When one loooks back on the truly classic handful of video games that set the stage for what was to come and made a real mark with a simple, solid gameplay mechanic, one does not forget Namco's Dig Dug.  Released in 1982, Dig Dug challenges the player to eliminate level upon level of underground-dwelling monsters.  In a unique twist, Dig Dug arms the player with an air pump in order to inflate enemies to the point of exploding.  It was scads of fun.

dig_dug screen

And, now, that's fun you can carry around in your pocket.  Namco has just released Dig Dug REMIX [App Store], an iPhone port of the '80s classic, to the App Store.

dig_dug_retroDig Dug REMIX for the iPhone features a graphically updated version of the arcade classic that strives to bring the dig / inflate / explode game mechanic into the 21st century.  Happily, a classic version featuring the original graphics and audio is also included.

Famous enemies, “Pooka” and “Fygar” also appear on the scene. Dig through the dirt while destroying all enemies using an air pump and rocks! With all the cool new features, this game is sure to deliver countless hours of digging fun.

Dig Dug REMIX offers two methods of controls: swipe-and-hold as well as a virtual D-pad arrangement.  In my time with the game, I found the swipe-and-hold method to be superior to the virtual D-pad, which is rather small and, as such, suffers from inaccuracy for anyone with human-sized fingers.  Niether control method is perfect, but at least swipe and hold presents a respectable chance of coherent control.

Whether you're a nostalgic arcade button-smasher or completely new to the game, you really can't go wrong with this new take on the classic known as Dig Dug.

See a gameplay video of the REMIX side of the action:

App Store Link: Dig Dug REMIX, $5.99

  • Jim

    MOVE!
    I was pleasantly surprised by this release. It plays quite well and the nostalgia value is through the roof.

  • David

    Half of the fun was causing the boulder to smash down on the baddies' head. I hope that move is still there, I kept waiting for it in the video.

    • Jim

      Oh, it is there. I squashed some baddies real good. That is the part I remembered most from childhood. For the first minute I even forgot I had a weapon at all.

  • iPhoneGamer

    Yes, you can still smash them with the boulder! This game is well worth the price. I'm happy I bought it!

  • Marc

    Looks like fun!

    But...

    I sure wish they'd just release a Namco Classic Pack for $10 already, these can't be worth $6 a pop, can they? Pole, Pac, Ms. Pac, Dig Dug, Galaga - $30? Really? Must be the REMIX factor... so where's the Pac and Ms. Pac REMIX?

    Have you seen the Namco list of games wiki? They got a bunch more to bring. Not jumping on board - can't afford to :)

  • ricky

    The price is nuts. These big companies get away with robbery. $2.99 would be more reasonable, $1.99 and I might even buy it.

    • http://www.silentrocco.com Rocco

      No, it's just nuts to scream for quality gaming wihout willing to pay more than three bugs. Please grow up. Demands like yours would bring an app store full of trash. You don't have to get every game. But please stop with the price debate.

      • ricky

        no it isn't. it's for an ipod/phone, not for a handheld console, let alone a real gaming console or the PC. These little games should not be priced anywhere close to those levels.

      • doug

        ok, i do agree it should be a little cheaper. like, $3.99. Heck, $4.99 would be better than what the price is currently. $5.99 is just too much.

  • Freeway82

    This is stupid, very stupid. Charging someone 6$ for this thrash? For a .99 cent game? I don't blame them since some loonies will buy it thus helping to perpetuate thrash like this coming to the appstore with criminal prices. Can't Namco make a game for the iphone from the ground up and quit pumping out these tired retro nonsense called REMIX that they are offering.

    • http://www.silentrocco.com Rocco

      Why ignoring great game concepts? Old stuff isn't always bad.
      Today many games are nothing more than cheap copies of original ideas.

      There is alot of trash out there. This definitely isn't.
      It's just not your kind of game. You should live with it.

  • Nexus-6

    Come on Namco, give us a Ridge Racer port or something.

  • sticktron

    Two games giving me Apple II flashbacks now, Archon and Dig Dug... woo!

    • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson
      • sticktron

        Nice! i didn't have fancy-shmancy color graphics though, only the green monochrome! Ahh, the good old days, where Mom would help me type out new games in BASIC from the books we'd buy or borrow from the library.

      • Jim

        My friend down the street had the green monochrome. Ours was more of an orangey-yellow.

  • -=XX=-Nephilim

    Bought it!

    Played it!

    Love it!

    Brings back the memories and plenty of fun :)

    Thanks for the heads up!

  • Constable Odo

    Would anyone know how much an Atari 5200 cartridge for Dig Dug would have cost in the 1980s. Since people are saying this game is overpriced, I just wanted to get a comparison. I'm thinking I paid about $20 for a 5200 game cartridge way back then, so why would $6 be way too much now. When a game is ported, doesn't it still take man-hours to do some re-coding?

    • Fattychance

      Yes, it takes man hours to do the re-coding, however, the distribution costs are dirt cheap, their is no physical property being charge, they have already covered much of the development costs, and the market is far huger.

      This game is worth $1.99 *CONSIDERING* that it is an established brand with an expectation of quality. They are charging $6 for a port of an old game when their ports to other platforms including custom hardware...could be had for much less per title.

      The only thing they get from the $6 pricing is the ability to do a meaningful half off sale since $3 is all it's worth.

      • Fattychance

        Wow. You can tell I'm distracted.

        huger? larger.

        Is it worth $1.99 or $2.99? Ok....maybe it's really worth $1.99 but at $2.99 I may get it for the nostalgia factor.

        Anyhow....

      • FFace

        They can certainly charge what they want and I don't begrudge them that. I do think the price is high, considering how many times we've seen variations of these arcade classics on different platforms before, as well as the competition from smaller game makers who are making great games at much lower prices. "Classic" arcade games are definitely an impulse buy (especially for those of us who've already bought Galaga three or four times in our lives, and who know of MAME as well) and tend to get boring quick once the nostalgia factor wears off, so $6 seems like a lot of money for something I may play ten times then forget about (maybe $2.50 would be MY price point... a quarter a game.)

        Then again, if someone put out Rampart I'd probably pay the $6.

        I do think these established companies are having a hard time lowering their prices, considering they're re-releasing the same games on other platforms as well. That's why the startups (IMO) are the way to go with the iPhone (and Wii, and I'd assume Xbox arcade, etc.) both in terms of innovation and price. It really reminds me of computer gaming in the 80s, where anyone who had programming skills and a great idea can get a game out there, and that's something that was really lost for a long time in the gaming world.

  • Zedd

    Every Namco game i have is unplayable (I'm looking at you Galaga and Pole Position) - controls are EVERYTHING for this retro gamer. They need to take a few lessons from the ATARI games. I will never get ripped off by them again

  • http://toucharcade triple beam dream

    Game is definitely worth the price of admission, being a huge 80's gamer it was that this was finally ported over. NAMCO continues to do a fantastic job, graphics and the two style of game is as it should, a nice touch. To all the whiners complaining about the price look elsewhere, preferable the discounted racks.

  • http://toucharcade triple beam dream

    Game is definitely worth the price of admission, being a huge 80\'s gamer fan I was happy that this was finally ported over. NAMCO continues to do a fantastic job, graphics, controls and the retro/remix version of games is awesome. To all the whiners complaining about the price look elsewhere, preferable the discounted racks at Walmart.

    • Marc

      I’m just voicing my opinion (like you are); if you don't agree with it, tough noogies.

  • endekks

    What?! WHAT!?

    How did I not feel a disturbance when this game was developed or even conceived? I am such a huge Dig Dug fan - and have been since its original release and I used to play it at the arcades when my mom was at the grocery store. I have t-shirts. I know that the guy's name isn't Dig Dug, but Hori Taizo. I even helped name a company as a parody on the name of the game. I even own an original cabinet - and the game still works.

    And I didn't know about this game until today? I think I may have to hang my head in shame - while playing this on my iPhone.