The original Dig Dug was fairly popular, so naturally a sequel had to follow eventually. Dig Dug II ended up being not nearly as widespread as its predecessor, only seeing release in arcades and on the NES, so you'd be forgiven for not even knowing it existed!

Dig Dug II takes a massive departure from the first game. True to its title that first entry featured plenty of digging, but this sequel surprisingly has very little of that. Instead of being underground you're stuck on a number of different islands, which all have a whole bunch of enemies roaming around. As in the original, your goal is to simply eliminate all of them in order to move on.

This can be accomplished directly by simply attacking them yourself, which involves inflating them until they pop, or indirectly by destroying sections of the island and sinking both the enemies and the land they're standing on into the ocean. Each level has numerous cracks running along the ground, as well as some points where you can create even more in order to fully detach a part of the island. You'll have to be careful though - after creating more cracks, whichever section of the island is smaller will be the one that sinks into the sea, so you'll want to get out of there ASAP.

Simply popping enemies one by one will get you through the levels pretty handily, but if you're going for the highscore you'll have to resort to sinking every last one of them. You'll even get bonus points if you sink several in one go, so it becomes a crazy chase across the island to herd all of them into position before you drop the entire lot of them. You'll start by only encountering Pookas, the practically harmless little ball enemies, but Fygars, the dragons, will quickly get thrown into the mix as well. These breathe fire, so you have to be a bit more careful.

As with Dig Dug though, the game's simplicity quickly becomes its biggest problem. Not much happens to mix things up, and you'll essentially just be doing the exact same thing over and over, just with more and faster enemies every now and then. It is at least a little more varied in that each stage takes place on its own unique island, instead of having one almost identical screen for every stage. The game also doesn't start to loop until after the 72nd round, which is quite a bit further in than its predecessor.

Dig Dug II has relatively simplistic graphics which only really get changed up with different colour schemes, but at least this time there are a few different songs rather than just the one. None of them are particularly memorable though, and will likely eventually start to get on your nerves!

Conclusion

Dig Dug II is quite a different game from its predecessor, but the gameplay is still comparable, allowing you to clear levels the quick and easy way with few points, or the long and hard way with many points. It's a novel concept, but it never really goes anywhere and eventually starts to get a little repetitive. If you love highscore games it's still a decent pickup, but otherwise you're best off looking elsewhere.