But you might be forgiven for wondering how much has actually changed playing the game’s first demo. Set in a Spelunky-esque temple environment, it’s quite clearly a tutorial dungeon, gently introducing you to new heroine Dorothy’s digging, wall-jumping, boss-killing and upgrades through a twisting course of tunnels.
Barring a fresh, more organic look – as much a result of the growing Image & Form team’s familiarity with the series as it is the more powerful hardware Dig 2’s got behind it – it feels extremely familiar. That’s almost certainly the point – Dig inherently felt good to play, chunky and reactive, but with room for experimentation. Dig 2 immediately recalls why a lot of us sent original hero, Rusty mining multiple times.
It also embodies Dig 2’s biggest change from its predecessor. Where the original’s mineshaft was procedurally generated (with dungeons along the way getting full level design treatment), Dig 2 will be entirely handcrafted.
“It’s one of the ways Image & Form has improved over the past four years,” says Sigurgeirsson, “we now have resident level designers, and we’ve spent thousands of hours on the level design of the game. Not only does that mean that we can make the game as interesting as possible, there are other benefits as well. We don’t have to program around possibly dead-end scenarios as we did for Dig.”