Rusty is the name, he is our intrepid robot prospector in Steamworld Dig, this time released on the Wii U. Within minutes of starting the game, Rusty has procured a precious and incredibly useful pickaxe for it is with this that you will use to chip away further & further into the land below the town above, getting richer as you dig & with time uncovering the ancient threat lurking below…
The Wii U version is a definite upgrade graphically from the 3DS etc with high resolution 1080p graphics, some lovely dynamic lighting and best of all a clutter free UI with the map etc now displayed on the Wii U gamepad too.
The mines are randomly generated in Steamworld Dig, which means that no matter if you have played this on say PS4, 3DS or Vita it presents a new path each time, much like Spelunky in this respect. Not only are you armed with your now trusty pickaxe, but you also carry a solar powered light. Yes, you read that correctly, a light that slowly over time depletes so you need to continually make trips topside to recharge it. Sounds like a bind, where in actuality it brings some welcome relief and enable you to power up using the money that you have made from collecting the loot that you find below in your ongoing adventure. You can also upgrade a number of items, from your light & pickaxe to adding new items or abilities also.
Slowly but surely, you chip away through the mine, defeating enemies & minor puzzles as you go, every so often retreating to the cool bright & balmy world above to charge your light and boost your toolset allowing you to inch closer & closer to the bottom of the mine. The enemies in the game are quite varied throughout & as you progress some definitely pack quite the punch proving quite tricky in parts. The whole look & design of the game is simply spellbinding, colour is used to brilliant effect throughout os you aren’t simply seeing brown and red as you travel further & further towards your goal. Luckily, you don’t have to retrace your steps either when you do decide that it is time to head aboveground again, as you can use magic (and incredibly handy) portals to get you to & fro in a mere flash!
Throughout the game you will come across new upgrades, giving you an ability to progress through somewhere you could not previously, such as the speed boots which allow you to traverse disappearing platforms in a moment without dropping into the enemies or spikes below. Steamworld Dig will draw comparisons as it feels in a way a cross between Dig Dug (remember that!) & Metroid. Believe me this is not a bad thing. One more than one occasion I said to myself ‘I will play just for a little bit’ only to fin myself still playing much later than intended.
The core of Steamworld Dig is a simple one, yet with the charm & wit it possesses really hooks you in. Couple that with the insanely catchy mid western style score and you have a great game for all ages. If you haven’t played this yet, I couldn’t recommend it more & I for one cannot wait to play Steamworld Heist, newly announced by Image & Form, the creators.