Have a shovel? Backyard? Cursed mummy stalker? You, too, can be an archeologist!
Archeology is basically glamour central as far as jobs go. Sweaty, glistening, short-shorts wearing archeologists get to spend all day digging up fossils, building theme parks based on their findings, and then traipsing about with pseudo-scientific recreations of long-extinct creatures. Or maybe that’s just paleontologists, since Dig! presents another side of the archeology coin: one where a bumbling connoisseur of the past must shovel through layer upon layer of unprofitable dirt to save his failing museum.
Our hopelessly soiled protagonist, Douglas Chase, is desperate for an artifact windfall that will save both his museum and career. Shovel in hand, he begins digging in his backyard, a logical place for ancient valuables to be hiding. Although his search proves moderately successful, it is constantly hampered and threatened by Nigel the mummy, who has been haunting our unlucky archeologist for years.
Chase’s approach to the dig site and avoiding Nigel is openly inspired by and reminiscent of the 1981 arcade game, Qix. To move to the next layer of diggable earth, Chase must scoop out sections of the square dig site, creating blocks out of the straight lines he shovels. Each completed section—containing at least three sides plus the edge of the map—will fall away once its corners are completed. Reaching the next stage requires shoveling out at least 75% of each dig site.
While Chase blocks off sections, he’ll also be avoiding Nigel, moles, and other creatures intent on disrupting his sweaty search. He can trap enemies within sections à la Go for a temporary reprieve, but Nigel—the Qix of Dig!—always respawns. There are also power-up- and perk-wielding items like hats that he can collect for temporary bonuses, as well as collectible artifacts (still surprisingly) buried throughout the stages.
Developer Tasty Poison has created a gem with Dig!: a game that honors its inspiration’s primary gameplay with upgrades and enhancements for modern players. Like all of their titles, (such as Pocket RPG and Dragooo), it combines gorgeously colorful 3D graphics with a playful and approachable premise. Assuming it plays just as well, we’ll be thoroughly enjoying getting dirty with Chase when Dig! releases in a few short weeks.