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Dig Dug Review

Developer: Namco Publisher: Atari
Release Date: 1983 Also On: None

Namco in the early days was pretty much known for one thing: Pac-man. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they didn’t release other good games during the early days. Indeed, among the other good games that they released was Dig Dug. Dig Dug was popular enough that Atari picked up the right to make a version of it for the Atari 2600, a game that was released in 1983. But is the Atari 2600 version worth anybody’s time? Read on to find out.

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The concept of Dig Dug isn’t too difficult to comprehend. You have a guy in a large mound of what I assume is dirt. Populating this dirt are a few creatures. Your job is to dig through the dirt and zap these creatures. You can dig in any direction just by moving, and you zap using the button. However, you cannot zap through the dirt. In essence, the game is no more complex than that.

Aesthetically, I must say that this game doesn’t quite live up to what one might expect from 1983. Sure, the sound effects are typical Atari fare, not bad but not anything to go nuts about. There is a title screen, but there is no music on it. Although different sections of the dirt in the levels are different colors, I can’t help but think that the color scheme seems a bit limited for a game from that late in the pre-crash period. At least the guy and the creatures he’s trying to zap are animated with fairly small pixels.

In terms of gameplay, if you know what you’re doing, you shouldn’t have too hard of a time in the beginning. I personally had some trouble with getting my character to do what I wanted him to, but part of that is probably the fact that I play Atari 2600 games with a Master System controller since I don’t have a working joystick. Otherwise, everything in the game seems to work fine, and you’ll never feel like the enemies are getting any cheap kills on you.

I’m not sure exactly how many levels there are in this game, as I never managed to get past the first few, but this is a game that can be replayed not only to get a higher score, but to get to higher levels. Although it pales in comparison to the arcade version, the Atari 2600 version of Dig Dug is a game that could be well worth your time as an Atari 2600 gamer if you can’t find a more arcade perfect version to play.

Graphics: 7
Sound: 6
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 6
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 7
Written by Martin Review Guide