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SteamWorld Dig 2 Review

There were quite a few good indie games released in 2017, though maybe not as many great ones as last year, but SteamWorld Dig 2 to me is this year’s best indie! You play as Dot, a robot in search of Rusty, the protagonist of the first game who has mysteriously disappeared.

Dot travels to Rusty’s last known location at El Machino, in which she learns that Dusty had been mining underground and has yet to return. From then, you begin your journey down below the earth.

SteamWorld Dig 2
The town El Machino is where you’ll come back to for turning in treasure and upgrading your gear and abilities.

As you progress you eventually learn about earthquakes that have started suddenly, and you’ll have fun dealing with a crazy cult along the way. But this game is all about digging! Like the original SteamWorld Dig, digging down into the earth is what you will spend a lot of time doing.

The underground area is basically blank canvas, in which as you dig, you create the map as you go down. Meaning you’re essentially creating your own levels, which gives it a personal touch.

There’s also a fast travel system, where you’ll find tubes that connect back to El Machino, so there’s not too much back-tracking to deal with. It’s always a nice relief when you find them.

SteamWorld Dig 2
I really enjoyed the company of Fen: the wise-cracking sprite.

But there is more to it than simply hacking away at dirt. You’ll find plenty of gemstones, gold, and all sorts of treasure buried away. As you collect these, you’ll need to take them back to the world above and trade them in for money, which can then be used for upgrades.

This is where the games starts to get addictive. Anytime I see treasure in the dirt, I always feel compelled to grab it. You feel this compulsion to seek out every bit of treasure you see around and it’s so satisfying collecting everything you see, even if it’s not worth much.

There’s plenty of things that you can upgrade- such as your pickaxe strength for digging quicker, your capacity for carrying treasure, and upgrading other weapons as you unlock them. That feeling of bringing up a haul of treasure and upgrading is so fun and satisfying.

Being a game that takes many influences from the Metroid games, you’ll be acquiring new abilities along the way in order to progress underground. It’s always exciting when you unlock a new ability! Combine this with the fact that most of these abilities can be further upgraded just adds to the fun.

SteamWorld Dig 2
Search out for as much treasure as you can find..but watch out for enemies.

One of my favourite parts of this game are the caves that lead to separate platforming sections. They do a great job of testing your skills and use of abilities. They’re really well designed too and I enjoyed every single one of them. You’ll always get rewarded well by the end of it, and maybe you’ll receive a bonus if you explore well enough.

Everything about this game just felt so polished, from Dot’s movements, jumping, wall-jumping, etc. just everything felt so good and responsive. And that’s important especially for the more intense platforming sections.

There’s a nice variety in what will try to destroy you too. Different types of enemies with charge attacks, projectile attacks, etc. will mindlessly try to kill you. Combat is probably the only weak point in this game, as a pickaxe has very limited range, but can at least be upgraded.

There are other weapons to use, but the pickaxe is so much more convenient and efficient. Not only are there enemies out to get you, there’s the environment you’ll need to watch out for too. If you’re too careless in your digging, you can get crushed by rocks/boulders.

There’s acid, lava, and spikes all scattered throughout each area for you avoid (or fall into). So digging will involve a bit of foresight to find as much treasure as possible, all while avoiding the tricks and traps.

SteamWorld Dig 2
The different locations all show of a distinct colour palette.

Throughout my entire playthrough, I was never bored. Even getting 100% collectibles and completing every challenge was always fun and never felt like a chore like it is with many other games. It’s also a bit longer than its prequel, so it never felt too short or never dragged on.

If you love the ‘Metroidvania’ genre, fun platforming, gathering treasure and having the addictive hook of upgrading yourself, then you must play this game!

Score: 9.4/10

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