Originally planned as an episode of Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories, then later a movie, It was deemed too expensive to produce at that time. Couple years later you bring together Spielberg, Orson Scott Card, Brian Moriarty (who was behind some of Infocom's greats) and LucasArts and you get The Dig.
Interesting development history aside, i really enjoy this game. I got it when it came out back in '95 and still own the original box and soundtrack. The Dig wasn't your typical lighthearted LucasArts adventure game dealing with survival and death on an alien world. In some cases that made for a challenging game, as a lot of the alien devices required a good bit of finagling to figure out how to solve them. Back then, there wasn't an internet readily available to turn to when you got stumped. The game could get frustrating in that aspect but there was still plenty to like; The serious nature of the setting, Robert Patrick voicing the main character (LucasArts games were getting a lot better in the voice department when they started getting Talkie versions of their games), the alien landscapes and the ambient music by Michael Land.
Yes, i grew up in the golden age of adventure games, so i am going to be a bit bias about these gems that i love. Point n' Click is pretty much ingrained into my being and will always feel second nature to me. Doesn’t mean someone can't stumble upon The Dig, give an almost 20 year old game a spin and still find something really special. These hand drawn graphics still remain pleasing to me heh.
51 people found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
12.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 5, 2015
The Dig is a facinating piece of DOS game history. The development history of the game is almost as interesting as the game itself, and I recommend you look it up.
By modern gaming standards, I'm not sure if I would call it a 'good' game but there are lots of good things about it. These good things include gorgeous visuals and amazing sound design.
I have to be brutally honest, though. You are probably not going to be able to complete this game without a walkthrough. This game is full of classic point and click puzzle bs. Items you're supposed to interact with can be hard to find among the lush background art, and the game's hints can be cryptic at best. This game's puzzles will make you feel things. Most of these things will be frustration, but it's a very special type of frustration you don't get from modern games. I admit that it's a rewarding feeling to figure out a puzzle on your own
A big selling point of the game is the cinematic writing, and there definitely is a cinematic feel. The quality of the writing declines as the game progresses, though. It feels rushed in my opinion.There are some genuinely funny moments, but at times you may be frustrated with the characters' stupidity. Actually, this is sort of a plus for me since I found it amusing. Then again, I think Plan 9 From Outer Space is a science fiction masterpiece, so your mileage may vary.
I still enjoyed the game though, Maybe it's because I grew up on this stuff. But Despite it's flaws, you can tell there was a lot of effort put in. For the price, I say give it a shot.
28 people found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 7, 2017
When The Dig came out I remember getting my hands on it and simply going mental all around. The Turtle puzzle is insane, still today! Never use a walktrough. Just feel it. Immerse yourself in a timeless sci-fi adventure with all the needed ingredients of an outstanding game. Of course I am a pre internet product, hence a very old point and click lover.
Nevertheless. This game is a must have for those who enjoy quality adventure games! Just Buy the "LucasArts Adventure Pack" because it well worth it!
All the other games in the pack have their own special story of mine. Since i grew with them all and finished them all...
I do have a "BackerGuiltCertificate" for all those oldschool moments of Life :D
18 people found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
5.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 7, 2015
Despite a few unintuitive puzzles and a healthy dose of scifi cheesiness (particularly in the third act), The Dig deserves its place on many 'Best Adventure Games of All Time' lists. I first played it twenty years after its release, yet I still found it absorbing and enjoyable.
High-quality production values and voice-acting (for the time), excellent music, and a decent message beyond the typical 'beware of technological solutions to existential problems' scifi standard: ('don't aspire toward a next life to the detriment of the one you're already living') .
A legendary game, yet one of LucasArts' lesser known pieces due to its somewhat-awkward presentation. The DIG started as an idea by Steven Spielbeg that he soon abandoned with nowhere to take it, handing it over to his friend George Lucas' studio to make something out of it. What they created was something magical. An odyssey into space and the man's determination to survive and explore.
Playing as the aging astronaut Commander Boston Low, you must traverse a strange and marvellously deadened world beyond our reach, of a planet long abandoned by most of its former inhabitants. Joined by his two crewmates being the severe reporter Maggie Robbins and the cool-minded geologist Ludger Brink, Boston must use his natural survival instincts and quick-witted skills of human engineering to try and formulate a way to escape, explore, and uncover the origins of this mysterious planet, and how they must find their way back home.
While the DIG may not be LucasArts' best work by far, it is certainly not one you should miss if you love their library. The graphics are not the best, being that while the LucasArts style works well for more cartoony games such as Sam & Max or Monkey Island, it's a little more uncertain to do so with actual human characters and as a result they can look rather off during cutscenes. Like "monkeys wearing human masks" off.
