Of all the Metroidvania type games I’ve tried throughout the years, not many have stuck with me. Steamworld Dig: A Fistful of Dirt by Swedish developer and publisher Image and Form is one of those diamonds in the rough for me. While I know there are many games within this genre that many people love, I have never been too fond of the genre itself.
The overall premise of the game is simple, dig until you can’t dig anymore. The randomly generated mines in Steamworld Dig not only make for a different experience every time you play through the game, but also keep you wondering what’s coming next. The resources you need to travel deeper and deeper into the mine will slowly deplete until you can’t dig any further or are just out of light. The number of times I risked death because I thought I had enough resources to travel deeper are endless.
With said resources, there are a few different methods of digging further into the mine. Each of these mining methods uses a different resource. Drills or pickaxes also double as a weapon to attack randomly generated enemies. Some enemies are more difficult to defeat than others, but the ones the are difficult are VERY difficult to take down without coming close to death. The gameplay within Steamworld Dig makes for a unique and memorable experience for players everywhere.
The payoff from each run into the mine can be rich or poor. This doesn’t deter you from wanting more. You will see yourself wanting to make just one more run over and over again. This has happened more than just a few times causing me to be up much later than expected.
Graphically, the experience is great. The team over at Image and Form did a great job with the art direction. The style feels like an almost perfect match when considering the gameplay components and setting. Some people may say that if you’ve played one Metroidvania-type game you’ve seen them all, graphically that is. Those people couldn’t be any more wrong. Each game within the genre has different gameplay mechanics that make them stand out from the rest. Steamworld Dig is no exception.
Steamworld Dig: A Fistful of Dirt has many things going great for it. A combination of the colorful graphics, addictive gameplay, and minor comedic humor make for one of the more memorable experiences in recent memory. You can get Steamworld Dig on just about any console you choose. The fact that this game is now out on the Nintendo Switch makes it a no-brainer to buy if you’re on the fence or even slightly considering it.
This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.
Gameplay - 9/10
Replayability - 9/10
Graphics - 9.5/10
Steamworld Dig: A Fistful of Dirt already had many things going great for it, but finally being portable on the Nintendo Switch has greatly enhanced my experience. This game will be remembered fondly by gamers, myself included, for quite some time.