Want to know a small secret? I love crafting in games. Not just the process of making the item, but also collecting materials. It is just so relaxing, unwinding, and calming, like gazing out into the soothing unforgiving countryside. So to some, it may be no surprise that I really enjoyed SteamWorld Dig. It was simple, sure, as you just dig down and sell minerals, but combined with its charismatic aesthetic, it’s what made the title enjoyable. I was also charmed by its follow-up title, SteamWorld Heist, which I reviewed in late 2015. So, I was filled with glee when I got the chance to interview Julius Guldbog, community manager at Image & Form about the upcoming SteamWorld Dig 2. Have a watch below!
If you’re not in the know, SteamWorld Dig 2 is an upcoming platformer based in the SteamWorld universe, a universe that includes SteamWorld Dig, SteamWorld Heist, and the SteamWorld Tower Defence (which after the interview above, the camera guy–my boss–looked at me as though I had a psychotic episode midway through the discussion: “…There was a tower defence title on the DS?” I asked Guldbog incredulously).
If you are in the know, the looming elephant in the room likely is, “Wait, this looks like the original SteamWorld Dig, so how is the sequel any different?”. Based on how much I tried, I’d say the answer to this question is the ever-vague “the feel.” The original title starred a rusting robot clunking around, and damn, you felt it. Speed definitely was not of the essence in that game, and that worked at the time.
SteamWorld Dig 2, in contrast, unlocks the ability to sprint early on, and you’ll be getting heavy use out of it as your now smoother animated bot dashes across stretches of the terrain. This is especially so as the “Dig” part seems to be retreating a little. In the demo I played, gone was the in-your-face inventory demanding you to hoard precious crystals in very limited slots before lugging them to the shop to argue that the 1000th trashium you wished to peddle still had worth. The focus seems to have shifted to a platforming Metroidvania approach, heading all directions instead of deeper into the ground.
This really became noticeable when I was expected to fight a boss. Maybe it really shows that the last time I played SteamWorld Dig was back in 2014 and that, while I got far, I didn’t complete it, since cracking open a hostile automaton with a pickaxe in SteamWorld Dig 2‘s demo felt like an unfamiliar affair.
So, is SteamWorld Dig 2 worth a go in an age of sequels shuffling over the same terrain over and over, round and round like someone who lost their contact lenses? I’d say so. Based on the demo I tried, while familiar, it felt like its own evolved beast. Rather that plodding about telling the same tale with the same mechanics, it leaps off the original to do something new yet familiar.
You can check out SteamWorld Dig 2 on the Switch when it releases in the summer, but for now, keep an eye out for more related news here on BagoGames.