In the 80’s I spent a lot of time and quarters at local arcades. I couldn’t get enough of Zaxxon, Defender, Centipede, Pac-Man and Missile Command. One of my all-time favorites was Dig Dug. It’s a simple game of digging through the ground and eliminating all the Pookas. BY BLOWING THEM UP WITH A TIRE PUMP! I loved that game.
Last year Tasty Minstrel Games released a new game, Big Dig, which could have been billed as an analog version of that classic arcade game. It’s best described as a “choose-n-write” game, a subset of the currently popular class of games known as “roll-n-write”. Rolled West is a good example of this type of game, as are Hex Roller and Fleet Dice.
Big Dig supports up to four players who each begin the game with a two-sided player board and a dry-erase marker. Ten goal cards are shuffled together and three are dealt out face up to one side of the table. These cards dictate the winning condition of the current Big Dig game. The five digging cards are laid out to the center of the play area with either side (random) facing up.
Each player board is identical, making Big Dig a race to see who can complete the goals listed on the goal cards first. These will range from collecting all the emeralds or amethyst, connecting water elements or even exploding five rocks (shoot, no Pookas to eliminate…). An addendum to the printed rules is included and advertised for “expert players”. We suggest using them right away, even if it is your first game as it does seem to make the game play more balanced. Based upon your turn order, you will dig (cross off) 0-3 dirt spaces on your board following normal digging rules (more on this in a second).
On your turn you will take one of the digging card from the tableau and place it in front of you. You may then “dig” dirt squares on your board by crossing them out in a shape matching the one depicted on your chosen card. You may rotate or mirror the shape, but may only dig through beige-colored squares to make your downward path.
At least one of the newly-dug squares must either touch the surface or be orthogonally adjacent to a square previous removed. Alternately, instead of digging, you may elect to explode one square adjacent to your path. This is the only way you can remove rocks (grey squares).
If there are no more digging cards to choose from, all players return their cards to the center and flip them to the opposite side. Play continues in clockwise order until one person is able to complete all three of the challenges shown on the goal cards. The game ends immediately and that person wins Big Dig!
You can find this quick 10-minute game on Amazon or via your favorite local game store for under $15. If you’re not familiar with Tasty Minstrel Games, make sure you check out their website and social media feeds (Facebook, Twitter) to dig up details about all their other amazing games!
What was your favorite classic arcade game?