Dig or Die (PC) Preview

By Thom Compton 30.10.2016

Review for Dig or Die on PC

Survival and crafting have become a big part of the modern gaming landscape. Upon first looking at Dig or Die, one might immediately feel a comparison to Terraria is in order. This isn't unwarranted; it's a 2D survival game that heavily involves crafting and exploring a procedural generated world. Dig or Die does enough to carve out its own little niche, though; it's just important to know if it's worth landing on this planet.

Dig or Die begins with you crash landing on an alien world. It's clear this hostile planet wants nothing more than to exterminate you. The captain has sent you out to forage for supplies and craft the much-needed equipment to escape the planet. The game comes with the standard difficulties, ranging from the lackadaisical Peaceful to the appropriately named Brutal. The range is noticeable, and the adventure begins once decided and get going.

There are parts literally surrounding the crash site that will allow for crafting to begin immediately. It's important to set up a crafting table, called the "Auto Builder," right away. It's also important to place it somewhere that can be easily returned to. The world is massive, and the terrain can get incredibly difficult to return through. Still, the Auto Builder is a supremely easy to use system that allows for quick crafting. It's also very simple to understand what is needed, and a lot of it is easy to come by.

Some items seem to be harder to use then others, such as the scaffolding. It will require some experimentation to deduce their use, but thankfully, Dig or Die gives a lot of freedom to play around. Even better, the game will lock certain things into the positions they can be used in. This comes in handy as you dig into the dark depths. It could be hard to set an item, like a lantern, in the dark. Fortunately, the game makes sure players are able to just click the item into place by letting them know just where it can be put.

Screenshot for Dig or Die on PC

Enemies are plentiful during the day, and at night should be the focal point. They will bear down on the player like locust, and it's important, especially on the harder difficulties, to mind the enemies well. On Peaceful mode, this astral survivalist can take a beating, but on Brutal a few hits will completely destroy him or her. Death will come eventually, and some may find the lack of a consistent auto save (it happens once an in-game day) a bit intense. The player is able to save whenever they want, though, meaning they just need to remember to save it.

Enemies are not generally the smartest, however, and the rules surrounding them are somewhat vague. An early warning informs that killing new enemies will lead to them attacking at night. This is confusing, as it's unclear which enemies are supposedly new. Also, the enemies that this warning seems to pop up for tend to be attacking when the warning comes up. It sends some mixed signals, though it could be assumed whatever enemy is currently being wasted is probably the new one the game speaks of, but with multiple enemies on screen, it is confusing.

Dig or Die's biggest issue is the sheer size, though. After going so far from the base of operations, making it back is tumultuous. The environment is affected not only by your decisions, but things like rainfall that can fill in caves and turn trenches into ponds filled with piranhas. A lot of what players will be looking for is far from home, and there's no good way to navigate the massive world the avatar is on. It doesn't help that landmarks are few and far between, making setting up a breadcrumb trail fairly impossible. To summarise, then, Dig or Die is just too big and too empty.

Screenshot for Dig or Die on PC

Final Thoughts

Dig or Die is like a beginner's guide to survival games. It's easy to pick up and understand, and it gives the exact amount of intensity to entertain a storied survivalist. Its biggest problem is it's hard to traverse reliably, and it leads to getting lost as often as you die. Perhaps the player can come up with their own mapping system, but for now, it's a huge problem in an otherwise amazing machine.


Gaddy Games


Gaddy Games





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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