Steamworld Dig 2 Review
Four years after Image & Form’s SteamWorld Dig hit the scene, we finally get the sequel in the form of SteamWorld Dig 2. Is it worth putting your mining gear back on, or was the series better left retired? Check out our review and find out.
Steamworld Dig 2 Review
You start your adventure at a small campsite as Dorothy, the protagonist of the game. She is looking for a fellow steambot called Rusty, who was the main character of the original title. She doesn’t know where he is, but she quickly crosses a sign that points to El Machino, a nearby town looking for miners. Being as both Dorothy and Rusty are diggers, it only makes sense that he may have traveled there. On your way to El Machino, you encounter your first earthquake and fall into some underground ruins. You new task is to escape the ruins by digging your way out.
While you are digging yourself out, you will run into a few traps. Needless to say, the underground world isn’t as friendly as you might have thought. Here you encounter your first boss fight and meet up with your new traveling companion, Fen. Fen is a sprite who gives you access to a map and will interact with you from time to time. The relationship at first is a bit strained, as Fen thinks he is better than Dorothy, but they eventually become friends. With Fen in tow, you can easily make it to El Machino.
As soon as you arrive in El Machino, you overhear the mayor talking about a bot in a red scarf which matches the description of Rusty. This is where the game really begins. The town is worried about the earthquakes, and you want to find Rusty. The only way to deal with both of these problems is to dig. The mayor sends you down into the mines to find some money so you can get a light, and from there on, it’s all about digging deeper and deeper for info and cash. El Machino is the place you turn in the ore you find in the mines for money. You can then use that money here to upgrade mining gear which plays a big role in getting to the deeper parts of the mines.
Starting with only a pickaxe and a small backpack, you can’t dig as effectively as you would think. Early on, the pack fills up fast and the pickaxe can only dig if you are close enough to connect to the surface. You can’t jump and pickaxe something, so you need to be a bit more creative about getting to certain spots. As you progress, you will unlock new mining items that will help you with the troublesome sections of the dig. Bombs will let you blow up squares from a distance, while the jackhammer helps you bust up harder brick like surfaces. Each of these items has their own upgrade paths that you can play with at El Machino. Just remember that you need cash for the main upgrades, so don’t come back empty-handed.
Outside of sellable rocks, there are other items you need to look for while digging – cogs and relics. Relics are handed into a robot in town, who will trade you blueprints for them. These blueprints will give you new upgrades for your mining gear. The other item you have to look out for are cogs. The cogs are what you use actually to put the upgrades on your mining gear. While some of these are easy to find, there are also a ton of secrets as well. Some of these are easy as busting a particular block of dirt, while others are hidden inside smaller caves in areas. Often when they are inside the small caves you will have a challenge or puzzle to overcome to get the relic or the og. Some of the challenges are downright brutal, so make sure you don’t go in with a full backpack.
While digging can be perceived as all fun and games, there are creatures and other things that mean you harm the deeper you go. Combat is just another part of the diggers life on SteamWorld. With your pickaxe, you can smash enemies, and they will sometimes drop your items to sell. The enemies start off basic, but quickly get more tricky to defeat. You can upgrade your pickaxe damage and armor to make diving down the mine a bit easier for yourself. There are other hazards down below as well. Toxic pools, lava, and poisonous fungi that shoot spores at your all liter the lower areas of the mines. An unprepared explorer will quickly meet their downfall if they try to venture too far below.
While in docked mode, I ran into no issues and the game looked good. In handheld mode, it also ran smooth and handled fine. Honestly, if you are thinking about playing just a little bit before bed, you might just want to leave it in the dock. I found myself sticking around for one more dig while playing in bed.
SteamWorld Dig 2 lives up to the previous title in every way. If you are looking for a new game to sink your teeth into, SteamWorld Dig 2 is open for business.