Review: SteamWorld Dig

So a robot walks into a bar… err a town. Nah, forget the horrible jokes SteamWorld Dig is a pretty sweet game. You walk into a town with the plans of taking over your long-forgotten Uncle’s mine and commence digging away. Why did you come to the town in the first place? Maybe the concept of digging in a mine was just too tempting for your little robot body… maybe? That just may be what you’re into and since I’m a huge fan of Dwarves, I’m not one to complain.

Never you mind all of the rules about digging too deep. Just keep going down. However, don't try to clear all of the dirt you can without buying ladders. You can dig yourself into a hole so deep and dark that you can't climb back up. I've done that and I don't like dying to reset...

Never you mind all of the rules about digging too deep. Just keep going down. However, don’t try to clear all of the dirt you can without buying ladders. You can dig yourself into a hole so deep and dark that you can’t climb back up. I’ve done that and I don’t like dying to reset…

People have been saying that SteamWorld Dig is a Metroidvania type of game, but I’m going to agree with the Developer’s site that says it just has “Metroidvanian influences”. In that I mean that there is a super good amount of platforming. To those that want to fight me on this, it’s just my point of view. When I hear/read Metroidvania, it’s hard for me not to think of the Metroid games specifically as the example of what that should look like. They all have sections and compartmentalized portions of gameplay (ignoring Metroid Prime Pinball). SteamWorld Dig is all one long drop of a level with some hidden challenges scattered here and there.

The more you dig (around and down), you will uncover gems to sell and I do recommend selling as much and as often as you can. Be careful with the falling/heavy rocks and “spikey bits” since you can actually destroy valuable resources. (It sucks when you clear a path on purpose and then watch in slow motion as your gems are simply crushed… along with a bit of hope.) On the plus side, there are more resources in the game than you will need to buy all of the upgrades. (That goes for blue glowing balls of power too.) With all of this cash you can buy upgrades to your robo-bits and that is actually where my first real issue comes up.

Upgrade: Complete! You’ve got to dig to get these upgrades and all of them just keep helping you enjoy the game even more.

So you dig and dig into places that none of these people on the surface town have ever seen or heard of. At the same time, they also mention that the upgrades you have are new to them and they have no idea how they work and one even decides to call the mystical power that is making your new parts work “electricity”. Strange, I know. Why would a game make up such a name when in reality we all know what powers new mysterious robot parts and the like and the answer is: magic.

So the issue is that while no one in the town has ever seen this stuff before, they all sell upgrades to them. How in the world? Does that work on magic too? I mean… I know why they sell the upgrades, because you have to get them somewhere and you have to spend your money on something, but it still feels weird. You know what? Maybe there is a conspiracy going on in Tumbleton and everyone actually knows all about what your uncle was up to and for some (mysterious again) reason, they want you to access all of the powers from the deep, but don’t want to do it themselves. Is there some sort of risk they know about and aren’t telling you? Is there something nefarious coming that they can’t mention name-wise?

(Insert your own conspiracy theory here.)

How can they upgrade my tech... you've never seen it before! I am confused...

How can they upgrade my tech… you’ve never seen it before! I am confused…

I’m also not sure about the ending. It does feel like Image & Form are setting up a sequel because I want to know what’s going to happen to my super-powered robo-buddy. I had a ton of fun and wouldn’t mind taking him out for another spin.

I know that I've mentioned already that I feel SteamWorld Dig is really sweet, but once I started playing it on my 3DS, I couldn't turn it off. I would play it during breaks and lunches and before I went to bed. I loved how the levels weren't too big, but just big enough to punish you if you weren't paying attention. There was some hidden areas and upgrades to buy along your joureny. Even if I felt it was strange to have the upgrades available from people who had no idea what was going on, it's just a game and they were robots. Maybe they were just adapting their tech to your characters? I don't know. All I know is that SteamWorld Dig did is a super fun game and Image & Form Games did a great job making it. If you're into RPGs or platforming-action stuff, you should pick this up!

I know that I’ve mentioned already that I feel SteamWorld Dig is really sweet, but once I started playing it on my 3DS, I couldn’t turn it off. I would play it during breaks and lunches and before I went to bed. I loved how the levels weren’t too big, but just big enough to punish you if you weren’t paying attention. There was some hidden areas and upgrades to buy along your journey. Even if I felt it was strange to have the upgrades available from people who had no idea what was going on, it’s just a game and they were robots. Maybe they were just adapting their tech to your characters? I don’t know. All I know is that SteamWorld Dig did is a super fun game and Image & Form Games did a great job making it. If you’re into RPGs or platforming-action stuff, you should pick this up!

More SteamWorld Dig Info: Official Site / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube / 3DS / Steam

Jonathan Amarelo Sig

 


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