Dig Dog - Treasure Hunter ($2.99) by Rusty Moyher is a roguelike platformer that stars a dog looking for bones. If you enjoyed other games like Downwell and Doug Dug, then you'll like what Dig Dog has to offer.
As a huge dog lover, is there anything cuter than a dog and their bone? No, not really. The way that they like to take their bone, find a spot in the dirt, and then start digging a hole to bury it in for later, it really is great to see. Though my husky is kind of an oddball and doesn't bury his treats, so I must live vicariously through the life of other dogs. Anyway, as a dog person, as well as a platformer and roguelike fan, I was intrigued by Dig Dog when I saw it. I mean, how can I say no to a game that features dogs?
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
Dig Dog features a super simple and classic 8-bit aesthetic that any old-school gamer will appreciate. If you've played the original Super Mario Bros. games, then this feels a lot like those in terms of graphics and typeface. The color scheme is basic and provides excellent contrast, as the earth is black and the backgrounds are bright and vivid hues. Enemies are also black, but with a splash of color, and blend in to the earth a bit, making it hard to see them all, but that just adds to the challenge. Obstacles like saw blades and walls are white or colored, so they stand out nicely in the black earth. Bones are white too, so they're easy to spot. Animations are smooth and fluid, with no lag or choppy frame rates on my iPhone 8 Plus. The chiptune soundtrack is fun to listen to, as well as the digging sound effect.
There are two game modes in Dig Dog: Bone Hunt (Hard) or Free Dig (Easy). In Bone Hunt, think of it as a roguelike treasure hunt. Your dog will be digging through a total of four different worlds, and each one has a handful of stages to go through. Your goal in Bone Hunt is to find the single white bone that's hidden somewhere on the level, and once you obtain it, you move on to the next stage. But you must watch out for enemies, and make sure you don't hit saw blades or fall to the bottom of the pit. You'll only have two hearts, so yes, you will end up dying a lot.
If you want a more relax, chill mode, then Free Dig is the way to go. With this, players get an endless digging experience. You'll have infinite, randomly generated levels that have little to no challenge (a lot fewer enemies to deal with) and no game overs. If you die, you just pick up where you left off, pretty much. You can quit this mode and pick it back up from the last level you were on. It's a great way to kill some time if you have any to spare.
Controls in Dig Dog are simple. In the bottom left are two buttons for moving left or right. In the bottom right of the screen, there is a single button for jumping. But then how do you dig? If you double tap on the jump button, the dog flips and will slam into the ground, breaking the dirt block and allowing you to dig. When you rapidly tap on the jump button while moving left or right, you can do a kind of dash attack that lets you quickly burrow through the dirt, while also eliminating enemies at the same time. But be careful when doing these quick attacks — if you're not careful, you may go too far and fall down below.
Though the game starts you off with just searching for basic bones, there's more to the game than that. Eventually, you may find various treasure items, and you can come across shops to buy things like health refills or get more hearts.
Play as a dog in search of bones in this roguelike action platformer.
Dig Dog - Treasure Hunter is definitely a cute little roguelike platformer that has a lot of good things going on. While the graphics may be simplistic compared to modern standards, it's a nice homage to the classic retro games that I grew up with. Plus, the chiptune soundtrack is delightful. The gameplay is an interesting mashup of roguelike and digging platformer, but it ends up being a fun combination. The controls are also pretty straightforward, though it takes a bit of practice to get used to it. The gameplay itself is challenging, and the Free Dig mode can be rather relaxing.
There's a lot of good stuff going in on Dig Dog - Treasure Hunter, but some may find it to be a bit repetitive. I mean, you are literally just a dog digging around for bones, after all. And since it's a roguelike, it may not appeal to everyone, especially those who get frustrated from dying a lot.
As a fan of dogs, platformers, and roguelikes, I think Dig Dog - Treasure Hunter is great. I appreciate the vintage graphics and music, and the digging mechanic is quite fun. The two game modes are enough to give players a challenging experience, or something more relaxing and calm. Even though it can be a bit repetitive, I think this is a great game to pick up when you're waiting around somewhere.