Cripes! We’re huge fans of Metroidvania romp along SteamWorld Dig and were positively chuffed to hear earlier this year a, somewhat unexpected, sequel was in the works. With this release on the Nintendo Switch, which is soon to be followed on the PS4 and Steam, Swedish indie team Image & Form Games is, surely, one of the leading indie devs out there. The sequel is fantabulous!
Due to the brilliant SteamWorld Heist, and the seeming limitations of the first Dig, we weren’t expecting this at all. What could the team do to enhance the first experience, which was short, sharp, compact, and riveting? Well, the answer is up the epic and deliver one of the best games of 2017 (so far). Huzzah! Yes! Hurray! Whoo! Bring it on! Oh, yeah! Whoop whoop! We can dig it!
SteamWorld Dig 2
The premise is, pretty much, the same as the first title – digging! You’re on a quest, as Dorothy (a robot living in a robotic Wild West world), to find Rusty, to do which you’re going to have to go seriously deep underground. You head on out and dig deeper, pick up loot along the way, and you can cash this in for better gear. You have, then, the Metroidvania elements right from the get-go, with an assortment of gadgets and other stuff to help you along – this includes Fen, a spirit thing who spews out advice.
There are RPG elements thrown in this time for good measure, with Dorothy levelling up as she gains more experience (XP). You do this by taking out enemies, with this lot far more imaginative then the first outing. There are some great, but also highly annoying (the squawking birds – you’ll know what we mean), baddies to come across, our favourites being these explosive bat like things which can actually help you on your adventure.
SteamWorld Dig 2 is a triumph – it merges a sense of grand exploration with the finest aspects of the Metroidvania genre, but it builds so brilliantly on the first outing this isn’t merely a rehash of the first game. It’s so much more – as you gear up, the vibrant world and brilliant soundtrack (which riffs on David Wise and some of his work, particularly Donkey Kong Country 2) will wow you, but it’s the simple premise, growing sense of scale, and colossal challenge which will keep you coming back for more.
It’s fantastic – buy it. We’re in a golden age of indie games right now and this is a perfect example of what makes, for us, this section of the industry the best thing about modern gaming. There’s so much innovation and creativity and we bow down before Image & Form Games for providing us with the joyous, addictive, and simply great fun addition to our games library.
In video game lore (for the uninitiated), a speedrun is where a player takes on a game and completes it as rapidly as possible. With the advent of the internet, this has become quite a big deal, with players even exploiting glitches to complete titles like Super Mario 64 in absurdly fast times.
It’s not something we’re particularly bothered about in most instances, but something about SteamWorld Dig positively enforces speedruns! Thusly, we became incredibly adept at the first title and prompted one individual on Miiverse to comment: “You’re too good!” – yeah. Check us out. Now, the first game was one of the very few we’re exceptionally good at, but we are indeed and we’re here to gloat about it! Which is what speedrunning is all about, really – showing off. If you’re looking for a similar challenge, then these games are the ones for you!