Dig Station, by C6H6, is a free to play tap-app which sees you take control of a drilling rig with the aim of gathering enough resources to upgrade your mining efficiency, perform system upgrades and, ultimately, leave the planet you are stranded on. Dig Station is available to download for free at the Google Play Store.
The concept is very simple. You tap the screen to drill and your resource reserve increases. You then spend these resources on upgrades. It starts off slow, with small returns for all your tapping efforts and sore index finger. This quickly ramps up as you enhance your dig station with additional drilling bits, nuclear cores and all manner of other parts.
There isn’t much else to this game and this is essentially all there is to the game mechanics. Tap, upgrade, tap, upgrade. You may then be surprised when I tell you that this game is not only fun, but surprisingly immersive. The developer has done a good job with the music, and the graphics and lighting provide a mysterious and eerie setting which compliments the game very well indeed.
One thing that annoys me slightly about the upgrade system is that what you see on screen never actually changes the appearance of your physical characteristics. You may have spent millions on upgrading your dig station but it would still look the same as it did when you first opened the game. I would like to see the character I am playing slowly change as I upgrade it. This would engage me even more and may increase the replay value of the game, to see how different combinations of upgrades look on screen.
The play time is short. I feel though that this is a good thing, not only to avoid a repetitive strain injury but also to stop the user getting bored before the end. At under 1 hour (depending on how fast you tap), I was able to finish the game on a train journey home. It filled the very valuable niche of being engaging enough to take me away for an hour but wasn’t so mentally taxing that it increased my stress levels after work on a cold, wet January evening. The ending gave me a chuckle, as it was unexpected, but in truth was a sad commentary of our relationship with the planet we live on.
One gripe with this game is the software update that occurred the day after I’d finished the game. Although this added new features and upgrades, it completely wiped my previous run through. This isn’t a problem as the game is very linear and once complete there is little use in keeping the save. Nevertheless, I would like to see the developer address this issue as with future releases of other apps, deleting progress is a sure fire way to anger and lose users.
Overall I would say that Dig Station is a great distraction for a short period of time. There isn’t much to this story or game mechanics but the graphics and music combined with the play actually makes for quite a relaxing and enjoyable experience. Although you are unlikely to play through this game more than once, it’s worth a go and as it’s free I would certainly recommend grabbing a copy.
This game deserves a 7/10 because it does what it’s supposed to do and does it quite well. It may not have the immersive story line with the latest high resolution graphics, but you know what? It doesn’t matter, because it doesn’t need it.