You might be asking “There are a bajillion similar digging games out there, what makes this one so special?" Well, this is a case of the game having a certain je ne sais quoi, as they say. I think what I love most about Doug Dug is how it’s the perfect embodiment of risk vs reward. You have a natural desire to go after every single treasure you see, and it’s often that greedy mentality that will lead you into a situation where the roof literally caves in on you. There’s a lot of random elements too, so even if you do try to play as conservatively as possible, you never know when an enemy might just come out of nowhere and kill you, or you might accidentally get trapped next to a box of dynamite and blow yourself up, or the ground beneath you might give way and you fall all the way down to your death. There are just SO many variables that each game is filled with excitement, and especially for those moments when you somehow evade the deadly situations you come across. Like most traditional roguelikes, this game has the power to absolutely screw you over out of nowhere, but also some seriously thrilling and memorable moments where you narrowly escape being screwed over out of nowhere.
Like I alluded to, Doug Dug is one of those games that’s a bit hard to understand why it’s so special until you actually put in a little time and learn its many nuances. It’s designed to be played with just one thumb and for years now it’s been one of my go-to games for when I have a little time to kill and don’t want to have to think too hard about what to play. The only problem is that I often find myself playing for far longer than I originally intended because of the strong “one more try" allure of Doug Dug. Our own Shaun Musgrave