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October 11, 2009
Digger HD - PS3 Review
Release Launch Price Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
9/10/2009$AU14.95Creat StudiosCreat Studios1-2None
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating

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Digger HD on the Playstation 3.
If you can remember the original Digger then, like me, your age is probably well into the 30's. Released in 1983 the original game became a classic on the PC at a time when the Intel 80286 CPU running at 6 or 8Mhz was the best on the market, and video cards were still a year away from making the monumental shift to 16-colour EGA graphics with 256kb RAM. Funnily enough running Digger on anything but the original 4.77Mhz Intel 8088 CPU's made this game virtually unplayable.

So here we are 26 years after the original games release and we have an updated version called Digger HD. The premise of the game is the same, drive around a truck collecting diamonds and gold while avoiding enemy monsters. That's obviously a big of a simplification, but sums it up in a sentence. For more details, read on...

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Finding one of the artifacts.
Completing a level is simple; collect all the diamonds, or defeat all the enemies. In terms of scoring each diamond collected earns you 25 points, while eight in a row gives a bonus 250 points. While you can dodge enemies, you can shoot them with a rechargeable gun on your digger. Each enemy killed earns 250 points. Dropping a bag to spill the gold will give you 500 points if you collect the gold before the enemies get to it, and you can also kill enemies by landing the bags of gold on them. Some of the levels include artifacts to discover, the reward, 5000 points.

There are several game modes on offer in Digger HD. Arcade (which gives you 60 levels to complete), Survival (where you have one life to see how far you can progress), Co-Op Arcade (two players working together), Co-Op Survival and Vintage Mode (yes, the original 1983 game is included!). What makes this game so special is the gameplay. It has that "one more go" gameplay where, well, you'll struggle to put the controller down. Of course there are trophies to collect as well.

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The bonus level in Digger HD.
In terms of disappointments the biggest is the lack of online co-op gameplay. The game is perfectly suited to co-op gameplay as is seen in Co-op Arcade and Co-Op Survival modes, and we can't see this game taxing online gameplay or lag, so it is disappointing to not see any online gameplay here.

There are a couple of other items we would have loved to see although ultimately in terms of the game that is there, it's very solid, so these are more of a wish list. How about the ability to create your own levels - the game is pretty simple in design and it could have been fun. The leader boards show high scores between needing to restart, but how about overall high scores for all the levels you've completed in Arcade mode, or highest scores for each level or each of the three worlds of 20 levels? Finally I would have loved to have seen a "bonus" world which introduced new enemies, new challenges, or new collectables. Sure, it would have gone against the "Remake" of the original, but would have been a nice bonus.

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The menu system is pretty slick..
Of course the audio and visuals have been given a pretty major upgrade from the 1983 game. Running at 1080p the graphics are sharp and hold a solid frame rate, while retaining the style of the originals. This is hardly pushing the PS3, but you can't really update this too dramatically, could you update Tetris? Not really... Audio is highlighted with music from Candie Hank, Gangpol & Mit and GNG. While updated dramatically from the 1983 game, it still fits in with the game with a semi-retro, semi-modern feel.

Digger HD was a great puzzle game back in 1983, and this update is more then worthy. In fact, I wish more developers would update their games with similar mindsets in mind - don't mess with the original! Great visuals, solid audio and engrossing "one more go" gameplay makes this a worthy purchase.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy through the PS3's Playstation Store.
GRAPHICSRunning at 1080p (apparently) this game is basic, but gets the job done nicely enough.
SOUNDThe music is somewhat catchy, and basic effects.
GAMEPLAYIt's pretty addicitve, lovers of the original will love this.
VALUECould have done with some more maps, and online gameply, but for $14.95 who's complaining.
OVERALLDigger HD is a superb update to a classic game. Well worth a purhcase if you love the original (or remember it like us!), but also for fans of puzzle games.

Talk about Digger HD in this forum topic now.