I thought I would never find a game just as hard or as frustrating as Spelunky, while still being addictive. Crash Override, which will be the subject of another review, was fortunately not addicting. Another game, Geometry Rush, made me rage onscreen when I realized that it was even harder. Then I sensibly quit and played Spelunky, dying a few times. I did learn that games that induce swearing on streams were popular with my friends.
Then I received a review code for D.I.G., short for Deep in Galaxies. It is another roguelike, and as a result, is super hard with no save points. I played on the stream after spending the summer in another state. All the things that could go wrong did, from man-eating plants to blobs and jellyfish that annoyed me. Sometimes missiles would hit me out of nowhere, and I'd be scouring the screen to find out where they came from
"Wow, congrats!" I said on the stream. "You officially have replaced Spelunky as the annoying game that I cannot stop playing. I did not even think that it was possible."
Welcome to The Resistance
You are a random citizen on a planet. One day, a planet-digging ship is sent, causing explosions around your home. Fed up, you decide to hijack the ship and join with the Resistance. All you have to do is survive hostile wildlife, including bats - BATS! Why does every roguelike have hostile bats? Wasps also go for you, along with green blobs that have no face. Once you kill the ship's owner, steal his key, and enter the ship, you can go wherever you like in the galaxy.
Different planets have unique missions and levels of difficulty; fortunately, you don't need to backtrack after completing a mission, and you retain your health. If you play the in-game tutorial, you at least get more health from potions and a larger array of weapons. Skipping the tutorial means that you can enter the ship with much more damage, and that will affect your future performance. If you exit the game, you can return to the same spot as long as you haven't died. Your progress is saved as long as you stay alive, shockingly enough for a game of this genre.
You can alternate between two starting weapons, a shotgun or a knife, and you'll find other weapons in boxes. You have to travel around different planets to get the power-ups that you need, and certain power-ups will allow you to change out your weapons. The shotgun is better for range, but it can run out of ammo really quickly. Meanwhile, with the knife, you have to aim correctly, or an arrow will hit you in the wrong area. You can send them ricocheting back and last longer, as a result.
I played for roughly an hour and died about seven times. It was only with the tutorial that I had made more progress than before, in part because I had been given more healing items. After a 54-minute stream, I gave up and realized that I wasn't going to save a level any time soon.
Is This the Game for Me?
Possibly? It certainly is addicting, and I can't argue with the sensation of victory when being able to even complete one planet or not die within a few minutes. You also get competition when seeing how you compare with other players on an international level, that you can go very far and rank higher the more progress that you make. Thankfully, you don't go down in ranks if you perform worse in one area compared to the other.
With that said, it is going to take a while to master the game. Defeating Spelunky became a matter of pride, and D.I.G. has not reached that point yet. I can turn off D.I.G. when it becomes too frustrating. That is both a good and a bad thing in that I'm not attached to the story yet.
Speaking of the story, it serves as an excuse to get the player out into space. It also feels strange that each player character decides to join the resistance out of a fit of anger. If anything, they should be angrier that the local environment is trying to kill them on a regular basis. We didn't do anything to the plants, the bats, the wasps, and the rats that seem to have it out for us.
D.I.G. is fun and annoying at the same time. I recommend it if the player has the time and energy to learn from their mistakes and die multiple times. If you're not a roguelike person, then prepare for pain. Lots of pain.
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