When I reviewed Steamworld Heist last summer I stole a real diamond from the clutches of the Humble Bundle.
Fast forward to the Steam Winter Sale and I simply couldn't pass up the chance to see if the developer Image & Form could do it again (at 50% off or something).
Let me be clear. I am not an Image & Form Fanboy. In fact, I didn't even know they existed until summer of 2017. I can say this without a doubt: They have the stuff.
The I&F ability to take a single world setting and two completely different games and make them both fantastic is nothing short of extraordinary.
Ok maybe I am an I&F fanboy! Leave me and my cute deadly robots alone.
So that all said, Steamworld Dig 2 is what the world has started to call a "metroidvania" games, because our broken society thinks its cute to conjoin two names together. Anyone remember Brangelina?
Is this still a thing?
Nope, I won't call it that. It's an action platformer with character upgrades. Isn't that much better? Oh yeah, and you dig through the ground, looting mother earth, like you're playing the modern version of VGA Miner. But hey, robot has to get her perks somehow.
Know your gaming history!
This brings me to an important part about both Heist and Dig 2. They're both female protagonists. I mean, they're robots, so they aren't really... but they are. And they're not sexy robots either. They're just strong woman-bots. The main character, Dorothy, is on a quest to find and rescue her friend Rusty. Yeah, damsel saves the day. Welcome to modern gaming Mario (And props to Samus as always for breaking that mold first).
So you dig, you fight stuff, you solve jumping puzzles. You collect gems. You trade them for cash. Cash for upgrades. You uncover ruins that give you new abilities and that lets you reach new areas to get more gems... you get the idea.
We loot the world for upgrades, of course, why bother saving for retirement!
The execution of the wide variety of puzzles and hidden places to find is top notch. The controls are sharp. The characters are fun. The ending is superb. Like, really, superb.
Anyone who reads my game reviews regularly knows I love difficulty. Steamworld Dig 2 is not difficult. It is proof that a well executed exploration of the unknown with a tightly controlled series of small challenges is a still viable medium in today's world of procedural generated everything.
Just getting started.
I won't say I liked it more than Steamworld Heist, but keeping in mind that SWH was my #1 game of 2017 that was going to be a tough bar to pass. If Steamworld Heist was a stolen Diamond, then I managed to mine a mighty fine Ruby with Steamworld Dig 2. It may not be worth as much, but its just as pretty, and even preferred by many.
Things get a little hot later on...
Ya dig? Go get Steamworld Dig 2 on Steam. Get it full price, get it on sale. Just get it.