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Atari 2600 Dig Dug Review

What do you do when a game you want to release just isn't possible on the hardware you have to work with? If you are a developer for a cartridge-based video game console, you simply cram more hardware inside the cartridge! This practice, accepted as standard by the late 1980s, was a radical concept in 1983, when Dig Dug was being ported to the Atari 2600. At the time, Atari 2600 developers were working magic on the aging console, but to recreate Dig Dug decently, more memory was required than the console had to offer. So, Atari's engineers designed a cartridge with extra memory on board. Dig Dug was the first to take advantage of the new cartridge design, and the result is a superb adaptation. True, the graphics are even more abstract than on Atari's 8-bit computers, but every element of the arcade game is here, from the ghosts and Fygar's fire, to the falling rocks, bonus veggies and changing soil colors. Even the music has been ported over, mostly, and the tunes sound quite decent. The difficulty here is perhaps higher than in the arcade game, but that doesn't take away from the game's excellence or entertainment. Dig Dug on the Atari 2600 is simply beautiful.

Grade: A.