot and start to majorly damage your drill. Since the campaign mode is set against a timer, this restriction becomes especially annoying.
Just 7,926 miles until we hit China.
I Dig It does have a bit too much going on at once, but honestly, we prefer that to a game with too little to offer. The main campaign is a grueling four hour (in real-time) quest for $100,000 worth of goodies, and even one slip-up will end it all for you. Despite this almost sadistic goal, I Dig It is enjoyable enough to encourage you to keep trying. Still, we’d hope that the developers include checkpoints or a save slot in a future update, to keep the frustration level a bit more manageable.
This game frustrates us mainly because we know a Must Have game is just below the surface. There’s a good reason this game is sitting at the top of the App Store right now’”it’s an encouraging sign of what an indie developer is capable of producing on the iPhone, and at its current sale price of 99 cents, I Dig It is a solid purchase. We dig it, and you should, too.