Digger A Quest for Hidden Gems on Android Review

Digger A Quest for Hidden Gems

Digger A Quest for Hidden Gems is one of those hybrid games that, on paper, should not work but somehow it defies logic and does work. What do I mean? This is a mix between Bejeweled and those miner games or even Boulder Dash if you will. The interesting thing about Digger is how well it works. Just do your best to ignore the voice of the main character.

Okay, remember in games like Boulder Dash how you were out to collect valuable items? Same thing here. Instead of just running around and digging, you are limited on your exploration quite a bit in Digger. You are still out for valuable item collecting and all that jazz.

Digger gives into the whole collecting aspect, though there are no Google Play achievements that I am aware of. Instead, there is a clear-cut collection element available – you can check your trophy case anytime between levels. Each item that you collect has a monetary value assigned to it. There is also a rarity rating – the rarer the item, the more valuable, of course.

Digger A Quest for Hidden Gems

Rarity plays a part in your ability to advance in Digger as well. Some levels will require you to collect one, or more, items that carry a certain rarity rating. Sometimes it could be “find two 1-star items to finish the level”. Other times it could be “find one 4-star item to finish the level”.

Other level completion requirements include finding secret exits at certain depths or clearing out an area of a certain number of blocks (cumulative). How you finish the level is interesting. There is a move limit at the outset, run out of moves before completing the requirements for that level and it is game over.

Okay, now that we have the basics out of the way, let’s discuss some of the strategy that is available with Digger.

You start each level on top of a pile of stones that you must make matches of three or more to remove them. Just like in Bejeweled. The difference between the Popcap original and Digger is here the blocks don’t fall when you make matches under them. Instead, there is a void left where matches are made.

Swiping with your finger to draw a path through the openings makes your character, Lily, move that way. Considering you can only see a portion of the level at any given time, you are going to have to explore a bit (or have a hell of a memory) to get the most out of each level.

Digger A Quest for Hidden Gems

As you explore levels you will eventually end up with a serpentine tunnel system full of openings and ladders snaking all over.

Remember that move limit you have? Well, as you make matches and explore the levels of Digger you will come across blocks that have shining rocks in them. If you can make matches with these rocks, then you will receive what appears to be diamonds which give you one additional move each. This is integral to your being able to complete certain levels as the starting number of moves is simply not enough.

That is great and dandy. Make matches, clear a path, and collect valuable items in levels.

There is one more bit of strategy to keep in mind. Just like in Bejeweled clones when matching more four or more gems you receive a special gem. Same thing here in Digger. When matching four blocks you receive a drill type power up. When matching five blocks you receive a dynamite power up that removes a square of nine blocks. There are power ups for making matches in a T form, half a square, etc but I will leave it to you to find out what those power ups are.

Digger A Quest for Hidden Gems

More strategy comes into play when you seriously need a match, but the only match is above two like blocks below. Now, if you have not yet run a ladder across then you can simply pull that block down. If you have run a ladder across then you are out of luck as the block will fall as far as your ladder and stop. This one simply mistake has bitten me in the butt more times than I can count while playing Digger. It also happens when you have a powerup visible on the playfield.

Each time you pull a block down from above it also removes a move from your arsenal so don’t go overboard with it. Available moves are not carried over to the next level either so use them all up before leaving a level. You may as well explore and maximize your collecting before leaving.

I forgot to mention, just because you meet the level goal, you are not required to leave the level. If you have additional moves available you can continue playing the level, collecting valuables. When your moves are depleted then you can exit the level, or go to the special exit if on one of those levels.

Digger A Quest for Hidden Gems

The overworld is full of levels that you can pick to play – even revisiting completed levels if you wish. You have a set number of lives available so don’t waste them. There are forks in the level quest so sometimes you are presented with more than one choice for where to go next in your quest. You can check available levels and their requirements prior to accepting the challenge so there is a bit of planning here as well.

There are In App Purchases, but I have only encountered one of them. A $0.99 one to take me to a new world or something. I passed on it. Other than that, no concerns over IAP and I have been playing this one for quite a while across multiple devices (there is no Cloud save option either so it is starting over with each device).

If you are wanting something with a Bejeweled feel but not Bejeweled itself then Digger may be right up your alley. It is no Puzzle Quest but still different enough versus the plethora of match 3 clones available.

Digger A Quest for Hidden Gems by Studio Craft Development
Platform: Android (Ascend XT used for review)
Genre: Match 3 digging collectathon
In App Purchases: Yes, not intrusive though
Rated: E for Everyone
Available now on Google Play

Carl is a portable gamer (mainly PSP and Android) currently getting his butt handed to him in MIniclip’s Beast Quest on Android. Got a cool tip or inquiry about Gaming on Batteries? Contact Carl and he will be in touch ASAP.

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