Every hole digs up a soul

You must find 3 magic relics to help rid the land of evil. Use the Find-O-Meter and your trusty shovel to search the forest. But if you dig up the dead you'll need to fight them off to stay alive, so pay attention to everything you unearth...it might just save your life.

  • Find more than 30 items scattered throughout a vast forest
  • Challenging shmup action as you fight off the dead
  • Simple and rewarding inventory management
  • Secrets and riddles abound

Playing the game

Gamepad and keyboard supported. Gamepad recommended.

Explore the forest while paying attention to the Find-O-Meter. When the needle points at red and beeps, hold down the action button to dig and see what you've found. Use the items you dig up to power up. And keep an eye out for chests and unlock them to get powerful upgrades. 

But remember, every hole digs up a soul and sends it into the wild. If you get caught by a ghost, you'll have to defeat it before you can continue on your quest. 

When you find a magic relic, take it back to the old man in the village. Find all 3 and you can win the game!

Read the manual for more gameplay details (PDF)

More challenges

There are no in-game achievements but once you've completed the game, play again and challenge yourself:

  • Can you dig up all the items?
  • Can you beat the game without opening a chest or equipping an item?

Deluxe edition for just $2

For just $2 you can get the Deluxe Edition bundle. Make sure you select the Deluxe file when you download! The pack includes the core game plus extras including:

  • Strategy guide
  • Maps
  • Special in-game item
  • Trainer cartridge

The Deluxe Edition is only available as a download. Make sure you select the Deluxe file when you download.

PICO-8 Edition

If you already own the PICO-8 console, you can play the game using Splore or by running LOAD #DONTDIG from the commandline. 


  • Game by Brian Vaughn (@morningtoast)
  • Art & Animations: @morningtoast, @paulhamx
  • Music & Sounds:  @gruber_music, @kevinthompson
  • Testing: @jarbochov, @barneysangels

Game made with PICO-8 with help from the wonderful #indiedev and #pico8 communities.


v1.1 (2/6/23)

  • Added: Total stats shows on inventory screen
  • Added: Every hole dug is now marked with an "X
  • Changed: Balancing and timing for enemy battles

PlatformsWindows, HTML5
Rated 4.6 out of 5 stars
(8 total ratings)
AuthorBrian Vaughn / MorningToast
Made withPICO-8
Tags8-Bit, Horror, PICO-8, Pixel Art, Shoot 'Em Up
Average sessionAbout a half-hour
InputsKeyboard, Gamepad (any)
LinksSupport, Author


Download NowName your own price

Click download now to get access to the following files:

Don't Dig Up the Dead (Windows) 1.1 MB
Don't Dig Up the Dead: Deluxe Edition (Win) 2.3 MB
if you pay $2 USD or more

Development log