When I Dig It was released this summer, I downloaded the game and enjoyed it, but had a feeling the game might be just a little too niche to have much widespread appeal. I turned out to be amazingly incorrect, as the game was both somewhat of a sensation on our forums, and spent a surprising amount of time at the top of the App Store sales charts. If you were one of the many people who enjoyed I Dig It, you will be happy to know that I Dig It Expeditions [App Store] takes the same popular formula of the original and improves upon it in nearly every way imaginable.
In the first game, you played as a farmer who was down on his luck and was just mere hours away from getting his farm taken by the bank when he decided to outfit his tractor as a digger and go hunting for subterranean treasures beneath his homestead. The sequel assumes that you successfully paid the bank back, and have decided to travel the world with your digger seeking even more exotic underground treasures.
I Dig It Expeditions shares the same virtual joystick controls as the original to control your digger's movement along with a series of new buttons that allow you to access all the new goodies. My favorite addition is an in-game map and waypoint system, which has made the game much more fun to play as getting lost in your series of tunnels and running out of gas is a thing of the past.
Another substantial improvement is a complete overhaul to the inventory system in game, along with a whole bundle of new consumable items to buy. These items take space in your digger, and you must intelligently manage how many of these consumables you carry while still leaving enough room left over for the various things you will dig up in order for the trip below to be profitable.
Consumables range from all kinds of different explosives to things which have an effect on your digger itself such as boosting the power of your radar temporarily or repairing a small amount of hull damage. And of course just like the original, with enough money you can upgrade nearly every aspect of the digger.
As mentioned previously, the gimmick of I Dig It Expeditions is that you're taking your digger on a worldwide journey, and some of the locales will require further modifications of your digger. For instance, there's a level where you go digging in an underwater trench, and instead of managing your fuel and heat levels, you need to keep an eye on your oxygen and water pressure gauges.
Each level has a distinct look and feel to it, and each level can either be played in expedition, free play, and money or points challenge. In expedition mode, you follow what could be best described as a basic quest system which will have you looking for certain locations, items, or other objectives. Free play is self explanatory, and while doing money or points challenges you see how quickly you can reach the goals for each level.
The graphics and sound in the game are even more impressive than the original, and the amount of style on even the most seemingly insignificant user interface elements really exhibits how much time and effort went in to this game. For instance, the new map system could have been as simple as just a basic set of lines showing your path, but instead the map screen is animated with visual effects to make it look like you're viewing your path on an old green screened oscilloscope.
If you enjoyed the original, there is absolutely no reason to not pick up the sequel. They took everything about the original, freshened it up, and repackaged it in to something that feels like an entirely new game instead of just an expansion of the first. Of course, if you never played I Dig It, I recommend giving the free lite version a try. It's obviously lacking the upgrades and improvements found in the sequel, but it will give you a good idea of what the core gameplay is like.
If you want to know more about I Dig It Expeditions, check out the thread in our forums and be sure to listen to next week's podcast where we will discuss the past, present, and future of the world of I Dig It with the game's developers.
App Store Link: I Dig It Expeditions, $2.99