Cave Digger 2: Dig Harder doesn’t beat around the bush much, so we won’t either. It’s a surprisingly solid cave spelunking roguelike. It’s not here to dazzle with unprecedented visual splendour or novel new gameplay ideas. It just provides some good old-fashioned gunslinging and money hoarding fun.
Being a roguelike, Cave Digger 2 is entirely built on its repeated loop of cave crawling, treasure collecting, and upgrade buying. The game’s mechanics are just solid enough to keep you joyfully grabbing gemstones and stuffing them into your pack for hours at a time: a couple swings of a pickaxe, a few swipes of a shovel, or a salvo of bullets from your trusty revolver are all that’s necessary to get the treasure to start flowing.
The general pace of play is kept brisk with some smart design decisions that help drive a “just one more run” itch. Cave runs are manageable, taking no more than 30 minutes to complete on the high end. Inventory space is limited, but your bag will automatically spit out the least lucrative item it’s got when you grab something more valuable. Your revolver’s infinite ammunition completely eliminates the need to scrounge for bullets. Small details like these strip away potential speed bumps that would otherwise get in the way of the fun that can be had by yourself or with friends in the often chaotic four player online co-op.
Cave Digger 2’s simplicity does work against it a bit. It doesn’t take long at all to start seeing patterns emerge and procedural generation repeats. There are three overworld areas to explore and find secrets within, but they’re largely barren and don’t offer a substantial distraction from the cave runs that eventually run out of tricks.
Cave Digger 2 is no technical showpiece, and annoying little issues do have a tendency to pop up just often enough to be a distraction. Pickaxe swings often don’t register right, you can find yourself lodged into nearly inescapable crannies, and hand tracking has a tendency to bug out occasionally. So, Cave Digger 2: Dig Harder is still a delightful diamond in PSVR2’s launch catalogue, but its intermittent issues and wanting variety cause it to lose some of its lustre.