The Game: Dig Dug is back, and he’s still got a hoarde of Pookas and Fygars to exterminate – or else they’ll ruin his new island garden. Blowing the beasties up with Dig’s trusty pump will still work, but as a last resort, he can also drill into his island’s irrigation pipes and actually sink a part of the land into the sea, taking any enemies with it (and Dig too, if you’re not careful!). (Namco, 1985)
Memories: This sequel to one of the most beloved titles from the brief Namco/Atari licensing alliance is virtually unknown, primarily because Dig Dug II hit the arcades after the great video game industry crash of 1983. Honestly, I hadn’t even heard of it until MAME came along.
Dig Dug II is actually a very worthy successor to the extremely addictive (and almost painfully cute) Dig Dug, with one minor setback – the viewpoint is a pseudo-overhead view with shadows, unlike the original game’s purely 2-D graphics. Sometimes, when one is desperately trying to sink part of the island before it’s too late, this perspective problem can get your protagonist killed while you sit there helplessly thumping the drill button.
The islands change shape, sometimes at random, and sometimes spelling out N-A-M-C-O, the manufacturer.