Egypt awaits in Diggy’s Adventure, but beware: the gods are angry

If you play freemium Facebook games to any degree, then you know how “Energy” systems work. You can play the game as long as you have a supply of little cartoon lightning bolts, but as soon as those are gone, you need to cough up some real dosh or you’re kicked to the curb to dry out. Diggy’s Adventure is a Facebook adventure game that tries to work with the Energy system instead of in spite of it, and it actually succeeds. More importantly, it’s fun to play.

Diggy’s Adventure stars Diggy, a big-headed man’s man who’s on the trail of his missing explorer father. Diggy’s search takes him to Egypt (actually, he smashes his boat on the shore), where he finds more evidence of his father’s legacy. Diggy’s visit to Egypt isn’t all about chasing daddy, though: A greedy ruler has the land in his clutches, and the pantheon of Egyptian gods have cursed the country as a result. Diggy agrees to try and restore the peace.

 Diggy's Adventure

The gameplay in Diggy’s Adventure mostly involves shoveling through ruins, pushing blocks out of the way, retrieving items and treasures, and keeping an eye on your Energy supply. Every ruin is peppered with rocks, sand, rotten wood, and other stuff that needs to be cleared away before you can move around the landscape. Shoveling debris requires Energy, and some tasks require more Energy than others. For instance, clearing away sand takes 5 Energy, while chipping at a stone wall takes 25.

Not surprisingly, you have a finite amount of Energy that recharges slowly over time. You begin with 200 units, but you can actually increase your ceiling by building up your home base/base camp. As you dig an underground lair for yourself, you’re allowed to buy and place objects that recharge your energy quicker and/or increase your max levels. You can also buy cooking equipment that lets you brew up energy-replenishing meals, though you can consume the raw materials on their own when you need a quick boost. Thankfully, food is easy to find if you take the time to explore ruins thoroughly.

 Diggy's Adventure

Energy systems are undoubtedly freemium’s biggest roadblock: it’s not much fun when a game boots you out just as you’re hitting your stride. Diggy’s Adventure is cleverly built around its Energy system, and there’s even an element of strategy involved. You need to make choices like, “Do I want to hack away at that Energy-sapping rock to get to that one treasure chest, or do I want to play it safe, stick to soft sand, and forge ahead?”     

Needless to say, you’re still going to run out of Energy at times, and it’s still going to be frustrating. But it’s nice to see a freemium game that does more than just flick off the lights when your supply is depleted.

Moreover, digging through the ruins of Diggy’s Adventure is fun, if not a little slow. While you do encounter tricky puzzles from time to time (they usually revolve around moving rocks), a little more challenge would be nice.

But overall, Diggy’s Adventure is a big, bold Facebook game that successfully implements new ideas. If you’ve had your fill of puzzles and social farming, you’ll get a lot out of this trip to Egypt.