Genre: Adventure / Metroidvania
Game Page: Game On Steam
Should You Buy It: Yes
About The Game
SteamWorld Dig 2 is a sequel to adventure-platformer that involved going underground and mining precious ores. In this game, the niece of the hero from the first part is trying to find him. The game expands the ideas from the first part: you still need to dig through the caverns, seek valuable resources, sell them and upgrade your gear while trying to uncover some plot mystery. But it’s all done in a way bigger scale.
I’m not talking about the size of the map (it has also increased), but the functionality as well: the arcade elements are there, but the game feels more like metroidvania now: apart from simple digging deep below, you get new locations like cultist temple, windy plains, human town. This all add flavor to the game and enhance the story.
Speaking about the story: it still feels pretty straightforward, but my impression was that it is not the main focus of the game. What the game succeeds at is aesthetics and progression, coupled with engaging gameplay. First, let’s talk about the aesthetics: the style is cartoonish and colorful, but that gives a very strong charm to the characters of the game. The backgrounds differ much more than they did in the first part, making locations distinguishable and much more memorable.
The main gameplay loop is at its height: gathering metals, ores, valuables deep down below is done in a very formidable way. The player is gradually introduces to new game features, be it grappling hook, drill or remote bombs. Those mechanic introductions are followed by new tasks that player needs to solve. It indicates that SteamWorld Dig 2 has a great game design. In the end, the game presents challenges, gives you the tools to solve them but does not throw a correct solution straight at your face, giving you time to think and fulfillment from solving riddles. The digging itself is very pleasant, the pickaxe sound + the rock crumbling are really well-done. It’s addictingly fun to go back to town and see the numbers grow.
Speaking about the riddles, there are special challenge rooms located around the map. If you finish them – you get cogs to upgrade your gear with various adjustments. Those rooms are well thought out, you won’t need to dig much there, but focus on solving situations that often require the use of newly-gained mechanic. On a negative side, this dilutes the digging experience (if you are more into that). To counter that argument, those challenge rooms are not exactly mandatory.
Also, the game is going to be as difficult as you want it to be. Apart from normal difficulty settings, there are special equipment addons that can make enemy battles much more challenging.
Honestly, I usually list the cons at this point but I could not find them here. Some mention the game is too short, but the completionists will find things to do nonetheless (challenge rooms + getting all secret objects that give special blueprints, there are 42 of them).
Overall, the game is a highly polished and pleasing experience and I can confidently recommend it to fans of the genre, especially to the people who loved the first part.
Feature Image taken from the game store page, here