Version Reviewed: 1.001
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
Dig a Way could easily be described as a reverse platformer. Where most games in this genre require players to jump up on top of ledges to reach a goal, Dig a Way is all about digging and falling deeper and deeper down mine shafts. This novel re-envisioning is just the beginning of its appeal, though. With charming and beautiful visuals, phenomenal animation, and solid level design, Dig a Way is a very compelling package.
Since Dig a Way is a reverse platformer, there is no jump button to speak of. Instead players can move left or right and dig down, with the ultimate goal of each level being to collect as much gold and treasure as possible. Along the way, the game presents obstacles like stones that cannot be dug through and rabid mole-like creatures, but the real challenge and fun reside in the level design.
Because players cannot jump in Dig a Way, traversal forces players to consider multiple options of lateral movement before dropping down. Although there are many easy paths down deeper into any level, not all of them are viable for collecting treasure, earning a perfect three-star clear rating, or simply surviving. To make things even more complicated, Dig a Way features a dash system, levels with falling ceilings, boulder puzzles, and more - all of which make the challenges of traversal ever more puzzling and satisfying.
Dig a Way features no ads at all. Instead, free players have access to the first 18 stages, with the option of unlocking new sets of maps that all present new hazards, enemies, and more. Although 18 levels may not sound like a lot of content, it is definitely enough for players to decide if paying a few bucks to play more is worth it.
The only real problem with Dig a Way is its particular brand of platforming challenge. Although the layouts of the maps are really smart and tricky, they could be frustrating to perfectionists. Not having a jump button means that if players screw up and fall down somewhere they didn't intend, there is no way to reverse gravity and go back up. So, if some players are particularly focused on getting 100% on levels they may find themselves restarting maps over and over again until they get it exactly right.
All in all, Dig a Way is a great package. It offers a unique take on the puzzle platformer while looking completely amazing. To top everything off, it has a free-to-play model that is completely unobtrusive and only asks for players' money if they are compelled to spend more time with it. Although some of its challenge could annoy perfectionists, Dig a Way is still worth checking out.