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Dig Dug (Digu Dagu)
A lot of people are probably familiar with this game as it was an arcade game but I never really had an arcade near me when I was growing up so this was a whole new game for me when I played the Famicom version, as I was only familiar with Dig Dug II that actually was released on the NES.
You play as Dig Dug, a little blue guy (kind of like a smurf in white overalls) who is basically an underground exterminator who uses something like a bicycle air pump to exterminate his enemies. There are only two types of enemies you will encounter, Pookas who are the cute red round guys with the goggles and Fygars the green dragons who breathe fire at you through the dirt. Gotta be careful or if you get hit you will be BBQ.
Since this is based on an arcade game your objective other than just clearing levels is getting as many points as you possibly can. This can be accomplished in several different ways. Just digging will earn you 10 points a block, which is alright but your time is better sent going after enemies. Dropping a rock on an enemy will earn you 1000 points, if you kill 2 or more 1500 points each and any more than 2 is worth 2000 points for each enemy. Once you have dropped 2 rocks in the level other bonus items will appear for you in the middle of the screen, if you are able to get to it. Fruits and Veggies or other bonus items like the ship from Galaxian, which is awesome by the way, for you to collect to get extra points. The item worth the most at 8000 points is the pineapple so if you see it be sure to grab it! Also keep in mind that popping an enemy further down in the dirt is worth more so it may be worth trying to lure the enemies further down if you want to try to get max points.
This game originally came our in the arcades in 1982 (I wasn’t even born yet) its not the most graphically impressive game out there, but the sprites are cute and colorful and definitely get the job done. At first sight this game gives the impression that it is very basic and simple, this is very deceiving. It definitely requires some quick reflexes if you want to successfully evade and exterminate the enemy.
As far as I can tell we never got a copy of this game in North American on the NES, only Dig Dug II was released here which is also good by the way. So if you want to play this you will need to pick up the Famicom version. The nice thing is you don’t need to know any Japanese, so you really don’t have any excuse not to play.
For some fun arcade action Dig Dug definitely fits the bill!
One eBay you can find it complete in box for $39.60, at the moment there aren’t any loose ones listed though mine was like $2.