Digger computer game (arcade game)

Digger is a computer game released by Canadian developer Windmill Software in

1983 for the IBM PC. Digger is similar in design to the 1982 arcade game Mr.

Do!. Digger was developed by Rob Sleath, the primary developer of Windmill

games. In 1984, Digger was converted to run on IBM PCjr and IBM JX, the

Japanese version. The last original version was released for Hyperion, a

Canadian computer running at 6 MHz.

Gameplay

Many features of Digger are similar to those in the arcade games Mr. Do! and

Dig Dug. The player is placed in an underground maze and can dig horizontal and

vertical tunnels through it. At least one tunnel already exists at the start of

play. At various points on the board are emeralds (usually in clusters) and

bags of gold. Monsters (initially in the "nobbin" form) appear at the top

right-hand corner. If earth is excavated from under a gold bag, then the bag

will wobble for a few seconds and then drop; if it falls more than one row, it

will break open after falling, releasing gold, which can be collected. Bags can

be pushed left or right into vertical paths, with similar results. Falling bags

will squash monsters, but they will also squash the digger. The digger has a

weapon, which fires in a straight line, but takes several seconds to recharge

(taking longer as the levels go higher).

Monsters sometimes change from the "nobbin" form to the "hobbin" form, more

frequently on higher levels. Hobbins also have the power to excavate and can

destroy emeralds and gold bags while doing so.

When a monster is killed, another will appear at the top right-hand corner of

the screen, up to a maximal number, which depends on the level. Once all the

monsters for the level have been created, a cherry appears in their place. If

the digger collects this, bonus mode is entered, and for about fifteen seconds

(which decreases as the game level gets higher) the digger is able to eat the

monsters. Accordingly, the monsters now run away from the digger rather than

towards it (similar to Pac-Man).

A level ends when all the emeralds are gone or all the monsters have been

killed.
Scoring

The player scores 25 points for collecting an emerald, with a bonus of 250 if

eight are collected in immediate succession. Killing a monster by shooting it

or dropping a gold bag on it scores 250 points; in bonus mode, the player

scores 200 points for the first monster eaten, 400 for the second, and so on,

doubling each time. Collecting gold earns 500 points, and entering bonus mode

1,000. A new life is awarded at each multiple of 20,000 points.
Music

During normal game play "Popcorn" is used as background music. In bonus mode

the Overture to Wilhelm Tell by Gioachino Rossini plays. If the player dies, a

rendition of Frédéric Chopin's Piano Sonata No. 2 in B flat Minor (also known

as The Funeral March) is played, accompanied with a picture of a RIP

gravestone. Digger used a pulse-width modulation sound system, which was

unusual and advanced for 1983.[citation needed]
Remakes

In 1998, Andrew Jenner created a free software version under GPL of the game

called Digger Remastered, by reverse engineering the original game. Around 2004

the original source code also became available, but only for "historical

interest" and not under a free license.

Digger Remastered is available for AmigaOS, DOS, Linux, GP2X, Java, OS X, Wii,

MorphOS, RiscOS, Dreamcast, Unix and Windows. Digger Wii is a homebrew port of

Digger Remastered to Nintendo Wii. Digger Mobile Edition is a mobile phone (or

small devices capable of running Java ME) port. Digger Classic is a port of

Digger Remastered to Android.

An enhanced remake titled Digger HD was developed by Creat Studios and released

on October 1, 2009 for PlayStation 3.

There have also been instances of a Digger fan creating versions of the game in

BASIC, between 1999 and 2004, being unable to find the original game. The

source code is now released under GPL.

In 2018 a non-commercial fan remake of Digger has been developed for Commodore

64 using cc65.