Okay. Full disclosure: I downloaded this game as a joke. I recently learned about the phenomenon of idle/clicker titles and thought pretentiously, “Surely they can’t be that interesting.” It turns out they are, and I won’t call you Shirley. Iron Horse Games‘ Tap Tap Dig 2 is a seemingly simple idle mining simulator. Its cartoon aesthetic, straightforward gameplay and time killing structure make for a highly addictive experience. If you’re looking for a new game to play- this one is no joke.
How Deep Is It?
The premise of Tap Tap Dig 2 is simple: tap (tap) to dig. Your avatar is Prospector Pete Jr., a miner who has set off to make a mint and explore the depths of the underground. Through tapping, and with a set amount of damage, you break through layers of varied sediment. Upon each layer’s destruction, you gain coins and fossils that upgrade Pete and unlockable companions.
Through spending coins, players unlock new cartoon characters that automatically do a set amount of damage per second (DPS) to the ground you dig. They’re each uniquely designed with a Saturday morning cartoon feel. What I found particularly compelling was their justification for why they’re comparatively skilled at “digging.” For instance, you first hire the weak Shovelly Joe, a kid with a simple beach pail and trowel. He does significantly less DPS than the later Tee Wrecks, a dinosaur. These little details really make a difference in what would otherwise be very uninteresting monotonous tapping.
No Risk, All Reward
Your companion characters continue digging, even when the app closes. This is the “idle” part of Tap Tap Dig 2. Upon returning, you receive all the money they unearthed to spend on upgrading both your tap and companions’ total DPS. The fastest way to upgrade is through strategic use of the game’s black hole system. At any point, you may unleash a black hole that resets all your funds and digging progress. However, you retain fossils unearthed on your previous run, unlocking permanent upgrades like initial funds upon resetting or overall total damage.
In addition to fossils and gold currencies, there are also diamonds to discover. While these are often far rarer and can otherwise be purchased via microtransaction, they similarly unlock permanent upgrades. The game has a variety of stat-boosting items that can be crafted faster by using these diamonds. Also, in-game ads make themselves occasionally available to obtain greater rewards and bonuses. While its obvious this title was made for this type of monetization, it’s always nice when it feels like it gives you just enough to keep going. I never feel particularly overwhelmed by the ads in Tap Tap Dig 2. In fact, I almost look forward to them to reward me to further develop my personal gameplay.
A Tap-Tap Win
Combining the strategy required to continually boost your characters on individual runs and the simple tapping gameplay is totally satisfying. What I thought would be a boring excursion ended up being something I used in countless moments of free time. I could mindlessly tap while on the phone or on work breaks. I could take a couple minutes before bed to reset and bolden my digging armada. While it certainly doesn’t offer more than momentary diversions, this title doesn’t really need to. Overall, Tap Tap Dig 2 may not seem entirely groundbreaking on the surface. However, I can guarantee that it’s something you’ll want to dig into.
Is it Hardcore?
Tap Tap Dig 2 offers satisfying and repetitive gameplay that’s perfect for all of the in-between moments of your day. It surely lacks some longevity, but it will sure be in the back of your mind for at least a few weeks. However, if you have some spare time in your day that you want to kill, I can’t think of a better way to do so.