• Steamworld Dig originally released on the 3DS’s eShop about 6 months ago. After meeting success with the original 3DS title, Image & Form worked on porting the game to PC, Mac and Linux platforms.  Finally it now graces the PS4 and Vita as a cross-buy title so it can be enjoyed by even more gamers and these ports are every bit as good as the previous releases.

    The game takes place in a Wild West/Frontier setting, only the inhabitants are all steamwork bipedal robots. Your character’s job is to go into the depths of the caves and dig for resources. These resources when turned in will increase the level of the town’s development, which will unlock new purchases from the store. These upgrades will further aid your quest to find even more riches. That’s about it for the game’s story and plot. There is some dialogue, but it’s mostly pure gameplay from there. While exploring, you have to keep an eye on your light meter, which as is steadily decreases, will diminish your overall field of vision. Playing in darkness is not recommended. This is because while you can see outlines of most things, the darkness acts as a fog of war that will many times hide things completely until it’s right in front of you. The Use of lighting is terrific. There are also enemies and traps to look out for. There are also ‘challenge rooms’ that hide extra riches for those willing to brave the often dangerous designs of these rooms. Some of these rooms can’t even be reasonably done until later, once you’ve picked up power-ups as you progress through the cave depths. You do things like dashing, super jumping, and gaining dynamite or using your fist as a projectile.

    The game is presented in a well drawn HD 2D sprite art style, and the character’s are rather colorful when considering how dark the game usually is. There is music, but the game is mostly atmospheric and ambient. No real voice acting outside of grunts either. The absence of these things aren’t really necessary, but perhaps future games will flesh out them more. The game is fairly short if you don’t try to max out your gear, lasting about 5-8 hours, although it can be sped-run in under 3 hours. Although that might be a little tricky considering the procedurally generated nature of the cave designs. Thankfully they randomize only once every new game. If you die in the game, you lose any resources collected, and you have to pay a repair fee. But if you make it back to your loot bag without dying again, you can gain it back, much like an MMO or Demon’s Souls. If you are in a challenge or power-up room, though, you be able to retry without penalty. So it’s a fairly forgiving game, though if you do poorly and waste currency, it might be tricky to progress later on. This is because there is no way to earn extra resources via defeated enemies.

    The game doesn’t have many negative points, aside from a lack of story content or more interesting music, but there are some things. While the game is a cross-buy, there is no cross-save feature. Kind of odd to leave that out, but maybe it could show up in a future update. There is also no second screen functionality to use the Vita as a stand-alone map. Kind of expected, but a missed opportunity nonetheless. At least the mini-map on the game screen is mostly sufficient. Steamworld Dig on the PS4 and the PS Vita are very good ports for gamers that lack a PC or 3DS, and the game is just a solid experience either way, with only a small amount of shortcomings that shouldn’t deter many players. It’s also light on hard drive space, weighing in on 117 MB on the PS4 and 70 MB on the Vita. Its also pretty cheap too at under $10, so check it out!

    Steamworld Dig - Review
    Fun 2d-platforming dungeon crawler with a lot of exploration and atmosphere.
    OUR SCORE8.5
    Positives
    • The use of lighting as a part of the gameplay is great.
    Negatives
    • Could have used a more varied soundtrack.
    • Being too reckless can punish you later on, as resources seem to be limited.
    8.5Overall Score
    Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
    0.0

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