SteamWorld Dig 2
Quick Intro (eshop description):
SteamWorld Dig 2 takes you on a platform mining adventure forged in Metroidvania flames. When an old trading town is struck by mysterious earthquakes, it’s up to a lone steambot and her unlikely companion to uncover what trembling terrors lie beneath.
SteamWorld Dig 2 starts you off making your way up to a desert mining town called El Machino. You play as Dorthy, a steam powered robot miner. The plot has you searching for your lost friend Rusty, who is the main character in the first SteamWorld Dig game. The residents of the town are complaining about earthquakes constantly threatening to destroy the town. You start digging down into the earth to figure out what’s going on and to try to find your lost friend.
SteamWorld Dig 2 is a 2D side scroller, with a scrolling background and animated sprites. It is not a pixelated game, it has more cartoon like animations. The colors are bright and vibrant, even when you are digging around underground and only get dim as your lantern runs down. The cast is mostly robots, but some humans do show up later and you have a little sarcastic sprite companion with you the whole time. The soundtrack is nothing crazy special but it works nicely. When you are in town, there is some smooth electronic jazz music that gets stuck in your head. When you are digging the music picks up pace and more so during fights. The sound effects are spot on, especially when digging. When you hit different types of ground with your pick axe, the sounds made are exactly what you would think they would be.
The game play is almost entirely a metroidvania, but there are some cool Dig Dug style mechanics. You will be constantly passing places you can’t access at that time, until you get an upgrade or a different item. For most of your tools, which are things the pick axe, your backpack, and your health and water storage, you can upgrade with money. You get money by mining ore out of the ground and returning it to town and selling it. The ore is obvious when you are making your way through the dirt, but some of it is much harder to reach as you can’t jump and use your pick axe at the same time. You can dig your way into not being able to reach certain pieces of ore. A few times I almost dug myself into a place where I couldn’t get back. Dying takes you back to town, but you end up losing most if not all of the ore you’ve collected so it’s not fun. The more you dig, the more fast travel tubes open up so traveling back to town is not usually too far of a trek.
Along with upgrading your equipment, you can also add special perks to it with golden gears that you collect through solving puzzle rooms down in the ground or buying in town for increasing cost. These upgrades can be as simple as refilling your water storage quickly in ponds or making your pick axe swing faster. Some of them are extremely nice and I never took them off. The nice thing about them is that you can rearrange them any time in town so you can change your play style on the fly. They cost anywhere from 1 to 6 gears and more and more unlock as you upgrade your load out. There are also a few that get added in as you find upgrades underground. The puzzle rooms them selves are usually pretty simply find your way to the gear. Some are just finding the secret passage way, some are timed, and some have you solving mine cart puzzles. They are fun to find and make your way through and the gear upgrades are awesome.
The other mechanic to mention is your lantern. It lights your way underground and slowly discharges making light around you less and less. I didn’t notice it much honestly, because I was constantly returning to town to sell my gear. Also you end up getting an upgrade that lets it never get below 50 percent, then you end up forgetting about it altogether.
This game took me about 12 hours to play through the story line, although I did not collect everything that is collectible. If I did I could easily have spent around 20 hours playing. I paid 3.52 USD (think it was more like 9.99 on sale from 15 without my gold coins) for this one so it was a bargain and a very fun game for the price. I would easily play again in the future.