Match and outrun angry blocks in DigRun, a fresh new match-four puzzle game
DigRun ($0.99) by AFEEL, Inc. and Lanze Games is a unique game that combines match-four puzzle with infinite running and survival elements. If you love the match-three puzzle game genre but want something fresh and challenging, then DigRun is the game for you. It’s similar to other games out there like Block Legend and Horde of Heroes.
For the entirety of my time with iOS and the App Store, one of my favorite game genres is the match-three puzzle. It started with the classic Bejeweled, but then developers came up with their own takes on the game, and for a while it was fun. But after the market became oversaturated with Candy Crush clones, I’ll admit — match-three games just didn’t appeal to me like they used to. They started off well, but then Candy Crush came along and every new puzzle game wanted to be Candy Crush. Fortunately, I never lost hope for something original in terms of matching puzzle games because there are titles like Hero Emblems and Wedding Escape. And now I’m going to add DigRun to that fine collection.
The visuals in DigRun are cute and charming. The two female characters that you’ll come across have a distinctive anime style to them, which I thought was refreshing. Both of them have their own unique personality traits too, as well as witty dialogue. The game makes use bright, vivid colors in terms of character design, blocks, and fine details and textures in the dark and gloomy cave setting. Animations in DigRun are smooth, so I experienced no lag on my iPhone 6. The music is upbeat and catchy, and the sound effects are fun, though sometimes I wish that the protagonist wasn’t so loud during the runs, as it can get a bit repetitive and annoying. Regardless, DigRun is an impressive feat in terms of visual and audio design.
DigRun features two game modes, and a tutorial in case you need help with the basics (this starts immediately on the first launch). Players can choose between Time Rush or Survival mode, and both of these have three difficulty levels: Casual, Normal, or Risky. Casual has slower blocks but brings in less income, Normal has fast blocks and standard income, and Risky features very fast blocks but a lot of income.
In DigRun, you get the chance to earn both gold coins and ruby gems after completing a run, though you get more if you do well, of course. The coins and gems are used to purchase power-ups in the shop, and you can upgrade them for better effects in-game. These boosts include slow-mo, more points for a brief amount of time, bombs, and more. Powers are unlocked during the game as well, which are separate from the power-ups. However, you can upgrade the powers too, but they appear randomized as they come in during the game. Your Nut Power Fist glove can also get upgrades, improving its efficiency as you run. Considering that it is fairly easy to get coins while you play, I’m satisfied with the cost of everything.
The controls in the game are simple and intuitive as well. Each attempt will have your character trying to outrun a mass of angry, colored blocks. If the blocks can catch up to you, then the run ends. But you can gain some distance by making matches of at least four or more. To do this, keep your eye peeled on the upper right corner — you can see a preview of the next block (more if you get the right upgrade), and then tap where you want it wedge it on the grid. When you add a block, it will push away the blocks to the right of it, and any blocks at the end of a line will fall off, so careful planning is necessary to succeed in this game.
When you run into a pinch and have a power available to use, or want to use some power-ups that you brought along, just tap on the appropriate button on the sidebar. As you get far in Survival (things start moving faster) or choose to go with the Risky difficulty in either mode, these powers and power-up items will be your key to victory against the blocks.
I’ve been playing DigRun for a bit ever since I downloaded it last night, and it’s one of the more fun match-four puzzle games I’ve tried. It did take some time to get used to, but once you learn the basics, everything just falls into place. Like any puzzle game, it is simple to learn but difficult to master, as you’ll find out with the Risky difficulty. The anime graphics are endearing, the music is delightful, and the gameplay is a refreshing new take on a tried-and-true classic. This is definitely a game that shouldn’t be overlooked.
I highly recommend picking up DigRun for yourself if you want an addictive and challenging new match-four game to keep yourself busy with. You can find DigRun on the App Store as a universal download for just $0.99.