Now dig this
With the success of games like Jetpack Joyride, the endless-game-with-currency-and-mini-objectives genre has become quite crowded. As with any artistic medium, when the current ideas start getting hackneyed and derivative, it’s time to look underground: in this case, with a drilling machine. Gold Diggers has no half-baked frame narrative to justify what doesn’t need justification. Boot up the game and you’ll be drilling so fast you’ll probably run into an obstacle before you realize the game has started.
Gold Diggers could have been a tilt game in the style of Ridiculous Fishing; the blueprint is certainly similar, but the developers opted instead for a more standard control scheme. Using a single thumb, you’ll move from left to right at the bottom of the screen to keep your vehicle safe during its descent. There are no other inputs. There’s some awkwardness with the fact that you’re moving toward your thumb, rather than away from it, but you’ll adapt quickly.
Gold Diggers is made up of various room types, each randomized when you enter, which maintain enough gameplay variety to keep you both interested and on your toes. Some rooms will have you dodging enemies from below, while others have you catching speed boosts to escape attacks from above. They vary quite a bit in difficulty, with endeavors like avoiding lava requiring the most precision. There’s nothing anyone would call “new” on the obstacle list, but the shuffle really keeps the world feeling complete and fresh.
As you can probably guess, there’s no center of the Earth for you to reach here. Your goal is simply to collect as much gold as possible, survive as long as you can, and challenge yourself to complete a set of objectives like near misses with pillars of flames. The formula is tried, true, and tired, but Gold Diggers’ setting, sensibilities, and downward mobility will keep you drilling longer than most.
There’s little to complain about with Gold Diggers, and little touches like your hit points being communicated by the number of cars left on your drilling machine, or the perturbed facial expression of your anime-esque character when you run directly into a wall will charm you for the duration. None of the limitations with the genre are solved here, but you’ll still strike some gold with your time.
- Tight controls. Interesting setting, and interesting take on the genre. Nice small aesthetic touches.
- Nothing new here, and no evolution of the genre in sight. Thumb positioning can hide incoming obstacles.