As the news last year aptly demonstrated, mining into the earth is still a dangerous and potentially fatal occupation.
For all the miracles worked by technology and human spirit, there’s still no absolutely safe way to tunnel into the earth, whether because of tunnel cave-ins or because of the resources being mined.
I Dig It isn’t half as terrifying as the real thing, of course, thanks to both the presence of a flying digging machine and the fact that it is, after all, just a game (that always helps).
Yet it still manages to bottle in some of the tension and nerves that come with exploring the dark underworld lurking beneath our feet.
Going deeper underground
Taking place over six different locations ranging from rural America to sandy Egypt, your task in I Dig It varies from gathering up enough cash within a time limit to finding rare artifacts and capturing critters.
To do this, you need to dig, or rather you need to control a digging machine via the wonders of a virtual joystick that’s placed a little too closely to the 'objectives' button (you’ll know your current objectives extremely well, that’s for sure).
The digger can fly, but it can’t tunnel upwards, which means some forethought is required when plotting your path through the earth, as tunnelling under a resource isn’t going to get you anywhere.
Gold in that them hills
You earn money by running your vessel over a mineral, zipping back up to the surface, and hanging around a tent at the top.
You can use the cash you earn to outfit your digger with new toys and improved components, allowing you to go that bit further the next time out.
Naturally, this progress is tempered by a number of factors that affect your craft.
Fuel is initially the most worrying, constantly ticking down when moving and rapidly draining when you engage your vertical rocket boosters. Should you run out mid-journey, it’s Game Over.
Fit a bigger fuel tank and you can travel farther in theory, but as you descend the strength of the rock increases and your vision diminishes.
So back you go, trading in the (rapidly more expensive) minerals for better drills, cooling systems, and radars to make an even more lucrative trip southwards.
Before you know it, an hour has passed and your battery life is rapidly fading.
Look deep into my eyes
In a word, I Dig It is ‘moreish’, the sort of game that you find yourself thinking about when you’re away from it, itching to return to its dark underworld, to explore the areas below and to create your own little maze of tunnels to the untold riches they hide.
The controls can be a little bothersome on occasions, with your digger refusing to dig down unless you stop it beforehand, and spending far too much time flying when you only want it to peacefully trundle along.
But these are minor obstacles to what is currently one of the most addictive games on Windows Phone 7.