Nintendad

[Review] Dig Dog – Nintendo Switch

Reviewed by Thomas

  • Developer: Wild Rooster
  • Publisher: Wild Rooster
  • Release Date: 26/04/2019
  • Price: $3.99 / £2.99
  • Review code provided by Wild Rooster

Intro

There are many fun and quirky games available on the eShop. A lot of them go unnoticed and are buried by the barrage of larger titles. A dozen or so new games are added every week. So how does one sniff out and dig up an overlooked title? Sure, you could hire a bloodhound, mad with the scent of niche indie games. Or you can take a look at the Nintendad review page. Since you’re here, let’s excavate one such title. Enjoy my review of Dig Dog by Wild Rooster for Nintendo Switch.

Give a Dog a Bone

One of the first things I learned in my creative writing class was a character has to want. There has to be a need or desire to drive your character forward, even if all they want is a glass of water. Thus compels the good doggy in Dig Dog. There is a bone buried amidst a trap laden, enemy covered level and it’s up to you to guide Dog to it. Did Dig Dog bury the bone? Is it a long lost family heirloom? Did vile fiends ensconce it in attempt to trap and destroy Dig Dog? It could be all of these things, or none of these things. The tale of Dig Dog is up to each player to interpret. One thing is for sure though, Dig Dog is a good doggo.

Dog Days of Summer

Dig Dog plays like a 2D roguelike with two modes. Free Dig is an easier mode if you’re looking for something relaxing. Guiding Dog around the level is as easy as pressing the directional button. Dog automatically digs the dirt in front, above or below depending on the route you take. Most levels can be solved in less than a second by dropping off the side of the map and zipping over to the bone. For children however, it’s the perfect experience to get their hands dirty. My seven year old daughter loved the no risk exploration and the different palettes. Even so, there are perils which can result in Dig Dog’s demise but the same level just restarts.

For those looking to unearth a challenge, Bone Hunt will be a mainstay. Bone Hunt looks simple enough but the enemies grow more ruthless by the level. With only two hitpoints, a single mistake can make a playthrough end abruptly. The presence of a leaderboard adds a competitive spin. You can compete for most bones gathered or coins collected in a single run. Attempting to out due yourself and other online competitors made Dig Dog quite addictive.
“Just one more turn,” echoed through my head as I tried hard not to pull my hair out. Throughout Bone Hunt you’ll find shops to spend the coins on for various power ups.

Old Dog, New Tricks

The minimalist art style works well for Dig Dog. There are numerous color palettes available to unlock. Matching the retro art is an 8-bit soundtrack. The chiptune music plays on a continuous loop and is rather catchy. The other sound effects are on par with the title. The best sound effect was the ability to have Dig Dog bark. Although it has no bearing on the gameplay, it was a cute feature to include. From a technical standpoint, Dig Dog ran fine. Playing in handheld mode was a lot of fun and it looks good on a television too.

Final wrap

Dig Dog is a bite sized roguelike with an old school coat of paint. The gameplay could get a little repetitive at times. Offering an easy mode for younger gamers or those who like a relaxing experience was a nice touch. The retro look and lack of features may result in a lot of gamers leaving this title buried on the eShop. For those who sift through the piles of games to uncover Dig Dog, they’ll find a unique experience with endless levels at a fair price.

My Children’s Two Cents

My daughter loved Dig Dog. Bone Hunt was a little too challenging for her but Free Dig was perfect. She loved the different colors and character sprites. This is a great title to pick up for little ones and offers a great introduction to roguelikes.

Pros

  • Endless Random Levels
  • Leaderboards
  • Perfect for Kids
  • A Good Dog

Cons

  • Light on Features
  • Slightly Repetitive

Verdict
Dig Dog is a title that won’t bite for attention but reward those who give it a home.
3.5/5

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