Swedish company Image & Form released Steamworld Dig in August 2013 for the eShop, and to further promote it they showed it at Nintendo’s Indie Zone section for this year’s Eurogamer Expo.
Going in, I did not expect much from this game as I myself am not really a fan of Western games/shows (with the exception of Red Dead Redemption). But after playing this at Expo, I could see myself getting into this. The game starts with our hero, Rusty the steambot, walking towards the town of Tumbleton to inherit an abandoned mine left by his Uncle and the secrets of the mine
The gameplay feels like a combination of Metroid, Dig Dug and Mr Driller in which your objective is to collect enough gems and even treasure by digging them out in order to purchase better items. In caves you must watch out for enemies and boulders that lie around your path, and the further you dig the more difficult the enemies become. Hence it encourages the player to mine for materials to get stronger weapons, armour and water tanks.
You start out with a simple pickaxe and simple moves such as jumping and, in time, you get access to better weapons and more items to enable you to dig deeper. In some circumstances you need water to continue and enable the function of steam powered machines. You also need it to use steam jump to get to higher ground. Luckily there are pools of water to be found ingame.
The graphics look decent if somewhat simple, as the game is 2D sprite based. Having said that turning on the 3D does add some depth perception and animation from the characters which makes up for that.
One of the issues that some will have is the repeated trips in and out the caves, which can take quite a while especially when you’re coming from a long way down. Mercifully in the demo there was a teleport portal, but I suspect there will only be so many of these in the game.
In short, this game is a great package from an up and coming indie developer and we hope that Image and Form go on to develop more gems like this in the future.
To check out Image & Form’s website go to http://imageform.se/
Steamworld Dig is available on eShop now for £7.99