I Dig It Review: Dangerously Addictive, Then It Ends (Maybe…)

by panappticon on January 12, 2010

in Game Reviews

I’m going to be reviewing I Dig It: Expeditions [App Store Link], the sequel to I Dig It [App Store Link] next, but before I review Expeditions, I thought it would be fitting to play through I Dig It first just so I can compare the two in the review of the sequel. I Dig It had been sitting on my iPhone for a couple months, purchased during one of my random bouts of game purchasing frenzy due to all the positive word of mouth it had received and I just never set aside the time to play through it until now.

Above ground, where you turn in your diggings for cash!

Essentially, I Dig It is all about excavating earth and finding buried treasure to sell to further outfit your digging machine (or to complete various tasks depending on which game mode you’re playing). It’s super simple and amazingly ridiculously positively addicting. Yes, I know most games say they are addicting–but I don’t think I’ve ever been as feverishly addicted to one game so intensely than I have been to I Dig It’s Campaign mode. That 4 hours is one of the most harrowing, frantic, and all-consumingly fun gameplay experiences I think I’ve had in a long time. But that’s also a problem–after that 4 hours of playing (spread over two days) and successfully completing the Campaign–I was completely burned out and did not want to even look at I Dig It anymore.

Underneath the earth, strip mining for diggings to save the farm. Warning: playing I Dig It for 6 hours over 2 days is not recommended but entirely likely to happen...

But then I went back and looked at the various game modes and challenges but I still did not really desire playing it much more. I did one of the challenges and probably will go back occasionally–however the initial main 4 hours campaign to raise $100,000 was so amazingly addicting and stressful it kind of burned me out on the rest of the game entirely. Strange? Perhaps. Should I have paced myself better? Of course, but I really couldn’t think about anything other than completing the campaign. Perhaps the main problem was that I had initially started playing the Campaign mode several weeks ago, and when I went to resume playing the other day to complete it, somehow was under the mistaken impression that the target amount of money to earn from diggings was $50,000 instead of $100,000 (yes, I know, facepalm time). So there I was, merrily digging my way to the center of the earth, wasting extra cash on dynamite and other upgrades that I didn’t really need thinking I just needed to let the time expire–and then it did and FAIL was displayed on the screen. Completely my fault, but that may have been the reason for my complete obsession to complete the Campaign properly the second time around.

On the way back up to the surface with a load of cargo before my fuel runs out!

Overall the game is very technically impressive. I Dig It‘s graphics are amazingly well done, controls are great with the analog-joystick, gauges are nicely themed and well done, and sounds effects are good too (there is no music).

New diggings! Overheating! Full cargo! Must get to the surface!

Gameplay wise, like I said above–I Dig It is completely fun and addicting, however once you beat the campaign mode I’m just not sure how much you’d want to play a similar campaign in the future. Perhaps you might. Better yet, you will enjoy the challenges, of which there are many to choose from. But I just couldn’t get back into the game after strip-mining my way down around 1,600 feet, 10 feet at a time over the course of a couple playing sessions. But that is probably my own fault for playing so much at once. But still, the Campaign mode basically comes down to partially strip mining your way down methodically, using dynamite at key locations, and repeating ad nauseum. It was cool the first time, but I personally wouldn’t and don’t care to repeat the experience. It was one of those things that is amazing once, then I never want to do it again.

Success, finally!

Despite the fact that this review may sound somewhat negative, it’s not. I Dig It is a must-own game, especially at its $0.99 price simply for the exhilaration and addiction you will experience with its Campaign mode your first time through. Whether or not you will want to repeat the derivative campaign modes or play through the challenges will be up to you personally. I most likely will, however after the experience of the Campaign mode I’m somewhat burned out on the game right now but will likely revisit it again. If I had to complain about something other than that, it’s that you can’t save a game that you start in order to play another game-mode. For example, if you start a challenge, you can’t pause that and play through a Campaign or other challenge without quitting the current game–which could be frustrating if you’re 3 hours into the Campaign and just don’t feel like playing it anymore and would rather do a simpler, faster challenge mode instead. Overall though, I Dig It is definitely worth its price as you’ll definitely get your money’s worth at least one play through it and you’ll most likely enjoy the various challenge modes that add even more longevity to this amazing game.

Panappticon Verdict: 92/100 — Addictive the first time around with extra content to please those who remain addicted to it, for others there’s always the sequel to play. Definitely a must-play at least once.

I Dig It

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