Dig Deep Review

Dig Deep is a free runner game featuring pixel graphics and fast addictive gameplay. Players dig down randomly generated terrain to kill aliens and mine gold. Gold is used to buy upgrades which are shared across the multiple characters. Characters can be unlocked by completing unique quests to level up.

Format: PC via Steam
Play time so far: 1.5 hours

Dig Deep character Roger digging past stone and clay to avoid a mine and gather gold

Released March 8th, 2019 by Flippancy Studio

Quick Overview

Major Pros:

  • Simple and fast gameplay
Major Cons:

  • Some quests are much harder than others
  • Characters move automatically
Minor Pros:

  • Multiple Characters with special moves
Minor Cons:

  • Can get trapped
Score calculation after a run in Dig Deep. Score is increased by vertical distance, aliens kills, gold, streaks, and completing missions.

Example score after a quick run

In-depth Review

Dig Deep features simple and fast gameplay that’s quick to learn and addictive to play. Characters mine constantly downward with the ability to dash horizontally to quickly clear blocks. Terrain includes impassible stone, minable clay, and unstable sandstone. Gold is clearly displayed in clay either in regular 1 unit pieces or large 50 unit chunks. Aliens can be killed by landing on them or leading them into spikes and mines. Shield and fast travel “boost” power ups can also be found. Terrain is generated in preconfigured chunks with veins of gold, mine mazes, and rooms housing aliens.

Gold stash unlocked by leveling up and completing quests. allows more upgrades for mining gear

Gold is used to upgrade shield and boosts between runs

There are multiple characters to unlock in Dig Deep, each with their own special ability. Special abilities are charged by mining multiple blocks of gold in a short period of time, regardless of the size of the gold. Boost power ups allow players to rocket forward and destroy terrain, and are easy ways to build up charges. At 4-5 charges the ability can be used, some examples are being able to destroy all terrain in an area or doubling the gold value mined for a short time. I enjoyed unlocking characters and playing with their new abilities.

Reaching level 6 and unlocking special agent Lilian. Her special ability allows the player to double their gold mined for a short period of time.

Completing quests increases player level and unlocks new characters

To unlock characters, players need to level up and complete quests. Three quests are required for each level up and they are preselected instead of random. Leveling up also grants special gems that can be used to improve the special abilities of a player’s favorite character(s). I found the diversity of the quests to be enjoyable, but some were wildly harder for me than others. I won’t claim to be the most skilled at this genre, but ultimately the inability to complete one quest in particular is what lead to me to stop playing.

3 quests in Dig Deep include mining 200 meters, gathering 150 pieces of gold, or activating 7 mines in a run

Some of the starter quests

One thing I found strange about the game was the auto-move. Characters cannot stand still and will constantly move and mine as if on autopilot when left alone. While this fits with the constant movement of the runner genre, I found it hard to manage when I need to hold still to wait for a triggered mine. It also felt unnecessary considering the downward movement of the screen would eventually crush the player if they didn’t keep moving. There were certainly many deaths to my character deciding to unnecessarily jump off a ledge.

On the topic of jumping off ledges, I also found that it was possible to get trapped by choosing routes that would ultimately become dead ends before it was possible to save myself. I’m not talking reaction time, but rather that only impassable terrain and spikes might be waiting on the next generated terrain form which can’t be seen until the player has already jumped off the previous one. This was pretty rare, but frustrating when it ended a run.

Dig Deep character Lilian above a room with an alien guarding the only exit. Entering the room over the alien and crushing it is the only way to not get killed.

If ground is between a player and a threat, dashing sideways allows them to delay descent

Recommendation

Overall I found Dig Deep to be a fun and addictive game with fast pacing and decision making. Originally from mobile, it’s ported well with nice graphics and keyboard controls. While the difficulty eventually overcame me, I’m sure most people with experience in runners will get a lot further than I did. I recommend Dig Deep to runner genre aficionados and players looking for some fast, free, addictive gameplay.

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