GAME NAME: SteamWorld Dig: A Fistful of Dirt
DEVELOPER(S): Image & Form
PUBLISHER(S): Image & Form
PLATFORM(S): PlayStation 4
RELEASE DATE(S): March 18th, 2014
One of my favorite games of 2013 on any platform, whether it be indie, major pusblisher, AAA, downloadable only, or any other variety was SteamWorld Dig. So like a kid in a candy shop, when I was passed along the PlayStation 4 version of this gem to review my eyes lit up with excitement. I was the N64 kid on Christmas morning, no joke. Sad huh?
The game for the most part remains unchanged and faithful to the 3DS game. You play as a Steambot named Rusty. We find out that he has been left a mine by his recently dead Uncle. Players jump right into this mine and experience some Metroidvania genre goodness! Metroid and Castlevania are two of my all-time favorite game series. I hold these franchises as the bar to rate or franchise that are similar, and folks I’m glad to say that SteamWorld Dig is worthy of being said in the same breath.
As in similar games of the genre, the further into the game you get you get weapons or tools that open up more of the world to you. SteamWorld has you upgrade your pick axe to dig deeper into the cave and collect gems. As you progress there are mini caverns that you can go into and earn more power-ups to help you reach new depths. You can also obtain different jumps such as the wall jump and the steam jump. There are three primary mines that you will explore and transcend as you collect the gems and power-ups. In the PlayStation 4 version the 2nd screen has been killed off and the map has been added to your hub which is by no means a big deal.
One of my favorite features of SteamWorld Dig is that when exploring the caves there is no “right or wrong” path that you are suppose to take. You can dig through as you please until you reach a layer that your pick axe wont cut through. This feature makes a somewhat linear game feel open to your decisions and makes you feel like you are in control on where to go next. Once the game is over though you have to start all over again. I would have loved to see a new game plus option and maybe increased difficulty the second time through.
The graphics and soundtrack are top-notch. The colors have a vibrant feel and the 2D graphics look gorgeous running on Sony’s powerhouse of a system. Even though I’ve already played through the game once, it feels brand new experiencing the gorgeous caves on the big screen. The soundtrack feels right at home with environment and never feels repetitive.
If you haven’t played SteamWorld Dig yet, do yourself the favor and pick up this game. It is the best game available on the PlayStation 4 to date and should not be passed up. It is true to the 3DS version and doesn’t miss not having a second screen one bit.