There seems to be a craze at the moment where small development companies are jumping on certain game styles until they are a genre in themselves. Metroidvania inspired mining games seem to be everywhere right now. With games like Spelunky and Terraria out there was there really room for another resource collecting side scroller?
Steam world Dig is a hugely enjoyable romp that follows the exploits of a Robot called Rusty who inherits a mine from Uncle Joe. The mines closure has meant the once busy western town has contracted into a handful of buildings that include a saloon, a trading post and a shop run by cranky, the obligatory old man found in westerns.
Your task is to dig for resources, bring them to the surface, trade the in and buy bigger and better tools. Upgrades and extras include health, pickaxes, drills, punches, lanterns, ladders and teleporters. All of which make your job faster and easier.
The deeper you dig the more answers about your uncle you will discover and the more you learn about the history of the area. As you dig you discover sub-mine which act as independent puzzle levels which yield extra riches or essential power ups for continuing your journey into the depths. Without spoiling it I will jut say that you will come across an array of enemies on your travels down the mine and should you get destroyed, your loot bag is dropped, you are returned to the surface am half of your money is removed. Thankfully, you are able to retrieve your lost bag and continue playing.
The game is slow going for the first but after an hour or two you will see the whole process speed up as you drill with easy, power punch enemies and ‘steam jump’ great heights.
Once the game picks up speed you will see shops arrive back to the community and you will unlock the secret that lies at the bottom of the mine.
I had a lot of fun with Steam World Dig as it has less focus on resource collection and more of puzzles and digging. Once you get past the initial slowness you will find that faithful hand cramp returning at minutes turn into hours. The game is not massive and can be finished in around 5 hours depending on how much resource collection you want to do. I still had plenty to unlock by the end and I feel I have definitely got my money’s worth.