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S&S Indie Review: SteamWorld Dig

Posted on the 28 March 2014 by Sameo452005 @iSamKulii
S&S Indie Review: SteamWorld Dig Title: SteamWorld Dig
Format: PS4(reviewed), Mac, Linux, PC, Vita
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Publisher: Image & Form International AB
Developer: Image & Form International AB
Price: $9.99
ESRB Rating: E

SteamWorld Dig originated as a small 3DS title that caught on like wildfire for Nintendo's portable system, and now it's made it's way to the PS4 and Vita.  If you've never played the game before, you're going to be in for a treat if you give this game a shot.

S&S Indie Review: SteamWorld Dig Story, Presentation, and Core Gameplay:
You play as a robot named Rusty, who arrives in a small town where he inherits the the huge mine underneath the town.  As you explore the mine underneath, you'll uncover the many secrets the mine holds.  That's basically the extent of the narrative in the game, as the devs obviously want to give you a foundation for exploring.  The game was firstly was 3DS exclusive, so the visuals have greatly benefited from the HD transfer onto the PS4.  SteamWorld looks great on the Vita as well, even though it's not the full HD experience like the PS4 version.  The devs have added some cool new lighting effects as well, which improves the look of the game, especially while exploring the dark caverns.  The game may appear simplistic in it's art style, but you'll come to like the atmospheric vibe the game gives off.  This isn't a technically demanding game, so don't come in expecting visuals that will blow you away.  The soundtrack fits the game perfectly, that sets the mood as you continuously dig deeper through the mines.
S&S Indie Review: SteamWorld Dig Seeing as how this is a game with an excessive amount of mining, you may assume that the game has drew some inspirations from other similar titles such as Minecraft and Terraria.  That's an accurate assumption as you can clearly see some similarities between these games.  The game also draws from other titles like Metroid and Boulder Dash.  The game at it's core is a 2D platformer, and the more you explore and mine, the more upgrades you can buy.  You gain money by mining different minerals that all have various selling prices.  You sell these in town, which nets you upgrades and levels as well.  You start off with a pretty weak axe, but as you progress through the game, you'll be able to buy stronger axes, light sources, and stackable ladders that help you reach places you can't get to on your own.  You'll also come across mysterious stations in the mine where you can gain different upgrades for Rusty, like super fast boots and a steam powered jump which requires water.  That mechanic alone creates a truly intoxicating experience that entices you to mine and explore.  There are also various enemies you'll come across, which will increase in difficulty the deeper you explore.  The devs dig a nice job at not making you wall jump all the way back to the surface over and over again, by discovering random teleport stations which sends you all the way back to the town.  It's a great way to get back up to the town once you've excavated deep into the mine.  The game offers you a lot to take in, and if you can get past the slow start, you'll find yourself addicted.
S&S Indie Review: SteamWorld Dig Final Thoughts:
Despite the obvious influences from other "mining" titles around, SteamWorld Dig manages to seperate itself from the pack while creating a unique experience.  Great platforming, satisfying rewards, and infectious gameplay make this a top indie title.
S&S Rating: 8.5/10 @whatsPlay

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