Thursday, August 04, 2005

Recommended Gaming: MAME GP32

Dig Dug
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It seems appropriate to follow up on Mr Do! with Dig Dug, a similar game that was very popular back in the day. First time I saw this game was at an arcade across from my intermediate (junior high) school, and I believe that for the first few plays I thought you were supposed to clear all the dirt from each level to progress! Far from it, you just have to kill all the monsters. There are two types: Pookas and Fygars. Pookas are not too dangerous, but fygars spit flame, so demand a healthy respect for their position when close to the player. Especially so when on the other side of a thin wall, as they can still burn you up right through it! Pookas are a little quicker than the player, fygars are a little slower. Both monsters can change into 'ghosts' when held up in one spot for too long. These ghosts can move through solid dirt, changing back to solid form when they hit an open area. It's quite difficult to predict when they will change into ghosts, but that's part of the game's charm. The player is armed with a pump, hold down the button while pointing at a monster (assuming it's within range) and you'll pump him up until he explodes. The only other way to kill them is to drop a rock on them. Note that the pump can also be used to slow monsters down: if you pump one up for just a second or so he'll be inflated and unable to move for a few seconds. This stalling tactic can be very useful if you're faced with two monsters at once: try to pump one up just enough to stop him, then do the same to the other, then get the hell out of there! It's a difficult trick to pull off, but once you've got the timing figured out you'll find yourself using it regularly. Dropping rocks is a bit of an art form in Dig Dug. They take a second or two to fall when you've dug under them, so it's very easy to get the timing wrong when you're trying to flatten a monster. Unlike Mr Do! they can't be pushed, and they split apart as soon as they fall, no matter how short the distance. When digging up to a rock you have to remain pointed at it to keep it from falling. As soon as you turn to the side it'll fall on you. Once you've dropped your second rock a prize will appear in the centre of the screen, this earns quite decent points when collected. It should be your goal to collect as many of these as possible. When there's only one monster left he'll try to escape to the top left corner, though he's still dangerous while escaping. Tactics are pretty simple in Dig Dug: try to get the pookas to bunch up and follow you, dig a long vertical tunnel up to a rock and drop it on all of them. And remember to drop that second rock for the prize!
It's not hard to get quite good at Dig Dug, it's a charming little title that'll keep you coming back for more.
You'll find Dig Dug in the Namco folder of MameGP32.

Reviewed by: Alyinsanfran


Blogger BobBorakovitz said...

I like Mr. Do for the bouncing bullets and the bonus rounds, but I like DigDug for the inflatable enemies! :)
Both are excellent games that deserve to be reviewed in succession!

Great reviews, as always, Al!

Fri Aug 05, 10:31:00 PM EDT  
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Mon Jul 10, 09:11:00 PM EDT  

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