Review: Dig-N-Rig

I do like a good indie game, while they generally aren’t the quality, size or have nearly as much money pumped into them, there are some gems out there! Read on to find out how Dig-N-Rig, a game made by four students from DigiPen Institute of Technology in America, stacks up.

What intelligent, self respecting man wants to get their hands dirty with mining when he can create a robot to suffer for him? No one, that’s who! Dr. Digertz, your creator and mentor throughout the game, seems to want to collect as many elements as possible, destroying various habitats, and earth in general, for a get rich quick scheme, or even to take over the world; whatever it is scientists with too much time do these days.

As a mining robot, naturally, it falls to you to mine everything on the screen, using your 3 different mining tools to break down and transport precious elements back to the factory on the surface. The tools are simple enough: the Dirt Digger, Rock Driller, and Stone Grinder. As their names suggest – they specialise on one type of material. Digging faster when in home ground, if you will.

As you may have guessed, by the title of the game, there  is digging and rigging to be done. Once you have dug 20 fathoms down, you do have the small problem of getting the minerals and elements back to the surface and to the all important factory. Yes, this is the “Rig” part of the game. You will need to use conveyer belts and scooper pieces to drag all the precious elements back to the surface, and to your ‘daddy’.

However, while this all sounds quite boring on paper, I must assure you that it’s not. Some sections do feel repetitive; there is a long section of just digging. However, this is broken up, and the game revitalised, by the sudden appearance of mineral eating moles. This adds a new dimension to the game and keeps you on your toes, so to speak.

All the elements you collect are used as a currency in game, which you can trade in with Dr. Digertz for various items and upgrades to your internal systems. What you can spend them on is left entirely up to you; choose a jetpack or extra WiFi strength so you can dig down further. This is not to mention the plentiful items that will help you make an utter mess of planet earth herself, such as health packs and the beautiful-yet-deadly Mega Bomb. I will leave you to guess what that last item can do.

This is all presented under the clever guise of an old school 8-bit game with bright and vibrant colours throwing themselves against your retina. I do have to comment on the lack of a full screen option; with it, this game would be so much easier to play. However as it stands, the text is quite hard to read when playing and does often leave you desiring nothing more than a nap after squinting at the screen from  a session of mining to the earth’s core.

Continuing with the retro styling, the music and sound effects follow the general rule in 8 bit games of being simple yet addictive to listen too. It’s not an overpowering music, which so many retro styled games fall into the trap of, instead it’s in the background – tickling your ear buds with the right mix of background music and positive mental feedback from the bleeps and bloops.

You can easily see the heart and soul that has been poured into this game; I cannot really fault anything except the lack of a widescreen option. Simplicity is often the way forward – while you can have fun with games as complex as Skyrim or Battlefield 3, this game goes to prove all you need is an objective and a means of getting there and you wil have fun.

The graphics aren’t exactly modern, but they are what they are meant to be, channelling across a unique mining and exploration theme that will also take you back to your roots in gaming as a child. I highly recommend looking at this title.

Gameplay – 8
Sound – 9
Graphics – 8

Overall – 8

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