Written by Twisted Ideas Originally released on the 3DS eShop and eventually steam in 2013 SteamWorld Dig eventually found a new home on the PS Vita and PS4 and more recently the Wii U. SteamWorld Dig is about a robotic mining robot in the wild west. He’s dig into the mines of Tumbletown to discover its secrets while fighting creatures and avoiding traps that may lurk in the depths. Is SteamWorld Dig a buried treasure? SteamWorld Dig Developer: Image & Form Platforms: 2DS, 3DS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Steam, Wii U
What is it?
SteamWorld Dig is indie game that mix steampunk and the gold rush western genres. You play as a robotic miner Rusty who finds himself in Tumbletown trying to uncover the secrets hidden in its depths. The town’s residence help he in his mission as they are also curious of the town’ secrets.
How does it play?
StemaWorld Dig sounds like it would be like Minecraft with its pickaxe and mining aspect but it’s more similar to DigDug. You enter the first mine through Tumbletown to dig through dirt and rocks to create makeshift pathways. You will run into several caves that provide you with new upgrades, giving you new tools, abilities and treasure. You initially start with just a pickaxe with the ability to wall jump. Within the mines you will find the drill, which quickly removes dirt and breaks rocks, dynamite clears large spaces at once and the Steam Punch the most effective weapon against creatures. Many upgrades require water to function. You can replenish your water tanks by standing in water reservoir. You also have a torch that will help you see your surround areas. The torch will eventually go out but you can refill it by returning to Tumbletown or finding fire pickups. The main goal is to reach the bottom of the mine but that requires mining for ores. You can only carry a limited amount of ore at a time before you have to return to Tumbletown to sell for gold. The towns people will sell you upgrades to yourself, your equipment and supplies. Upgrading your mining tools will become necessary as the deeper you dig in the mine the harder it is to dig. Teleporters will eventually become available to buy and occasionally found in the mine which will return you to Tumbletown quickly.
How does it look?
Robots vs. mutants in the wild west. Is there a movie about this yet?
The characters are well designed, mixing the western and steampunk traits of these characters. The sprite, despite their reduced size maintain that look.
How does it sound?
The music starts off with a pleasant western tune. It’s a slow beat but very fitting for the game. As you progress to the second an third mines the music adopts a more modern sound with electronic instruments to match the increasing mechanical aesthetic of the mines. There isn’t too much variety in the music though. You will be listening to the same four or five track for however long it takes you to move through the game.
What do I think?
SteamWorld Dig is surprisingly addicting. The game is short and simple. The game benefits for not having the main layout of the mines be randomly generated. The level design is tight so you won’t be in too many situations where you won’t be able to climb back out of the mine and even if you do it you can always dig deeper to find teleporters. Returning to the surface won’t undo your progress and it will even leave any ore that you may have left unearthed. Once you upgrade your equipment enough, digging through the mine becomes much faster. The major annoyance of the game is traveling back to Tumbletown. The three mines are deep and if you try to collect all the ores you see then you will be making return trips often. The portable teleporters are very helpful for ore gathering but on your first playthrough players will be hesitant to buy or use them because they cost the uncommon orbs. There are more than enough orbs in the mines to upgrade all your equipment and buy several teleporters but players won’t know that on their first playthrough, thus making the game more frustrating than necessary.
Should you get it?
SteamWorld Dig is a great game but suffers due to its short length and lack of replayability outside the PlayStation trophies and Steam achievements. This is a fairly fast paced puzzle game that rarely feels like a puzzle game and for players who like to explore, collect and find everything will have a field day here.