Nevertheless the rest of the game shines through with its pure atmosphere. The graphics for its weird alien backgrounds are gorgeous, the sound design is just absolutely at the top of its game more than ever from LucasArts with roaring waves, howling winds, deep resonance within space and the most oddest of creatures wallowing and shrieking from all around you.
The dialogue is rather snarky in about 80% of its places but that only makes it more fun with the likes of Steve Blum and Robert Patrick delivering the most deadpan of deliveries. The puzzles are...infamous to say the least and in truth one or two of them could have been much better designed. I'll give you a hint for free, the head of the skeleton is not meant to be on the top left, but bottom right.
Regardless, I say go ahead if you love LucasArts' work, and try out this gem from the past that, while is a little rough around the edges and is perhaps at the lower end of their library, is nevertheless one worthy of playing if you are a fan of such games.
25 people found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
Old-school Lucasarts Adventure games are famous for setting the standard in storyline and puzzles. The Dig was at the epitome of this company's era and it still shines bright. Great graphics for its time and a well voiced cast made this stand out and it still does due its storyline. The puzzles can be very difficult at times, but the challenge is well rewarded with the continuation of its storyline. You are part of a crew that goes to explore a meteor that has approached Earth. As you explore the meteor you find out that it's not a meteor and soon you are sent to the depths of space where you have figure out how to come back to Earth alive.
I remember when I was a little kid there was a friend of mine that strongly advised me to play The Dig. I didn't have any money on my own and my parents were very strict in spending money with videogames so I never had any chance to try it... Until 20 years later I bought it on Steam... MUAHUAHUAHUAHUA! Ok, so I knew already this is a classic point & click adventure, made by the Great and Storical Lucas Arts which was leader in the sector so it was a guarantee on its own. What I didn't know was the subject and part of the plot was from Steven Spielberg... OK, not entirely, because this game took 5 years to develop, and there have been many different directors that changed, partly and sometimes completely, the game. Anyways you can feel the Spielberg touch, this is a beautiful science fiction adventure. The premise might look boring and quite abused, but remember this is a 1995 game: a giant asteroid is going to crash on earth. A team of astronauts with different specializations are being sent to blow it up and limit the impact damage. And now comes the first plot twist: once the field team blows up the minor charges to crack an opening to blow the asteroid from the inside, the find inner chambers and kind of technologic manufacts. As soon as they put together a few parts the asteroid morphs into a poliedric spaceship that brings the team to an abandoned planet, Almost dead with traces of civilization, mysterious artifacts and astonishing landscapes. Here our team will struggle to find a way to get back to planet Earth between internal conflicts and amazing discoveries. So... Yes, the story and the characters are amazing as well as the music, and the puzzles are not extreme and illogical, they just require some wandering, exploration and logic.
STORY. One of the most important sides of an adventure, besides puzzles, is the story and here we have an amazing story. As already said even though the premise might look already seen a thousand times the plot twist demonstrates you know nothing and you have seen nothing. Everything happens in the unknown planet and the revelations you'll discover, together with the conclusion (with a minor but not so different alternate ending) is something that will amaze and make you wonder why nobody made a movie out of this. And actually this was supposed to be a movie as this game came from a Spielberg's idea, but the cost at the time was excessive, so...
CHARACTERS. I admit I didn't relate too much to the three protagonists at the beginning, but the more you hear dialogues, and you see their interactions, the more I've appreciated them. I really liked the dialogues, their conflicts and the moments when Boston Law is on his own speaking and commenting about stuff on his own.
MUSIC. Another very strong point of the game: beautiful strings and atmosphere tracks always accompany your journey in this unknown world. On top of that a dynamic engine will make music change according to your actions (this only in few particular situations, of course)
INCOMPATIBILITIES. Of course this is the classic Ol game released and forgotten so when you play you'll see a small window pop up... And you can't set any option. Luckily there's always the Steam community ready to help, so I quickly found out that I had to check the DPI options in the compatibility tab of dig.exe properties, while for the full screen the good old ALT+ENTER will just work fine... B-)
DURATION. Unfortunately it's quite short. Even though there are long dialogue sections this game really didn't lasted too long and it's a great pity... I Demand Moar!!! XD
14 people found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 27, 2017
The Dig is one of the best games of its time and probably one of the best point & click adventure games i've ever played. Some puzzles are arguably quite difficult to solve but they don't detract anything from the overall quality of the game. It might sound like a blasphemous thing to say but I wouldn't mind a remastered version similar to what they did with monkey island.