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Diggers 2: Extractors

From the Database of Home of the Underdogs

GAME DESIGNER:

GAME DEVELOPER:Nova Spring

GAME PUBLISHER:Vic Tokai

Copyright 1995, Nova Spring

A fun sequel to Diggers, an underrated Lemmings clone, Diggers 2: Extractors is to the original what Lemmings: Chronicles is to Lemmings: it adds more levels, more tools, and more challenge. The overall objective, should you ever need one in a puzzle game, is to unite the 25 Hanging Worlds of Zarg. You accomplish this by destroying the shield generators that protect the worlds. Once destroyed, the floating lands will return to the surface of Zarg, and you move on to the next world.

The name of the game refers to lemmings-like species that populate the worlds. There are 3 species of extractors, each with slightly different abilities: One is the best digger, one is the strongest, and one can teleport without damage. There is a number of devices you can purchase to aid in your task, including Teleport Poles, Explosives, and Flying platforms. You not only must collect enough money to buy the tools required to disable the shield generator, but also need to collect enough fuel to fly to the next hanging world. You earn fuel and money by collecting mineral deposits uncovered during your excavation of the different worlds, and depositing these minerals back at your ship. The game?s challenge lies in figuring out which devices are required on each world. Many devices can be used in different ways, and there is usually more than one way to solve each level. This makes the game considerably more difficult than Lemmings, although the level design is not as devious. One nice feature is that once you have finished a level, you can scroll the entire map to see what you might have missed.

As fun as Extractors is, there are some caveats you should be aware of. First, some devices are downright obscure, and the number and diversity of items available makes the game very daunting confusing for first-time player. Worse, you can only read descriptions of tools/items from the main menu, not inside the game itself. The game would have benefited from the approach used in Lemmings, in which the first few levels are designed to introduce you to different aspects of the game, one at a time. At least Extractors does include a training area/world where you can play with some devices before proceeding to destroy the shield generators, although you will only learn by trial and error, investing a lot of time in the process.

The bottom line is that if you like games in the Lemmings or The Humans vein for their elegant simplicity, you should give Extractors a miss. If, however, you are a puzzle expert who want to try a challenging and time-consuming game, and don?t mind an awkward user interface, Extractors is one of the most complex Lemmings games there is. Recommended, but with some reservations.



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