Dig Dug Strategy Guide

Dig Dug Strategy Guide

If you ever watched someone in the arcade, who is really good at Dig Dug, you might notice something. These players tend to do the same thing over and over again. That is because Dig Dug can be played as a pattern game.

What is a pattern game?

Patterns repeat in a regular way. So in a pattern game, the gameplay will repeat itself. This means the elements of the game are predictable. So, once you recognize the pattern structure of the game, you can predict what comes next and clean up.

While Dig Dug is a pattern game, it is not the most well-known. That honor probably goes to the original Pac-Man. Its predictability is why so many books were published promising Pac-Man excellence to all who read them.

I was reading some old magazine when I spotted this Dig Dug Strategy guide from 1983 in Joystick.

Among the wisdom you will find in this strategy guide:

  • Dig Dug’s air pump weapon is pretty slow. So do not hold down the button to use it, instead pump the button rapidly to speed things up.
  • Shoot that air pump through thin walls of dirt
  • Don’t forget to drop the rocks on unsuspecting monsters. You also need to drop two rocks to get the vegetable to appear at the center of the screen. Grab those vegetables for big points.

These tricks combined with the patterns illustrated in this article, should make you an arcade superstar. It is not easy though. The game gets faster and more challenging as you go along, so you need to train yourself. You will need to be patient.

If you have what it takes, try these tips and pattern out and report back to me how much your game improved afterwards.

Need more inspiration? Listen to the Retroist Dig Dug Podcast or better yet, listen to the Retroist Mr. Do! Podcast (it is the superior game).

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I have to say I’m tempted to print this guide out and see if I can improve my Dig dug game. I’m not terrible at it now, but I’m not racking up any high scores either.

    1. Retroist

      I have been playing around with MAME and while I am not getting much further level-wise, I have been getting much higher scores. So I think it is working.

  2. Nick

    I really like the graphic design of this guide, very bold and minimal.

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