You control Dig Dug in his quest to dig his way through the soil, searching for veggie treats while getting the drop on his enemies. There is freedom underground. You can dig anywhere you want, with no maze or other barriers to force you into any particular direction. But don't get too distracted enjoying that freedom, because those enemies will not wait for you to find them!
Two different enemies populate the game. Pooka resembles a big red tomato with goggles. Fygar is a tiny dragon with the breath of his bigger cousins. Any number of each will start the level in their own underground lairs, but even if you don't dig your way to them, they will still come after you, turning into ghosts that can move through the soil!
Killing almost every Pooka and Fygar is necessary to complete a level. Your weapons of choice are an air pump and giant underground boulders. The air pump is easiest to use: simply walk up to an enemy, toss the hose, and pump 'til he pops! The deeper you are underground, the more points you score for a pop, and Fygar gives even more points if you pop him from either side, instead of from above or below. The reason for that extra bonus is Fygar's fiery breath, which he is not afraid to use. Be careful you don't get scorched!
Boulders are your other weapon. Simply dig out the dirt from underneath a boulder to watch it fall, squishing any creatures that happen to be under it. Boulder drops are worth big points, especially if you can dispact multiple enemies with a single drop. However, Dig Dug can also get squished if you don't move him out of the way in time, so dig fast!
Each level offers a veggie treat, starting with carrots and then moving on to tastier, more valuable treats. To make a treat appear, simply dislodge and drop two boulders, with or without killing any enemies. Then make your way to the veggie before it disappears again.
Killing almost every Pooka and Fygar is necessary to complete a level. When one enemy remains, he will make a run for it, trying to disappear into the top-left corner of the screen. You can chase after him or let him go without penalty. After that last enemy has been taken care of, one way or another, the next level begins, possibly with even more of Pooka and Fygar to deal with!
For added strategy, Dig Dug's air hose can reach through thin strips of soil, allowing him to pop enemies that can't touch him unless they turn into ghosts. Boulders can also crash through those same thin strips. Fygar's fire can reach through them as well, so watch your back when digging near him!