There’s gold in that mine.
I had picked up Steamworld Dig for free on PSN a few months back, but never actually played it (much like the other hundreds of games I have digitally.) After finally giving the Xbox One version a shot, I can safely say I have been missing out on a really fun game.
Players take on the role of Rusty the robot who has just inherited a large mine owned by his late uncle in the small town of Tumbleton. Rusty hopes to figure out what exactly his uncle was using the mine for while also hoping to strike it rich with the minerals and other precious metals he may find deep within the mines.
Platforms: PS4, XB1, PC, 3DS, Vita, Wii U
Price I’d pay: $9.99
The concept is simple – dig deeper into the mine, find materials to sell, and upgrade equipment to go further into the mine. It never gets overly complex and keeps the standard ideas the same throughout the game. Rusty starts off with a simple pickaxe and a small lantern to light his way. After making some extra money, he will begin to upgrade his equipment while learning some new abilities through finding his uncle’s experiments in special rooms in the mine. Progression is handled perfectly with practically every excursion into the mine will offer up something new or an upgrade to pick up after returning to town.
Master of the mine.
The great thing about Steamworld Dig is that everything I did was kept the way it was. If I didn’t kill this single enemy, it would still be there every single time I went into the mine. Every tunnel I dug would stay the same and other things like lanterns I placed or ladders I used would remain.
Exploration is not needed, but it is rewarded. Finding more minerals and other secrets can offer up more money to spend on upgrades and other equipment, and in turn, will allow for more exploring. It is a nice system that adds a lot to the overall experience and doesn’t artificially extend it like other games tend to do.
Players have to manage a few stats including oil for Rusty’s lantern – I couldn’t dig very well in the dark, Water for his steam abilities and equipment, and of course, his health.
Puzzle and Pickaxes.
I really enjoyed the uncle’s rooms that usually held a special upgrade like a steam super jump or a steam powered drill. These rooms were essentially puzzle rooms where getting the upgrade would be the first goal and find my way out using the new upgrade would be the second goal.
The look is simple as well. It has a very colorful design, and the Western theme mixed with the twang soundtrack fits it very well. The dialog also clever in some spots and was never overly lame or serious.
If there is one issue I had with the game, it would be the fact that the jumping can be spotty at times. There were numerous times I missed a jump because it either didn’t initiate or I over shot it not knowing the power of the jump itself. It’s not bad, but it did happen on more than a handful occasions.
Steamworld Dig is a simple game that capitalizes on a simple concept and uses it to its advantage. It handles progress so well, and it really kept me coming back for more. It is one of those games you can boot up for 15 minutes or binge play for an hour. It is fun either way. If somehow you haven’t played this game yet and you have an Xbox One, this is a must have. I highly suggest it.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.