SteamWorld Dig 2 from Image and Form
The Nintendo Switch has quickly become my favorite console for indie games. Sure, we’re all still waiting with bated breath for that virtual console. However, Nintendo has been focusing a lot of attention on indie titles, dubbing them “Nindies.”
This isn’t new for Nintendo; indie games have often been advertised in the eShops for Wii U and 3DS. Older indie games like Mutant Mudds and Super Meat Boy are given a new life on the Switch. The list hardly stops there, as more recent indie blockbusters like Stardew Valley, Owlboy and Celeste are also offered. Standing out as one indie title that is an essential must-buy for any Switch owner is SteamWorld Dig 2 from Image and Form.
Second Verse, Same as the First
Improving dramatically in almost every aspect from its fantastic predecessor, SteamWorld Dig 2 puts the player in charge of a familiar robotic character in a search of its lost friend. It’s absolutely more of the same, which in this case isn’t a bad thing.
Combining the genres of cowboy Western and steampunk, a charming aesthetic is built around the premise of robots digging for treasure. Smooth cartoon-like graphics give the game almost a kid-friendly look, but the gameplay is a little more serious. Not to mention incredibly addicting.
Gotta Dig It All
Exploration and item acquisition remain at the forefront of SteamWorld Dig 2. With a trusty pickaxe and slowly diminishing lantern, the bulk of the game is spent descending into the depths of each mine or area collecting gems to sell for a profit. Money can then be spent on upgrades for the various tools needed for spelunking; a pickaxe, lantern, backpack and bomb gun, to name a few. On top of upgrading the items themselves, elusive golden upgrade cogs can be found to upgrade specific attributes of these items.
Golden upgrade cogs, new abilities and other secret items are the driving force of exploration. The main storyline almost takes second priority once several fast travel stations are unlocked. From then on, the most enjoyable experience comes from digging for gems and exploring caves.
Once your bag is full and your lantern is all but burnt out, a trip to the surface becomes necessary to purge yourself of items and replenish lantern light. It’s a lot of back and forth at first, but as you sell items for upgrades a lot more time can be spent underground.
With increasingly powerful enemies and intense boss fights, there’s no shortage of danger underground. While platforming remains the core gameplay element in SteamWorld Dig 2, just the right amount of combat breaks up what could have turned into a mining simulator. The gameplay is simple, but as abilities unlock, it’s anything but boring.
A hole Worth Diving Into
Nintendo has really bombarded gamers with some serious triple-A titles to help Switch sales. Games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey have tipped the scales in Nintendo’s favor after losing a lot of fans from the Wii U fiasco (yeah, I said it). SteamWorld Dig 2 has just the right amount of polish and gratifying gameplay to hold its own among such mega-giant, high-budget games currently out for the console. I easily lost myself exploring the depths of this steampunk western, and you should too.
Watch the official trailer for SteamWorld Dig 2 below: