We store cookies, you can get more info from our privacy policy.

North America

Dig Dug Digging Strike

by Jon Lindemann - September 23, 2005, 7:45 pm EDT

Dig Dug, Pooka, and Fygar are back in this dual-screen twist on an old classic.

As one of the seminal games from the golden age of the arcades, Dig Dug holds a special place in the heart of any old-school gamer. Those of us who grew up during the Reagan Administration remember it fondly for its simple gameplay, cute characters and addictive quality. It’s classic gaming at its best, but there’s no denying that its design could use some updating to bring it into the 21st century. With Dig Dug: Digging Strike, Namco is looking to do just that.

The 1982 version of Dig Dug armed the title character with a shovel and an air pump, and had him digging through 2D underground mazes in search of his enemies Pooka and Fygar. To eliminate them he could either inflate them until they exploded, or crush them with boulders dislodged by removing the dirt underneath them. It sounds crazy, but it was a very engaging game mechanic that required skill and timing. Digging Strike retains these basic 2D elements, while using the dual screen and 3D capabilities of the Nintendo DS to make its gameplay a little deeper than the original.

The most significant addition is the advent of an island “overworld”. While the DS’ bottom screen shows a 2D underground maze, its top screen features a 3D view of an island’s surface. There are giant stakes driven into the ground that section off major chunks of each island, and removing the dirt underneath them on the bottom screen drives them further into the earth. Lining up several of them in a row creates a “fault line” that breaks off the land behind it, submerging it underwater. Your goal is to trap a large boss character, who constantly wanders the island, on one of these sinking sections and drop him in the ocean. You can also trap yourself on the sinking land masses, so you’d better be careful.

There have been additions to the core gameplay as well. Levels are larger, often surpassing two screens in height. There are lots of new items including coins, bombs and lightning bolts. In addition to the traditional falling rocks there are also environmental “weapons” like lava, quicksand and rolling rocks. Certain icons unlock bonus levels that feature parodies of old Namco games like Xevious and Rally-X, tapping into any gamer’s sense of nostalgia.

Namco has chosen to keep Digging Strike’s graphics and sounds as simple and clean as possible. The polygonal character models used for the 3D surface view are cute and cartoony, fitting perfectly with the game’s retro look. Underground levels are the Dig Dug we all know and love – sprite characters roaming around on a 2D background. Music and sound effects are straight out of the 8-bit era, but again, this isn’t Final Fantasy. The cheery tunes stay true to the game’s classic roots.

With 15 stages and over 80 areas, Dig Dug: Digging Strike will keep you busy for a while. Fans of the original will definitely want to have a look to see what Namco’s done with their old favorite.

Share + Bookmark

Genre Action
Developer Namco
Players1 - 2

Worldwide Releases

na: Dig Dug Digging Strike
Release Oct 18, 2005
jpn: Dig Dug Digging Strike
Release Sep 08, 2005

Related Content

Got a news tip? Send it in!