The original SteamWorld Dig was an indie darling that seamlessly fused together elements of Dig Dug, Minecraft, and Metroid. Having it loaded up on my 3DS, I powered through that game with joy while on a train ride to Montreal. Years later, the sequel is here with a new protagonist and some new tricks up her sleeves.
Picking up where the last game left off, Rusty has gone missing. This time, you will play as Dorothy, as she searches for him in the mines. As with the original, you’re tasked with digging progressively deeper into each of the game’s different mines. However, you’re time underground is limited by the amount of fuel in your lantern. As such, you’re jump back-and-forth between digging progressively further into each world before warping back up to the surface to cash in your goods and upgrade your gear.
This core gameplay loop that made the original fantastic remains intact thanks to clever level design and lots of loot to collect. Furthermore, the fun-factor that comes from exploring these environments is turned up a notch thanks to the inclusion of a boost jump and a grappling hook. By the end of the game, you really feel like you’ve grown considerably.
The only thing about the first game I didn’t like was its combat, as fighting with the axe pick was more annoying than fun. You still use the axe pick to fight, but you also have a long-ranged weapon with limited ammunition. If anything, it sort of feels like the game requires you to do a bit less of it, focusing more on exploration.
I finished the game in about seven hours and thoroughly enjoyed it. Should I go back to claim all the secrets that I missed, I could probably double that play time. As one should expect now from the developers at Image & Form, SteamWorld Dig 2 is a hit and absolutely worth checking out on whatever platform it’s available on.