In 1995 when point and click adventure games were, in my opinion, at their pinnacle, Lucasarts crafted a game that melded cel animation, 3D animation, voice acting, cinematography, and musical score into a science fiction classic. The game . . . The Dig.
Sure, Lucasarts had pulled this off before, but never an adventure game in the science fiction genre with such fiction and Hollywood heavyweights behind it. The story was penned by none other than Steven Spielberg who had hopes of eventually making it into a movie. The dialogue was written by Orson Scott Card (of Ender’s Game fame). Lastly, the game was novelized by Alan Dean Foster . . . the master of science fiction movie tie in novels with 16 credits including: Alien, Outland, Star Trek Into Darkness, Transformers, et al.
The Dig was in development (from concept to release) for 6 years, surviving many bumps in the road.
When it was released in 1995, being a fan of Lucasarts, I eagerly snatched it up and immediately installed it. After many hours and much hair pulling due to some difficult puzzles, I had survived the adventure and found the path back home to Earth. I say “difficult” puzzles because these were the days before readily available walk throughs that would be posted the day of a game’s release, or videos being uploaded to Youtube of completed game sessions hours after release. These were the days when you had to spend $19.95 for a Prima (or other) clue book . . . or go to the bookstore and look up what was causing you fits! The old Prima player’s guide for The Dig weighs in at a staggering 203 pages! What?!
I’ve probably played through The Dig four or five times now, but it’s been awhile. So I recently fired it back up and hit the record button as I played. Yes, some of the dialogue is cheesy, cliched, and at some points possibly cringe worthy, but it still doesn’t detract from the solid gaming experience. This play through took me about 4 hours, getting most things right the first time, and tacking on both endings. Trust me, back in 1995 this game was not a pushover.
Twenty two years later it’s still one of my favorites of the classic adventure genre days, and it makes me sad that the studio that created this classic (one among many) was shut down by Disney.
Stay tuned for more Let’s Play features in the future, or subscribe to my Youtube channel for updates.
Now, if you want to see something really geeky and retro-neat related to this classic game, check out the video below. It’s a remastered version of the intro sequence of The Dig completed at 1080p and 60 frames per second. This gives me hope that one day the original developers will give us a remastered version of the full game, much like they’ve done with The Secret of Monkey Island and the one that is being worked on now for Full Throttle (Let’s Play feature coming for that soon).
But check out the video . . . so cool.