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Dig Dug Digging Strike is somewhat of an experimental game, combining elements of both the first Dig Dug and Dig Dug II.
The classic side-scrolling underground gameplay from Dig Dug is the main gameplay style used in Digging Strike, whereas the Dig Dug II gameplay acts as more of an overworld or hub, allowing players to travel from one underground level to the next. What you do underground may affect what happens above ground, and vice-versa.
The object of each stage is to defeat a giant monster that dwells above-ground. The players must go to each underground stage and dig around, which causes massive pikes to drive themselves deeper into the earth. At some point, pieces of the island will fall into the sea. As the player your aim is to cause a piece of the island to fall while the giant monster is on it.
This can be difficult or even frustrating, for two reasons. One is because the monster can leave that part of the island at the last second. The other reason is because sometimes the part of the island to sink into the sea is not the one you expected (same problem Dig Dug II had!) and might even be the part of the island you were on, thus killing yourself!