The Game: You are Dig Dug, an intrepid gardener whose soil is infested with pesky Pookas and fire-breathing Fygars. You’re armed with your trusty pump, which you can use to inflate your enemies until, finally, they blow up. But both the Pookas and Fygars can crawl through the ground and can pop out into your tunnels, and if a Fygar sneaks up behind you, he can toast you if you’re not careful. Who said landscaping was easy? (Atari [under license from Namco], 1982)
Memories: Dig Dug, with its animÃ¨-inspired cutesy characters and exceedingly simple game play, was a wonderfully easy game to learn, and it didn’t take much effort to reach a high score. (Dig Dug II, on the other hand, relied on a strange pseudo-3D, slightly-but-not-quite-overhead perspective which added to the difficulty, creating problems similar to playing Zaxxon or Congo Bongo.) With its simplicity and cuteness, Dig Dug was big with the younger set.
Dig Dug spawned a little-known 1985 sequel from Namco, Dig Dug II, in which Dig is trying to irrigate a series of islands, and once again finds himself fending off Pookas and Fygars above ground, able to dispatch them by either pumping them up (as in the original Dig Dug), or by submerging a portion of the island containing the offending critters.
Numerous successful adaptations of Dig Dug were made, and some of them, like the Atari 2600 version, were even easier than the arcade game, allowing a single session to be stretched out as long as a half hour or longer. Nowadays, perfect emulations of the game can be played on a PC and most consoles.