[PS Vita Review] SteamWorld Dig
SteamWorld Dig is a platform mining adventure with strong Metroidvanian influences. Take the role of Rusty, a lone mining steambot, as he arrives at an old mining town in great need. Dig your way through the old earth, gaining riches while uncovering the ancient threat that lurks below…
* A rich world of steam-driven robots, inspired by Steampunk and Western themes.
* Explore an underground world full of secrets, treasure and terrors.
* Uncover the remnants of human civilization, a degenerate race of dynamite-wielding troglodytes.
* Randomized worlds with emergent gameplay.
All done reading the official description for the game? Did any particular word grab your attention? No? Maybe you should read it again, because the “Metroidvanian” influence of the game is what makes SteamWorld Dig a very interesting release. Playstation fans might not get it at first, but a Metroidvania is a game like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night or Guacamelee in which you unlock new skills and weapons that allow you to access new areas in the game, and, therefore, you end up backtracking here and there to continue with a particular game’s story.
SteamWorld Dig stars Rusty, a robot that finds himself as the new owner of a mine in Tumbleton, which used to belong to his uncle. As the name implies, SteamWorld Dig is all about the digging. You dig for minerals that can be sold for money that can be used to increase the effectiveness of your weapons and abilities or to purchase one-use items. You mine, sell, upgrade over and over until you complete the game… and that makes this a great game!
You see, the upgrade system keeps you busy since you always have three goals at all times: searching deeper and deeper to discover what your uncle found in the mine, mining for minerals and searching for the next major update. And since the lower you go into the mine, the harder it is to break the soil, you must use your money to upgrade the strength of said tool so that you can then dig for rare minerals that reward you with even more money per piece… and so on.
Yes, you indeed see a pattern, but that’s what keeps things simple and fun during your whole run. The only extra element to consider for upgrades is the mysterious orbs that are scattered all over the mine since they’re required for purchasing the best upgrades and equipment in the game. Orbs are the first thing you should look for in the (puzzle) rooms you will find in the mine since they can make a huge difference between having to make 3 runs back to town to unload your minerals, or just a single run because you’ve used your money and some orbs to increase your storage capacity, as well as to increase the power and duration of the lantern you’ve got with you to light up the mine.
The mine is also filled with critters and enemies that want to stop your journey at any cost, and some of them are even willing to end their existence for a chance to end yours. The enemies keep you on your toes since they can even pop out of the soil itself. You must also be careful around solid blocks of stone that can’t be destroyed since they will come crashing down as soon as there isn’t any solid ground below them, and they will kill Rusty in a single blow.
Speaking of dying, there is a very evil trophy in the game that can only be unlocked if you manage to complete the game without dying a single time so… good luck with that! Oh, and did I mention there’s another trophy for doing that while finishing the game in less than two and a half hours, collecting $20,000 AND obtaining 150 orbs? SteamWorld Dig will keep trophy hunters busy, and it will show everyone who the real expert trophy hunters really are.
SteamWorld Dig is a very fun release that Vita and PS4 owners should buy NOW. Why? Because it’s a Cross-Buy title! Even though the games aren’t Cross-Save enabled, you will be able to have fun at home or on the go, and at least you’ll have access to separate trophy lists to reward your efforts. The quirky-but-polished graphics, the game’s gameplay and it’s addictive nature make for a very interesting package that will keep you coming back for more and more.
[review score=”95″ pros=”Very polished game.
Addictive nature.” cons=”Some might complain it’s a short game.”]
This review is based on a PS Vita copy of SteamWorld Dig provided by Image and Form