I picked up Steamworld Dig for the 3DS a few years ago, but only every put about 20 minutes in to it, not nearly long enough to give it a real shot. I thought the aesthetic was nice, but the gameplay didn’t suck me in right away. Steamworld Heist seemed really interesting, but I didn’t give it a shot until I found a collection of both games for the PS4 a few weeks ago. Heist pulled me in right away, but I decided to give Dig another shot before I got too far in, and totally fell in love.
The gameplay of Steamworld Dig is pretty basic… You play as a robot who’s inherited a mine, and start digging. A pick axe lets you break through basic blocks, and as you go deeper you find gems you can sell to buy upgrades, as well as new abilities for moving through your tunnels and digging through tougher blocks of dirt. The gameplay has been compared to the Metroid and Castelvania games, but what makes it unique is that the paths you end up retreading are your own tunnels, so each person who plays through will end up with a little bit of a different world.
The exploration is really what makes the game… I ended up zenning out on just digging down further and further in to the world. The basic loop of this game is enter the mine, dig until you run out of light, then go back to the surface to sell what you collected. The ability to set up teleporters to let you jump back and forth between the surface easily makes this really enjoyable, and means you don’t ever feel forced to retread, but I had so much fun building up my fortune that I ended up staying on one level for quite a while anyway. This game does a great job of scratching that collector itch a lot of gamers have, but also motivates you to push further… I don’t want to spoil things, but let’s just say that there are surprises buried in the dirt that make digging worthwhile!
The only real disappointment I had was when I realized I was at the end of the game at about 5 hours in… and then as soon as I finished I found out that Steamworld Dig 2 just got announced, so I’m super pumped. If you’ve never tried any of these games, I really think they are worthwhile. I’m excited to go play Heist now, and am looking forward to Dig 2!