Category Archives: Gaming

Digging and Dying – A Dig or Die Game Review

Hello everyone, those of you who know me over on Twitter may well have noticed I’ve been fairly quiet in the evenings just lately. That’s because of a game I started playing recently: Dig or Die. It’s a game on Steam made by a chap who goes by the name of Gaddy Games over there who has done most of the work himself, with some help with art and music. Rebecca came across the game first and within half an hour of watching her get to grips with it I jumped onto Steam and bought myself a copy. In some ways a pretty simple game in some ways, the basic premise can be summed up thusly;

 

Basically, you’re a travelling salesman for Craft & Co, you sell Auto Builder machines across the galaxy, but you derp up and crash your ship on a hostile planet. The ship’s AI survives and is less than thrilled with your muck up, before dispensing handy hint throughout the early game. Now you have to use your company’s products to craft items from various ground based minerals, the local flora and fauna in order to survive and eventually build a rocket to get off again. So it’s a bit like Minecraft with a tower defence element to it.

There’s a twist though; the local wildlife is hostile, very hostile. In fact if you kill one of a species, the rest of the species will go mad and will try to kill you at night. Therefore you need to build a decent, sturdy and well defended base. Think you can go pacifist and just avoid killing stuff? Forget it. Just about everything you will need to craft involves body parts from the various wildlife you’ll encounter. It’s kill or be killed.

 

                   (Evolution of your base; from hole in the dirt to a well defended complex)

So at the start you really don’t want to go around aggravating too much. In time you’ll craft better weapons, turrets, healing turrets and other defences and build a sturdy base. You’ll also craft better crafting machines to collect and make improved items and things that help you get around this strange world easier. You’re often caught weighing up weather or not to go after certain creatures based on weather you can fend them off at night or not.

It’s also a complete world, with different biomes and challenges each one brings. There’s the surface world, with floating sky islands, a volcanic area, an underground sea, caverns beneath that and other caves. It’s also a very wet world. It’s raining a lot. In fact the developer based the weather on his native Northern France. The water physics are amazing though. It rains, water runs and flows, it will seep and soak through porous lands and slowly evaporate out of areas that aren’t so. Water is fairly integral to the game given you can control it and use it to generate electricity and manage your environment for defence and safety (you don’t take fall damage if you fall into water).

The building physics are spot on too. Gravity is a harsh mistress and takes no prisoners. Don’t expect to be able to take a half-assed ‘pile it as high as you can’ approach to building towers and bridges. You need to plan and structure things properly or you’ll be literally falling on your ass.

There’s also four bosses to deal with (five if you include an optional extra), all of which need defeating in order to obtain key items for survival and getting off this hostile world. I’m not going into too many details as I don’t want to spoil the fun.

There’s a lovely musical soundtrack too, fairly calming by day and dynamic and a tad frantic at night when you’re under siege from all the creatures you’ve angered.

dig2

(Base under siege: holding out till dawn)

You’ll be doing a lot of digging, and you’ll quite often be dying too, but with the game’s default setting meaning the game auto-saves each morning (you can do your own saves too) and each day cycle taking around 15 minutes or so, deaths aren’t catastrophic and you’ll often learn from your mistakes.

Technically speaking, this is an early access game, it’s still in development and there’s plans well afoot for a multiplayer element, which is in beta, but the main game is fully playable and I haven’t come across any bugs so far, and I’ve stuck 60 hours into this.

If you’ve read this and like the idea, look it up on Steam. It’s £5.59 and worth every penny IMO. The link to the store page is below.

http://steamcommunity.com/app/315460/