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Review of The Dig by Adventure

Stars - 45

Rating by Adventure posted on Oct 2, 2012 | edit | delete

A timeless adventure from Spielberg and LucasArts that just missed its chance

A truly classic point and click. It’s very easy compared to other LucasArts games mainly because it doesn’t have those wacky random inventory puzzles that plagued the genre now and then.

Very noticeable is the standard of production, which could be argued to be the best of any SCUMM game:

The animation is smooth and precise, the lovingly crafted pixel-art backgrounds look just as beautiful now as they did then, displaying a great sense of depth, perspective, composition, color and detail. I’d take graphics like that over late 90s/early 00s’ horrendous static CGI backgrounds anyday. Hell, this 256-color palette is more vibrant than the brown truecolor sludge you find in most modern games.

What’s more the soundtrack is also one of my favorites and combined with the graphics creates a startling sense of place and atmosphere. The Dig is desolate without feeling drab, deserted without feeling empty. It feels foreign and hostile yet beckons exploration. The voice acting is great - Robert Patrick as Boston Low being the highlight here -  especially compared to what today’s standard is for adventure games.

Boston and his team have fully realized personalities and play well off each other. The dialogue is great with a touch of humor that fits the situation really well without veering into the slapstick that defines more cartoony LucasArts games.

Is it perfect? Not quite. It’s fairly short and the ending is a bit of a let down. But looking back The Dig has held up. It’s aged better than most games of that era despite getting panned at release after being plagued with delays.

In my opinion it is a greatly underrated game and I can’t wait to explore it again.

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Time Played: 5-10 hours

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