Note: Originally posted April 29, 2002
I stared at the box with a mixture of excitement and dread for three days before finally opening it. They had finally sent me the review copy of Diggles. Excitement because I love this game and can lose my self for days with it. Dread because I love this game…and can literally lose myself for days with it.
The review copy is not that much different than the beta copy. They have streamlined the Diggles lifespan more, and there were no stall-outs. I still found the main adventure to be the side adventure. Fenris will never be found by my Diggles. They are too dang busy trying to build the underground city I have demanded. More rooms, more beer, more houses, more upgrades, more…okay, so I am a ruthless godling! You ought to see me babysit!
Diggles is a game for those who love the Sim series. If you enjoy creating, building, directing and playing god, this game is for you. However, expect some of your little dwarves to get a tad bit nasty with you. Each and every dwarf has its own personality, and some can be downright snippy. I had one who was so lazy I had to give him a work schedule of only four hours…then go searching for him every half hour to make sure he was working. Of course there are the workhorses as well, but they die out faster.
I liked the fact the graphics had been cleaned up a little; tightened, so to speak. The fairy didn't seem so blockish to me in this game. It was also easier to find certain inventory items required. I will say I did have to restart this game as I made the same error I had early on in the beta…killing off all the little hamsters. DON'T DO IT!
The overall map of exploration helps tremendously in the game. Even more so this time around after becoming a professional Diggle creator. One side note, get your landmarks up fast in areas you have explored but not industrialized yet. Makes it easier to see on the big screen. I lost a few Diggles somewhere down there, and I think there were enemies lurking but, for the life of me, I had forgotten to mark territories and when they go off on their own with a command of food, say, you can easily lose sight of them.
The menu still is simplistic, although I do have one complaint. Once you get several Diggles working, going through the menu to find out information on any particular Diggle can be time-consuming. It would have been better to have a menu where, once you clicked on a Diggles name, it went to the top. Instead I finally figured out the menu was age-based. I think so at least. It is my assumption, however everyone ex-military knows what that means. I would liked to have had cheater alerts as well. The stream line events is extremely helpful, telling you everything that is a current event. However, seeing Diggles A is getting old, Diggles C just gave birth, Diggles ZXFH is ticked off and unhappy…well it can be challenging to be a godling.
The sound is still simplistic, yet fun. No background theme (everyone knows how I feel about most of those), the Diggles chattering among themselves and, of course, every once-in-awhile there is a cutscene where they actually speak English instead of gibbering. The balloons can be entertaining to read when they are together. Just keep an eye on the stream line events!
I really have no cons about Diggles. Except for one. It is OBSESSIVE. I love a good game as much as anyone else, but if you live alone and get this game, make sure you have the alarm set to a decent hour! I literally played for almost 13 hours straight the first time I started the new game. Hard to do when you have to work as well. And, trust me, the boss doesn't like hearing, "well, my Diggles were building a new level and…" Mine just shook his head. He already thinks I am nuts.
Get the game. Play it for awhile. Set a timetable. And enjoy the heck out of it. Oh, and if you should finally get to the point where you DO go after Fenris? Say hello for my clan. They are currently upgrading to industrial…
+ A game for those that love the Sim series.
+ Extremely addictive.
Pentium II (350mhz)
128 MB RAM
32 MB graphics card
Windows compatible sound card