SteamWorld Dig Review

SteamWorld Dig Featured

SteamWorld Dig Logo

Developer: Image & Form
Publisher: Image & Form
Platform: 3DS – eShop, PC – Steam

I’m going to let you in on a secret. Game reviewers play a tremendous amount of games throughout the year. To stay afloat, you learn to simply leave games alone once they are completed and reviewed. Nobody tells you this but most train themselves with the mindset all the same. The fact that I can’t simply toss aside SteamWorld Dig after completing it is a sign – this is something special.

Initially it launched on the 3DS eShop and met with a lot of positive press. Gamers, too, were loving every minute with it. Now that it’s out on Steam I decided it was finally time to see what the fuss was all about. From the outside, SteamWorld Dig doesn’t necessarily seem impressive. There is a cast of robots and the lead robot mines deep into the Earth, gaining new powers discovered in caves.

SteamWorld Dig Screenshot 1

Mining is quickly becoming an overplayed element in games. Thankfully, SteamWorld Dig isn’t yet another attempt to tweak Minecraft. Yes, you mine, but to create paths for yourself. The eventual goal is to reach the bottom, but there’s a lot to find along the way. Not only are there caves which offer special new equipment and abilities, but there are also lots of rare minerals to take back to the surface. A satchel full of goodies can be turned in at the store for loads of money.

One by one the town shops reopen. With them come copious new upgrades to your pick, armor, fists, and drill. Some upgrades cost coins while others require coins and orbs. Orbs are a rarer substance which is found from time to time while digging. It was annoying to need this second payment method because of its scarcity. As such, I had to skip out on multiple upgrades for a long time simply because I didn’t have enough orbs (but had more than enough money).

In any case, once you’re loaded up with upgrades SteamWorld Dig becomes much more fun. You can explore longer before your lamp burns out and even fall from greater distances without pain. Of course, you still have to look out for underground dwelling enemies! Mining straight down will advance you through the game faster, but it’s much better to explore side to side as well. Collecting more money and orbs is recommended before descending to the final areas.

SteamWorld Dig Screenshot 2

Each aspect of the world has lovely visuals. The colorful artwork was even upgraded from the 3DS release to PC and it shows. Simply looking at each robot reveals a bevy of details including one who has tiny spinning gears in his eyes!  Different layers of the world are themed differently as well. If the dull dirt and rocks are boring you, soon enough the landscape will change. Of course, along with that comes more dangerous territory. Acid spewing rocks, explosive barrels, and lasers will all get in your way alongside creatures.

Although I had some gripes with the lack of orbs and increased difficulty near the end, I would be remiss to discount the game. There were far more moments of being completely absorbed by the simple task of mining and collecting treasure. This is one of those games that scratches that “gameplay” itch in an incredibly simple but fun way. SteamWorld Dig is highly recommended. With randomized worlds it is quite a treat to explore. Play it, complete it, and go back for another round!

Score: 4.5

4 1/2 out of 5 alpacas

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