When Diggers arrived on the small screen in late 1993 I took to it like a duck to water, but what about everybody else? Gamers expectations had been raised due to the fact that this was the first product to appear on the CD32.
No amount of good reviews or advertising could've competed with that amount of hype. When Diggers finally arrived people expected some kind of graphics and music spectacular and unfortunately, although Diggers looks good it isn't that good!
Bizarrely, a lot of people made comparisons between Diggers and the legendary game of Lemmings, all of which were terribly unjust. Diggers may have looked like Psygnosis' suicide-a-thon due to the size of the characters, but in terms of gameplay it was a completely different matter altogether. Millennium's dig-'em-up was certainly more cerebral, plus you had the advantage of being able to do whatever you wanted to due to the open structure of the game.
Originality alone should've been the key to Diggers' success, and although it was packaged free with the CD32 it didn't do amazingly well in the sales department. This is a real shame because everyone at System liked it, especially the soundtrack - a wonderful chilled-out ambient masterpiece, making it a very relaxing game to play.
Millennium have returned to the CD32 once more. They've got a copy of Extractors clutched in their sweaty mitts and hopefully this time around, more gamers can experience the sequel to one of the most under-rated games ever created.
I loved Diggers, but due to the type of game it was (is?) you had to use that part of your body called your brain. I know it wasn't a mindlessly violent shoot-'em-up or a sickeningly cute platformer, and I know it takes anything from 20 minutes to an hour to complete a level, but this was no reason to banish Diggers from our gaming world, never to be seen or heard of again.
Diggers had its faults though. The levels were a bit too open-ended and left you wandering about, sometimes clueless, for ages. Extractors is different - you've not got several specific tasks to achieve and thanks to this, the game as a whole becomes far more focused and enjoyable to play. New features such as the training level, new characters and the healthy return of an interactive book all go towards making Extractors a highly polished product.
There are literally thousands of hours of play contained within the game, so it's not going to be something you'll tire of easily. It is fairly hard to get into at first and not everything seems straightforward but play it for a week (not constantly, you're not that sad!) and you'll grow to like it.
Extractors will appear on the CD32 only, as it's impractical to try and make it work on the lower-end machines. Luckily, A1200 and A4000 owners with a compatible CD-ROM drive will also be able to experience the wonderful worlds just like their CD32-owning chums.
When Diggers arrived on the games scene it literally blew me away due to the time of the release and the newness of the CD32, and although technically Extractors is a far better game, it still won't be a piece of software that'll appeal to everyone.
Extractors is graced with some of the best graphics I've ever seen for this type of game and it's packed to the brim with more addictive gameplay than you can possibly cope with.
Fans of Diggers will no doubt be interested in Extractors, but I hope that Millennium gain a few more fans through this release and people don't ignore it this time around.