It turns out that gamers love to dig holes and mine for precious treasure. Add our strange obsession with simulating manual labor in virtual reality to the mix, and you can see why developer MeKiwi Oy thought Cave Digger might kill two birds with one stone. After hours of picking and chopping away at giant rocks, I can promise you that Cave Digger will allow you to become that treasure hunter you always wanted to be. As a bonus, you can do it without fearing that the cave will collapse and bury you alive. Plus the risk of dying from the never-fun black-lung issue seems minimal. But is the game any fun? Stay with me, sexy PlayStation VR gamers, and I’ll let you know.
Cave Digger: Riches is a simple game. Without any story, options, or instructions at all, you find yourself in an old elevator in the middle of an empty saloon. We are stuck with teleportation and click-turning, but the area you can move around in is so small, this simply isn’t going to be an issue for most. The elevator descends a level until you have nothing but four walls of rocks to break. Using the Move controllers, you’ll swing your pickaxe until the rocks chip away, hopefully exposing precious gems. Each level has a time limit, so you’ll need to work fast. In fact, any valuables you knock loose you’ll need to pick up and toss into a box in the center of your elevator. Once the time limit ends, any loose goodies will disappear into the cracks while the elevator descends another level where you start the process all over again. After a few levels of this, the elevator will take you back to the saloon where your booty is spat out and counted. With your new found riches, you can buy new gear to help you dig faster and more efficiently. The concrete saw was a personal favorite of mine, but there was also drills, dynamite, buckets, and x-ray guns that allowed you to see where the real treasure was hiding, and so on. As you get deeper into the game and earn more money, you’ll find better versions of these tools as well.
As I mentioned, Cave Digger is a simple game, and they waste no time explaining anything. Like how does one use these extra items? Which buttons make them work? What are they are supposed to do, etc? It’s not like I didn’t just mash buttons until the saw actually turned on, but some items I still don’t know what they do. I bought an expensive, hi-tech looking glove, but I have no idea what it does. I’m sure it’s pretty cool, whatever it is. Eventually, I learned that the drill was for oil, which also explained the bucket!
My favorite part of the game is finding that rare treasure, and pulling it from the rocks in one piece. If you’re just hammering away with your pickaxe, you’ll smash that fossil or that expensive vase into the ether. If you dig deep enough, you’ll stumble on some funny little pieces of pop culture that I don’t want to spoil for you. The few “artifacts” that I found was a nice touch, and I’m sure there are plenty I haven’t found yet.
As far as replayability is concerned, there isn’t much. According to the PSN store page, there are seven different endings to achieve. Ultimately, if being trapped in a small room with a few tools of destruction sounds like something you might enjoy, then Cave Digger is probably for you. I did find myself punching the time clock on this one more than I was expecting. As any gamer can tell you, collecting treasure and buying new and mysterious gadgets will always be fun.
At least for a little while.
Cave Digger PSVR Review
Simplicity is the name of the game here. Using your Move controllers, and host of gadgets, you’ll be spelunking with the best of them. Like real life, the game is going to get repetitive, but working for that paycheck only to blow it on a fancier version of something we already own is what we’re all wired to do, right?
Simple but fun gameplay
Addictive work, earn money, buy stuff loop
The graphics are basic but sharp
The game gets repetitive
A little instruction or some adjustable settings wouldn’t hurt.
The simplicity takes away some replayability
Reviewed using base PS4.
When Jeremy isn’t writing books or playing video games, he’s living his life one random movie references at a time.