The 90s, at a videogame level, were characterized by a proliferation of increasingly beautiful, fun and graphically surprising graphic adventures. It is 1995 when The Dig , point and click comes out on the shelves of video game stores , born from an idea of ​​Steven Spielberg , one of the best known names in Hollywood and genius who has signed countless masterpieces, from Star Wars to The Goonies.

Plot The Dig

Developed and published by LucasArts , already on the crest of the wave for masterpieces such as The Secret Of Monkey Island and Day Of The Tentacle, The Dig differs from other titles of the same genre thanks to a much less light-hearted atmosphere that makes it less light but no less fun than its predecessors. The story begins in a space observatory located in Borneo: here a huge meteorite appears which threatens to crash into Earth , with dire consequences for the planet and for the population.
The celestial body is nicknamed “Attila” and the authorities, including NASA, they immediately set in motion to avert the threat. To do this, they organize a space expedition that must first examine and then destroy the asteroid by placing atomic charges on its surface. The expedition is headed by Boston Low , a charismatic military man accustomed to command: his team also includes Maggie Robbins , a famous journalist always looking for a scoop, and Ludger Brink , a haughty world-famous geologist.

The two astronauts piloting the spaceship are Ken Borden and Cora Miles . The mission becomes complicated almost immediately when, after placing the bombs, our heroes realize that Attila is not a natural body, but a construction of alien origin, hollow inside and ready to leave for remote destinations. So it happens, after the protagonists involuntarily activate a mechanism that takes them to another world unknown to them. Fortunately, there is enough oxygen on this planet to breathe, so astronauts can take off their spacesuits and try to return home, even though the surrounding area appears uninhabited and there are no – so it seems – life. But there are signs of a past civilization …
Despite being released in 1995, The Dig uses 256-color VGA graphics, slightly outdated for the time but in keeping with the game’s presumed release year, initially scheduled for 1993. Despite being in VGA, the graphics are very accurate and hand-made designs give life to very suggestive settings. The landscapes are colorful, distinctive and original as befits a beautiful graphic adventure. The player, thanks to all these elements, is perfectly immersed in the atmosphere of an alien planet of which nothing is known.

Spot-on dialogues and riddles

The dialogues are one of the major novelties of The Dig: they alternate between cynical, dramatic and funny, but they are nevertheless never trivial. In general, the game is less light than the other LucasArts products, but it is very enjoyable especially in the version dubbed in Italian. The SCUMM interface does not present the classic verbs / commands seen in the titles published before The Dig: the objects must be collected and used directly in the locations where you are at the moment. The puzzles are initially quite simple and linear, but as the game progresses the degree of difficulty increases almost exponentially and it will take intuition and patience to solve the puzzles and continue the adventure. Sometimes the puzzles will be almost frustrating, as in any point and click worthy of the name, on the other hand.
Sometimes you will need to get in touch with astronauts Robbins and Brink in order to continue, and they will be of great help to you. The inventory is accessed by clicking on the “i” located at the bottom left of the screen. Alternatively, you can still use the right mouse button. Whenever you can interact with an object, it will turn blue. Positive note is that you can always and in any case go on, even if you miss certain items.

In conclusion

Good longevity, however less than other titles, and super intriguing story, which has nothing to envy to the various Sam & Max and Indiana Jones, other Lucas masterpieces. The soundtrack and sounds are curated by Michael Land: both help immerse the player in the atmosphere of the game. A little gem that, however, has been less successful than the various chapters of Monkey Island, for example. Perhaps for this reason The Dig never had a sequel. Sin.

GENRE: Graphic Adventure
YEAR: 1995
PLATFORM: MS-DOS, Mac OS, Microsoft Windows
SUPPORT: CD-Rom, Steam


by Abdullah Sam
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