- Clever 'found object' narrative style.
- Insanely huge persistent world; reshape the underground world permanently.
- Additional artwork as an incentive to keep playing.
- A variety of great musical themes ranging from relaxed to creepy.
- Short 'story'; open-ended style makes it hard to know when you're finished.
- No tracking available for the artwork you 'find'.
Dirt is an appealing exploration-based game, but it's hard to remain invested after the main story is completed.
- Full Review
- App Store Info
It's getting harder and harder to escape the influence of the time-vacuum that is Minecraft and its inspirational affects seem to be leaking across the gaming world as a whole. Dirt by Broken Kings is a relatively short abstract narrative title that places you control of a cat-skeleton attempting to work out who he is and why he's digging around underground in a persistent world.
Players start out in a large, empty room armed with little more than a pickaxe and the ability to switch the gravity by rotating their iDevice. Tapping the screen with allow you to move and dig in the direction indicated, allowing you to explore beyond the screen you're on to an infinite collection of randomized screens occasionally populated with collectable gems and strange artifacts. In a neat twist, the world is persistent and any progression made through the endless underground environment is saved so you can backtrack easily.
Given the brevity of the story I'll not go in to details, but much like Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor it's told via 'found objects' that are unlocked as you progress through your random ramblings. Once you've reached the (current) ending all that's left is the ability to explore to your heart's content, finding all the weird and wonderful pieces of artwork hidden throughout the game.
There's a zen-like appeal to the simple act of exploring environments without pressure, especially when you can backtrack quickly simply by 'falling' back through the passages you've made, but without a way to track the objects you've found (via a checklist or a similar system) the novelty of finding new ones can wear thin.
Dirt is a pleasant heart-warming title, but beyond the narrative it fails to remain an engaging experience.
DescriptionYou are the adorably deceased, pickaxe-wielding cat "Dirt," trapped underground for reasons unclear. Where are you? Why have you been falling for so long? What else is down here with you?
Excavate potentially infinite screens of dirt, gems, mysterious artifacts, and clues about... well, that's a little unclear. Why don't you start digging and find out?
-Endless, persistent world
-Multi-directional gravity using the accelerometer (NOTE: if you have a device where you can lock the orientation, you must unlock it for this to work!)
-Plenty of mysterious secrets to unearth
-Ambient soundtrack carefully crafted to maximise immersion even on iPhone speakers
-You're a skeleton cat with a pickaxe wearing boots
Stephen Gazzard - Lead Programmer
Lopi Mackenzie - Programmer
Jennalee Stad - Concept Art, Additional Art
Josiah Tobin - Lead Artist, Sound Design, Lopi stand-in
Dirt was designed collaboratively with much love by the family of the Broken Kings House.
iPhoneGameUk: "Dirt is best played with headphones as the ambient music in the game is simply fantastic...it's another awesome indie game which should be seeked out as is another hidden gem... i'm going to give this gem of a game a fantastic 5/5"
AppSpy: "Dirt by Broken Kings is a relatively short abstract narrative title that places you control of a cat-skeleton attempting to work out who he is and why he's digging around underground in a persistent world...much like Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor it's told via 'found objects' that are unlocked as you progress through your random ramblings...There's a zen-like appeal to the simple act of exploring environments without pressure, especially when you can backtrack quickly simply by 'falling' back through the passages you've made...Dirt is a pleasant heart-warming title, but beyond the narrative it fails to remain an engaging experience."
===What fans are saying!===
"a true gem, one of the best apps in the store.
not to be missed" -Draekosilver
"Once in a long while a game like this is created; a game that offers an experience that requires the players imagination to be active while playing; a game that requires you to explore a world in a meaningless manner, without the need to perform meaningless tasks. This game is a true vision, firstly because the developers left the option of additional narration open, and secondly because the game is polished enough to be an amusing gem-collecting-time-killer. It's when you combine the seemingly pointless gem collecting, odd object placement and endless exploration with little text to explain what is happening, you enter a world that delivers much more than a Mario-clone platformer, or major game remake for your handheld. I applaud the developers and will patiently wait for any updates or sequelss." -MeMyselfOrWho
"HOLY MOTHER OF GEEZUS!!! cryptic -_-" -Zithorio
"Another great Indie game that oozes a lot of character that some of the bigger games lack. " -Goose2K
"1: This game is creepy.
2: This game is sad.
3: This game us unconventional to the point that I wonder if I should even call it a game.
If you can cope with those three facts, do yourself a favor and skip all the spoiler-heavy reviews and buy this app. It's 99 cents, a cheap price to pay for an experience you're not likely to see duplicated." -Tom Mayflower