☆ Review: Dig Or Die - "Bring an umbrella, wellies and a plasma shotgun" ☆

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Dig Or Die - PC
Welcome to the world of Gaddy Games’ Video Game Dig or Die!
The story is that you are an intergalactic salesman who unfortunately crash-lands on a very wet planet, in order to escape you need to gather all of the relevant materials in order to build a rocket ship to blast off-world to safety, or at least somewhere dryer…..like Snowdonia.

As a tower defence/crafting/exploration game, there are strong comparisons to be made to Terraria etc. however Dig or Die has a much more streamlined style of narrative and gameplay. Although some players could feel that Dig or Die does lack some of the depth and variety that Terraria offers. This is a world of survival and escape, not a playground to build some cottages with thatched roofs and a rose-garden with a rockery.

The controls for Dig or Die are quite intuitive and straightforward; currently, I don’t believe that gamepad support is available, although as the menus and building options aren’t as labyrinthine as other games in this genre, it does seem possible that it could be implemented with future updates. As it currently stands, the WASD keys control movement and jumping whilst the mouse aims your weapon and dictates building/item placement on the screen.

There is a tip screen available for access at any time during gameplay and I must admit it’s one of the cleanest and most concise systems I’ve seen used in a game, it captures all the relevant important points and gives a rough guide on how to get you started in Dig or Die without being overly onerous. After a couple of minutes of flicking through the pages, I felt like I fully grasped the concept and controls and could dive in to getting my ship back together……after collecting dozens of various plants and scrap metal, natch.
I’d also like to say that the fact that Dig or Die is an early access release doesn’t detract one bit, this feels like a very complete game and runs perfectly, I didn’t come across a single glitch or issue during my time playing through, it could very easily pass as a complete game.
Dig or Die sports very Sharp graphics although smaller items can be indistinct and item descriptions could be preferable as an option to toggle from the in-game menu. I found the overall audio / visual aesthetic of the game very ‘Amiga 1200’ in a good sense, mainly through the choice of music, sound effects and the overall colour palette. Speaking of the music, it’s ambient and fantastic (the names of my two hamsters) and the soft sound effects suit the mood of the game and compliment the soundtrack. The music also changes frequently which adds a nice variety to Dig or Die, I was especially a fan of the various pieces that kicked in during the more frenetic night-time parts of the game when the enemies attack in waves, it’s very cool.

As previously touched upon, attacks from enemies can be frantic and some players could find that this gets in the way of the construction side of the game, quite often I would be trying to work out what to build next or what items I need are in order to proceed and I’d get be attacked mercilessly, however the whole game is quite fast-paced and this design is part of the package, the crafting side of things is more for practical use than decoration.
I logged onto the multiplayer a few times and whilst there were always a few matches on the go, it was quite difficult to join them. I did launch a new multiplayer match but during my time playing, no-one joined and so my experience with the game was purely single player. Although I would like to say that multiplayer is a new feature added literally a few days ago and so hopefully this will become more vibrant as more people play the game. To clarify the game is (at present) online multiplayer only with no local co-op.
Death in Dig or Die is permanent although there are save-game slots available so it’s not a case of restarting each time, you can quick save at any point with a quick tap of the trusty ‘F5’ key.
Dig or Die is very well scripted in the gameplay mechanics. I like the idea that a new monster will only attack you in the night cycles if you kill it, this means that initially you are only attacked by dogs and mutant flies which aren’t too bad, however the further you progress through the game, digging or travelling further afield to find the right shell for your next armour or a rarer plant to make your new generator (obviously), the harder the nights will be. 

This isn’t a game about building a pretty house with nice furniture, this is pure survival, you will be building turrets, guns and armour…and hiding underground hoping that you don’t drown in a flood. The game features regenerative health although you can craft various healing potions to speed up the process. One real plus for me in Dig or Die was that there was no micromanaging of items as there doesn’t seem to be a limit on what your character can carry so the gameplay is more action-based than strategic.

For future updates, I can imagine it would be tempting for players to ask for more updates for armour, enemy types, weaponry, building materials etc. and whilst it is tempting to ask for this, the game is already so succinct and streamlined in its design, it could be a case that additions would detract from the pace of the game at present. The game world isn’t randomly generated, it’s carefully constructed and for me, this is a welcome change from the recent plethora of procedurally generated games, especially in this genre, it’s a welcome change to play something that is so precisely designed whilst also having a sandbox quality feel.
Quite frankly, it’s worth the purchase just for the awesome music that kicks in at night.
Right, I’m off to spend the evening hiding in a tunnel filled with slowly rising water whilst the sounds of alien death-howls and plasma turrets fill the air.



Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Just Falls Short Of Greatness)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

Game Link: Steam
Dev Link: Gaddy Games

Reviewed By Britt
(from @kingdomofcarts)

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