Dig Dug: The Mining Smurf-Looking Dude

Posted: February 5, 2012 in INFR 2330
Tags: , , ,

Ahh nostalgia. There’s just something about old games that have a charm. The simpleness of the games, yet the amount of entertainment they can provide.

Today I’m going to talk about an old classic, Dig Dug.

A little about Dig Dug:

The game was made originally for Atari which was later ported to other consoles such as the NES. The game was made for up to 2 players where the players would dig into the earth to kill monsters. Dig Dug is what the main character is coined, his objective is to eliminate all the underground dwelling monsters that live in the pockets of space under the earth. He will inflate them until they pop, which gives him some points.

Our little protagonist, Dig Dug, wearing a fashionable white and blue attire. Underground monsters also sporting quality outfits. Are those snorkeling goggles I see?

How to play Dig Dug?

Playing Dig Dug is pretty simple. It’s a simple up, down, left, right movement layout for the game, and mashing a specific button to shoot the speargun he has at a monster. After hitting a monster you must mash the button to inflate the monsters and pop them. Here’s a nice online version, arrow keys to move, “x” to shoot and inflate!

Requires Java: http://www.classiconlinegames.nl/nintendo/155-dig-dug

Now let’s turn it into a board game!!!

Well, we decided for a board game we would make a board that looked like the Dig Dug playing screen with the layered soil. After making a board to resemble the video game we overlayed a grid on top of the board so it would look like the following:

Similar to this, not exact. Keep in mine we can’t have a working live score counter on cardboard!



The board game version is designed for 2-4. One player will get to be Dig Dug while the other players will be the monsters. If 2 people are playing, 1 Dig Dug, 2 monsters. If 3 people are playing, 1 Dig Dug, 4 monsters (2 monsters per player who are not Dig Dug during the round). If there are 4 people playing, 3 monsters (1 monster per player that isn’t Dig Dug).

There will be 1×4 black strips to represent starting pockets for the monsters on the board. These will be placed randomly, to be determined by coordinates given by a roll of the dice. Dig Dug of course starts at the top of the board, the surface of the world.


Dig Dug will get to roll first and he is able to travel in any direction he pleases. Every time he moves into a new patch of dirt, it will be replaced with a black tile to signify that he has traveled on that patch and monsters can travel there as well. After moving, it will be the monsters’ turn to roll. Normal numbers mean they travel only on the black tiles, back and forth. If a monster player rolls a ‘3’ or other specified number, it means they are allowed to travel through the dirt as “ghosts” like in the original video game. A subsequent roll will indicate how many tiles they can travel, horizontally, vertically or even diagonally. (Ex. Monster player rolls a 3, player rolls again and gets a 4. Monster can travel 4 tiles in any direction).

Whenever Dig Dug lands or crosses a monster on his turn, he must inflate the monster to pop it. How do we pop monsters on the board game? There are several systems but this is a prototype idea:

  • Dig Dug gets 5 chances to roll a dice
  • He must roll 3 even (or odd numbers, but only one or the other) to successfully pop the monster
  • If he fails to pop the monster, he will move 1 tile back or forward. His choice.
  • If he succeeds, Dig Dug is awarded 500 points

Pump that monster up! 

When a monster stumbles onto Dig Dug, Dig Dug loses 1 life and must restart back at the top. Dig Dug only has 3 lives. Once his 3 lives are used, it will be time to rotate Dig Dug players. The monster that kills Dig Dug will be award 200 points.


Once everyone has had a chance to play as Dig Dug, the player with the highest score wins!!!

Additional thoughts and notes:

This gameplay and system of playing the board game is still a rough prototype. Things can/will be added, or changes will be made to improve gameplay. If you have any suggestions to improve it, feel free to leave a comment!!! Thanks for reading!

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