Welcome Time Wasters!
This week I had a hard time pulling myself away from other games to find a Time Waster. Those who have read my reviews and heard me in podcasts know that I love retro games and RPGs. That being said, it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that I lost myself in Earthbound this week. Yes, I have played through the game before, but that was several years ago and I’d forgotten just how easily that game pulls me in.
I did however manage to excavate the internet in an endeavor to find a game to spend my time on. What I dug up was a game called Dig To China.
Dig To China is an 2-D game that puts players in the role of a man trying to dig through the Earth’s core and make it to China. There really isn’t a story to the game other than that.
Digging games have been on the rise in the past couple of years. Minecraft is what brought the genre into the spotlight and since then more and more have been coming out. I’m alright with this. For some reason, I really like digging games . Maybe it has to do with the fact that I can literally see the results of my virtual labor? No matter what, the popularity of these types of games can’t be denied.
Gameplay in Dig To China has the basics of many other digging games (ex. Terraria, Full Bore and Mega Miner). Players dig as far down as they can and use materials to upgrade their equipment so that they can get farther. Unlike other digging games, Dig To China gives players a time limit for how long they can dig before they have to start from the beginning. Time can be extended by grabbing clocks and using items like drills and pack moles to temporarily freeze time.
There are several things in Dig To China that players can upgrade to make their excavations easier. The main one is the miner’s pickax. Upgrading this item allows players to dig faster. Drills give the player a head start on the clock by dropping them far underground without the time running. Upgrading pack moles increases the chance of running into one, which will give the player a free ride farther underground. Players can also upgrade how much time they have to dig and can buy bombs to help them along the way.
One complaint I do have with Dig to China is its length. I know that when it comes to Time Wasters I usually look for games that can be played in short spurts or in just a few minutes, but Dig To China is really short. China is only 350 meters away and is really easy to get to. I squeezed some extra time out of the game by getting all the upgrades and then I played it more just to do some challenges that I had created for myself. For example, it takes roughly 40 bombs to dig straight to China without using the pickax. I would love to see an extended version of this game that had additional upgrades and made the trip to China last longer.
Graphics in Dig To China follow the indie trend of emulating a retro look. The graphics are really simple, not quite as limited as The Last Door series, but they also aren’t on the same level as Terraria or Full Bore either.
Audio in Dig To China is good as well. There is only one song in the game, but one song for a short game isn’t bad. The tune is also very upbeat and helped make digging through the Earth a more enjoyable experience. The game also has some solid sound effects.
Overall, I’ve really enjoyed my time with Dig To China. The game takes the simple joke of digging to China and actually turns it into an enjoyable experience. The gameplay is simple but fun and it has some nice graphics and audio. My biggest complaint with the game is how short it is, but then again, it’s free.
Dig To China mines 3.5 Gin Gems out of 5 from this reviewer.