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Dig Dug

The cover art for the Dig Dug NES port!

Dig Dug is a game released for the Namco Galaga arcades in the 1980s, and then ported to other classic systems like the Atari and the NES, although the NES version was never released in America. The basic premise behind this game is that you're a quirky little fella named Dig Dug, who's cleverly decided to mine in a series of subterranean areas that is, funnily enough, filled with everything from dragons to what look like Waddle Dees with snorkel masks on (yes, this is one of those games). Dig Dug is equipped with what I believe is something of a drill-pump, which he uses to both dig and inflate enemies to burst in order to defend himself.

In the game, you go through a series of levels collecting points by digging or killing enemies, either by inflating them or squishing them with rocks. You move on to the next level by killing all the enemies on the screen, and every time you do, a little flower appears on the surface, which is not only adorable, but presumably tells you how many stages are left, although I'm not entirely sure.

So you might be wondering how I heard of Dig Dug to begin with, since it's a relatively pretty obscure old game. Well, I first heard of it when Dig Dug was mentioned as a possible character for? Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS, and as someone who plans to get said game, I wanted to find out exactly who/what Dig Dug was. Finding out it was a classical classic that could be played on a computer, I was quick to see what it was like, and suprisingly, I found out that it was? waayy fun, borderline addicting.

First of all, the biggest thing you'll notice is that the music isn't just mega-catchy, but is generated by your very footsteps. ? The more you dig, the more music you hear and the more points you get. ? Basically, it's really one of those games that will really spur you on to keep going once you've started. ? But, it isn't just the music that does it; for every new level, you get the insatiable urge to finish, just because the game is so simple yet so complex at the same time.

Allow me to explain; while the game's controls just consists of moving around the screen and sometimes using the air pump, there's a lot of tactical thought involved, because even though the enemies start out in their own small little tunnels, they can, I kid you not,? teleport into other open spaces on the screen. ? This is why it's important to select which ones you want to take down first, or decide if you don't want to attack right away at all, but rather to dig your own path designed to separate and outwit our enemies. ? Not only that, but it's like? Pac-Man? in a way, not only in that you accumulate points from moving, but also in that while the format of each level is pretty consistent, it feels slightly different every time, especially from the greater amount of enemies.

Which leads me into my next point about this game, regarding the challenge. ? Interestingly, you'll probably notice a lot of difficulty spikes in between levels; for example, I was once on stage 5 of the game, and once I moved into stage 6, I died within the first ten seconds of starting. ? It's happened at different points in the game as well, and it can be pretty irritating at times, although it makes sense for an older game. ? However, about 80% of the time, the game is? decently hard, as in challenging, which is really one of the things I look for in a game. ? The challenge behind each level is what makes it interesting, and it's what makes? Dig Dug such a fun game.

The only genuine problems I have with the game are the difficulty spikes, and the fact that the controls can throw you off a little bit, since the movements are roughly based on a square grid, so sometimes if you try to move to the side, you'll move forward ever so slightly before Dig Dug actually? turns right.

Apart from that,? Dig Dug is a fantastic, classic game that I recommend for any NES fan, particularly those who are fans of? Pac-Man, as the two are quite similar. ? If Dig Dug truly will be in the next? Smash Bros., he's a welcome addition in my book, and I totally recommend you give this game a try.

Until next time, good day, good luck, and good weather to you all. Thanks for reading!

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