Diamond Digger

Diamond Digger is the second game by Elemental Focus, the developer of former leaderboard occupant The Cannon.  The cheeky British developer was one of the first developers to endorse my arrival on the Xbox Live Indie Game scene but who I hate hate hate hate hate for that fucking “You Saved the Cannon!” song that will never leave my head.  Diamond Digger is a big departure from the Cannon, as this is a logic-puzzler CUNNILI.. oh right, I already used joke.

The idea is you’re given a grid of blocks with various diamonds scattered throughout it.  Each block is assigned a numerical value.  If a block that is positioned directly above another block that is exactly one number higher in value, it will break that block and drop down.  Diamonds are given a value of 1, and the object is to drop all the diamonds completely out of the grid.  You can only move blocks by shoving an entire row one space to the left or one space to the right, and only if the move will result in a block being broken.  You have to restart the puzzle if you run out of moves.

Sigh. Nobody said there would be math.

If that sounds boring, well, it is.  I actually nodded off for a couple of minutes writing that description.  I swear, I’m not kidding about that.  I can’t really put my finger on why Diamond Digger didn’t gel with me, but I’m weird like that with puzzle games.  I got into Blockt, which was about as exciting as watching wet cement dry, and yet Diamond Digger took on a chore-like quality after only a couple of minutes.  It has nothing to do with the actual mechanics of the game.  They work perfectly fine, even if I seemed to solve some stages by total luck, and others in ways I’m almost certain the developer did not have in mind. I used to be amused by those kind of situations, but now I find them a bit annoying.  It would be like a mystery book ending with the butler being the killer, even when there was no butler in the book.

The developer did try to change things up by adding some effect blocks.  Dynamite blows up an area of blocks the first time it’s moved.  Lava destroys a whole vertical column of blocks.  Whiskers the Magic Game Saving Tabby deletes all the blocks and replaces them with The Cannon so that you can actually have fun, or maybe that was just a daydream.

No relation to Mrs. Flufferstein

Honestly, the gimmick blocks really don’t add anything to the game.  I played through the forty puzzles and felt nothing at all.  No sense of satisfaction.  No sense of accomplishment.  Nothing.  I don’t know whether or not you will like Diamond Digger.  The game works, so I can’t really complain about it in any way.  I guess the best way to describe it is functional but dull.  But puzzle games invoke different reactions in different people.  I loved Pixel Blocked but some people found it to be a snoozer.  I’ve had a lot of people tell me they think Blocks That Matter is overrated too.  So maybe this game will be the opposite, where I thought it was a sleeping pill but others will think swear it’s a masterpiece that opened their eyes to the genre.  I wouldn’t bet on it though.  Quite frankly, if this game opens anyone’s eyes it would probably be the result of a reverse-coma.

By the way, sorry this review sucked.  I’ve been sitting on this game for five days, waiting for inspiration to strike.  But it never came, like a old man who had his Viagra switched with NyQuil.

Diamond Digger was developed by Elemental Focus

80 Microsoft Points said “naturally the 100,000 views day would have to fall smack dab on Superbowl Sunday” in the making of this review. 

About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

2 Responses to Diamond Digger

  1. If we take only one lesson from this review, it must be that the butler ALWAYS did it, regardless of time and place. Never trust teleporting, time travelling domestic help; they always let you down. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to fire a butler for murdering my house guests.

    Moving on… Diamond Digger doesn’t really have anything to do with digging for diamonds, does it? It’s more digging for numbers. Among other numbers. Still, I can understand why the developer didn’t want to call it Arbitrary Number Finder.

  2. Pingback: Diamond Digger: Mini Review Round-up and Post Morterm « Elemental Focus

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