Steam World Dig for the Wii U, 3DS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Vita Review

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Even though I posted a list talking about the genres indie developers need to take a break from, I am still not going to get tired of what kind of projects developers are making. For example, since I am very excited for the recently released SteamWorld Heist, I decided to go and take a look at their previous game, SteamWorld Dig. At first, when this game was originally released back in 2013, it had the combined elements of being a Metroidvania-style game, but with the added element of crafting and some survival elements. Luckily, it paid off for the developer, Image & Form, with positive reviews, and the main character, Rusty appearing in many indie games like the super fun Zombie Vikings, Runbow, and the upcoming Hex Heroes. So then, does this game hold up from its original Nintendo 3DS release? Well, let’s find out!

This game puts you into the metallic shoes of Rusty, a miner who ends up the owner of a mine that his long lost uncle owned. As Rusty makes his way to his mine, he ends up in this small western town and an unknown mystery of what is inside the mine. This game’s story is very light in terms of content, but you do end up becoming curious about what is under the ground below you. Rusty is a fun character, and the overall mystery is engaging.

SteamWorld Dig is an action-adventure game with platforming elements as you progress downward to find jewels, new power-ups, and to take down enemies. As you traverse the ground below you, you will gain stones/jewels to take back up to the town. You will be able to trade them for gold so you can buy stronger axes, a better water supply, a better torch, and you get the idea. You can gain super abilities, like being able to jump higher, gain a super strong punch, a drill, and some other elements. If you find yourself stuck in an area, you can either bring ladders to climb back to ledges, use a wall jump, a teleporter, or kill yourself in order to end up back in the town with a small repair fee. If you die, like I just said, you end up with a small fee taken from your total amount of money, and the ore, stones, and crystals you find will be in a nice bag where you dropped dead into the dirt. The overall experience should take you about five hours. Add one more additional hour if you want to find everything.

Graphically, I love the 2D steam punk look of the game. It has personality, it’s very cartoony, and even though they could have easily used five different colors of brown, the color palette is rather varied. It’s nice to see indie games embrace colorful tones, since it seems like all the big budget industry wants are brown, black, and gray in the color palette. The music is very atmospheric and western in tone.

My biggest complaint for SteamWorld Dig is that it gets a little repetitive. I think if there was more than one major boss, it would break up all the digging and exploring. It’s fun to explore, but all you really do is search for ore, upgrades, explore, and then encounter the final boss. It’s a game that definitely feels like something you should play in small bursts instead of going through all five hours of the game at once.

Outside of that issue, I really love SteamWorld Dig. It’s fun, charming, and is easily one of the most popular indie games out there. If you are curious, I am going to be reviewing SteamWorld Heist next, since I got a review code for it. If you love exploration-heavy action platformers, then you will enjoy SteamWorld Dig.

This game gets an 8 out of 10