There’s a wonderful charm in modern games that call back to the simpler times of their predecessors. My love for Snakeybus comes from the fact that, for all of its modern updates, it’s still just Snake. In the same vein, Dig Dog is a great fresh take on the basic concept of Dig Dug.
This arcade-style game has you playing as a dog as you dig your way through 1-bit environments. You can dig sideways and down, jump, and do a dash that digs through dirt and defeats enemies. Your goal in each level is to find a bone at the bottom of the stage, which then sends you rocketing to the next.
There is some slightly rogue-ish progression in Dig Dog. You start each run with only two hearts, meaning you can get hit twice before you die and start over. However, you also collect coins that can be used at occasional shops to purchase additional health, bigger jumps, and some other upgrades. There are also checkpoints throughout the game. Once you finish a world, you can start your run from the start of the next instead of the very beginning.
Since you have such a small amount of health, games of Dig Dog don’t tend to last very long. Thankfully, the gameplay and loading is all quick and snappy. This is one of those games I'll pick up just to see if I can beat a few levels and I'll get stuck playing for hours. Along the way, you unlock different color palettes to use, and each completed “world” gives you a new place to start in your attempt to dig up all of the bones.
Dig Dog isn't a deep game, but it's one that is fun to dig into.