Classic Retro Video Game Reviews

Atari Dig Dug -Atari 2600
Retro Gaming Review

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game ReviewAtari Dig Dug for Atari 2600 Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Title: Dig Dug
Manufacturer: Atari
Platform: Atari 2600
Release Date: 1987
Part #: CX2677
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
ESRB Rating: N/A

Rating: Atari Dig Dug Classic Retro Video Game Review Rating
Atari Dig Dug Screenshot:
Atari Dig Dug for Atari 2600 screenshot Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review

Another home conversion classic with a twist... Dig Dug looked like crap on the 2600! The lines that demarked the different underground layers looked terrible compared to the synthesized dirt of the arcade version. The characters looked equally awful although Pooka and Fygar are recognizable. And square rocks?!? WTF? But don't give up on it!

Dig Dug's audio is very close to the arcade and the game play is really good. Between these two factors, the 2600 version is a lot of fun and requires much the same skill and tactics as the arcade. The arcade controls are identical to the 2600 joystick with it's single fire button, which becomes a "Pump" button for our purposes. If you can get over the atrocious visuals, this is a great game.

Dig Dug's Story Arc

Strap on your mining helmet because you're an underground miner, called Dig Dug, with a jet-powered shovel who's about to encounter "Meanies" in the form of odd-looking tomatoes and a fire-breathing dragons - both deadly to the touch. You create a maze in the subterranean layers as you move around the screen. Upon encountering Meanies, wail on the fire button to pump them up until they explode. Don't dawdle around - the longer it takes you to pump up the meanies, the more likely they are to transform into ghost-like forms and converge on Dig Dug. They don't have to follow the maze you dig when in ghost form.

You can also dislodge boulders that, when properly timed, will fall on top of any meanies in it's path. You will occasionally be rewarded with a vegetable that you must retrieve soon after its appearance. The last meanie remaining knows the jig is up and will bolt for an escape at the top of the screen. This version is reminiscent of the arcade, but not visually.

Difficulty Switch Settings for Dig Dug

The Difficulty Switches have no function in Dig Dug for the Atari 2600. This seems kind of odd to me as this could have inserted some interesting options or at least a way to even the odds with different player skills.

Holy shit! Check this out...
The Dig Dug arcade game developed and published by Namco in Japan in 1982 for Namco Galaga hardware. It was later published outside of Japan by Atari.
Although Namco has officially named the character Dig Dug, in other games where he makes an appearance, he goes by the name Taizo Hori. Some bootleg arcade versions of Dig Dug were made, under the name Zig Zag.

Game Variations for Dig Dug

I wish they had incorporated more variations like they did with Space Invaders. Perhaps it was a memory issue of sorts. Alas there are only 2 variations - Normal and Easy. Normal mode has changing tunnels, meanies and rocks with each level. Easy mode displays a severed teddy bear head as an indicator. In this mode nothing changes, there are only 2 meanies and they never go ghost.

Once the Meanies have taken your last life (you start with 5) you have the option of starting the next game at the same level you just finished. Simply press the fire button while the Dig Dug title screen is displayed (for about 10 seconds). You can only have eight lives at any point. Your first bonus life comes at 20,000 points and at each multiple of 50,000 thereafter.

Atari Dig Dug Tips

If you're particularly good at Dig Dug you can roll the score (much like an old Chevy's odometer) once it reaches 999,990 points. on the higher rounds stay close to center-screen to snag the veggies - they're worth more points than pumping up meanies. But you'll have to drop 2 rocks and destroy enough meanies to bring their screen population below 7. When being chased, remember you can move faster in a tunnel than while digging through soil.

Atari 2600 VCS console Classic Retro Gaming Video Game Review
Final Judgement:

Atari Dig Dug

is awful looking, but once you get into the game play, it's visual defects are replaced with pure 80s style fun!

Later versions resolved the fugly graphics, but on the 2600, its still a blast to play.

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