Game Info:

Digger Dan DX
Developed by: Four Horses
Published by: Four Horses
Release date: May 19, 2016
Available on: 3DS
Genre: Action, Puzzle
Number of Players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10 and Up (Fantasy Violence)
Price: (Introductory) $0.99 (Regularly) $1.99

Thank you Four Horses for sending us a review code.

Back in 2011, Digger Dan and Kaboom was released as DSiWare. Now five years later, Four Horses has decided to re-release it, albeit with a new coat of paint.

Digger Dan DX features all 100 caves from the original game, and they are noticeably more vibrant. Spread out between four different themed sections, the first 25 levels teach the player all the mechanics of the game. The first caves, known as the Training caves, start off relatively simple. They quickly become more complex in achieving a 3-star completion ranking. There's also a high score feature. This encourages players to find everything in the caves as quickly as possible.

Every cave has two requirements: collect all the gems and exit the cave with time remaining, and collect the hidden gem. As long as these two tasks are completed, a 3-star ranking is guaranteed. Additionally, there are gold bricks that can be collected for bonus points. These are usually hidden or placed out of the way of the player. Now the obvious challenge comes from the enemies. All of the enemies have their own unique movement patterns. Because Dan can only be hit once, learning the paths and reactions of enemies is absolutely necessary.

Digger Dan DX

Strong Points: Low introductory price; Intricate cave layouts; Fantastic upbeat music; Excellent frame rate.
Weak Points: 3D is a bit of a distraction when turned on; Dan has a huge hit box; Would have benefited from more collectibles.
Moral Warnings: Dan can be crushed by rocks in a comical fashion, enemies can also be crushed by rocks or blown up by barrels of TNT.

Gameplay consists of Dan walking around the caves from a top-down perspective, collecting gems and searching for the exit. This can be confusing at first as you'll quickly learn that rocks aren't parallel to Dan, and actually have height. Even if a rock appears to be right beside you, depending on if it's a smooth round rock, it will crush you if you walk down from its original position. This is another essential aspect to the game. Players will need to consider exactly where rocks will fall in order to avoid being crushed. Enemies also can kill Dan even if it appears no contact was made. It would seem that Dans' hit box is the size of the entire square he occupies. This resulted in far too many deaths from speedier enemies. With more patience, these deaths are avoidable.

About halfway through the Training caves you'll be introduced to Kaboom. Kaboom cannot move rocks or other objects like Dan, but he can fit through narrow passages, which is essential to completing certain caves. Each cave that utilizes Dan and Kaboom is well thought out in how both characters must be maneuvered around the caves. Caves that have Kaboom must be completed with him first before Dan can exit. This made me want to explore more with Kaboom, and if possible, just leave Dan by his exit.

Digger Dan DX
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 82%
Gameplay - 16/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 8/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 96%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

The simplicity of Digger Dan DX cannot be understated. This most likely comes from the fact that this style of game is over 30 years old! Anyone who remembers Boulder Dash will be perfectly at home here. Not to say that this is a complete rip-off. There's enough variation in Digger Dan to keep the two separate though.

I cannot recommend this game enough. It has an introductory price of a single dollar! This will go up to a staggering $1.99 at the end of this promotion though. The amount of content for the price alone is absolutely incredible. When you break it down, every cave would only cost you a penny each. How could one possibly say no to that?



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