Dig for treasure and manage a busy harbor: iPhone apps of the week

This week's apps are both games. One has you digging for treasure deep underground, while the other is a fun harbor management type of a game.


I just wrote about Baseball Slugger 3D earlier this week because it went on sale, but seriously, if you like baseball at all, this home-run derby game is worthy of the regular price of $2.99. I started playing last night using the online matchup system and didn't stop playing for over an hour. Not only is hitting home runs really satisfying, but when you play and lose against someone, you can always go for a rematch, which leads to another rematch...and so on. Then, if you really think a particular opponent is a good competitive match, you can make them your rival, putting their name on the Matchup homescreen so you know when they're online. I wouldn't usually give a game this much coverage, but I can't get over how fun it is! My screen name is Hoobam in the game--let's see who has the hitting skills!

This week's apps are both games. One has has you digging for treasure deep underground, while the other is a fun harbor management type of a game.

I Dig It
Make sure to watch your gauges so you don't overheat or run out of fuel (Credit: CNET)

I Dig it (99 cents) is reminiscent of games like Motherload and Dig Dug, but offers a nice twist on the old arcade classics. In I Dig it, you are a farmer who has run out of money and has built a digging machine to dig for treasure in order to keep the farm. The game uses an onscreen gamepad for movement, letting you dig down or to either side, and has rockets for flying back to the top. As you dig, you'll find precious metals, gems, coins, and other treasure that you'll need to bring back to the top to sell for cash.

As you make more money, you can enter the barn to upgrade various parts of your machine like your hull strength, your drill, and the amount of cargo you can carry. The game is pretty fun, especially as you go deeper into the ground making it challenging to get back to the top. There's a button to mark your depth to make sure you can get back to work once you've repaired your digging machine. You also can track the different types of treasure on a separate Warehouse screen. This app is very popular at the app store right now, but that might be partly because it's on sale for 99 cents for a limited time. Check out the lite version here (iTunes Store link) to try before you buy.

Harbor Master
Watch out for pirate ships and draw a path from the gun at the bottom of the screen to blow them up (Credit: CNET)
Harbor Master (99 cents) is a lot like Flight Control, the popular air traffic control game I've written about before, but offers enough variation to make it worth your money. Much like Flight Control, you'll need to draw a path to direct boats into their appropriate berths for unloading. But unlike Flight Control, you'll also need to direct emptied boats out of the harbor, even as more boats come sailing in. Larger ships will need more time to unload, so you'll find yourself juggling incoming boats while you wait for berth space.

At first I thought this game would be too much like Flight Control, but Harbor Master is a great game in its own right with smooth-looking graphics, great sounds, and its own particular strategies. As you get better at managing your harbor, you'll be able to unlock more maps with their own unique challenges; one map has color-coded berths so you'll only be able to park boats that have the same color, while another has pirate ships you'll need to blow out of the water using a mounted cannon. Overall, Harbor Master is a great variation on Flight Control's gameplay and offers enough variation to rationalize getting both games. Those looking for new variation of Flight Control or just a fun game to kill time will definitely enjoy this game.

What's your favorite iPhone app? Do you dig I Dig It? Though they are different in a number of ways, do you like Flight Control or Harbor Master better? Let me know in the comments!

About Jason Parker

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.