SteamWorld Dig 2 (Review) Nintendo Switch

SteamWorld Dig 2 (Review) Nintendo Switch
Review Score:

Developed by Image & Form Games, SteamWorld Dig 2 is a 2D platform action-adventure game that sees the player in the role of Dorothy, a steam-driven robot who is on a mission to find the previous protagonist, Rusty, who disappeared during the events of the last game.

Set in the small mining town of El Machino, Dorothy must establish contact with the locals, reopen the mine that collapsed during an unforeseen, cataclysmic event involving unknown machines, and then dig through the countless mine shafts to find her lost comrade. Along the way, Dorothy befriends Fen – a remnant of the Vectron that Rusty had fought in the previous game.

Steamworld Dig 2’s game mechanics have remained largely the same from its predecessor, as it involves exploring a vast network of underground mines, collecting minerals and killing a variety of enemies. The gameplay has also remained the same, as the player clears through dirt, sand and stone by rapidly pressing the A button. The process is repeated to create tunnels that lead deeper into the mine. Minerals are harvested in the same fashion – by digging through the sand/rock that encapsulate them. These jewels can later be traded in for gold to upgrade Dorothy’s skills (more on this in a moment).

If the player happens to get stuck by digging too deep, they can ‘scale’ the walls by repeatedly pressing B button to jump. Dorthy can easily jump between adjacent walls – and keep her momentum- if the vertical tunnel in question isn’t too wide. If the tunnel is too wide, the player will have to find an alternative route to escape. While uncommon, doorways that lead to the surface (or other parts of the mine) can be found. When used, the player can select a different destination from the in-game map and fast travel to that location.

The game also includes RPG elements. The Cog Menu – which can be accessed by pressing the + button – can be used to increase Dorthy’s defense and health, among other attributes. It can also provide the player with better equipment and weapons. For example: the ‘Study Armor’ perk increases Dorothy’s armor, protecting her from enemies and environmental hazards. The Osmotic Ticker, on the other hand, is a firearm that launches explosive rounds. This weapon can be used to kill enemies and destroy any rocks that are too strong for Dorothy’s mining pick.

Gameplay is pretty straightforward. When the player encounters an enemy, they can use Dorothy’s mining pick to attack. After an enemy is defeated, they will sometimes drop important items such as health, jewels, etc. Some creatures will hide inside material that hasn’t been mined by the player, just to attack the moment Dorothy starts digging. The game is full of hazards like these, and sometimes they happen at the most inopportune of moments.

As the player digs downward and deeper into the mine, special ‘artifacts’ can be recovered and then sold to NPC Davy Bittenborough on the surface for important items such as blueprints and maps, among other things. Normal resources can be sold to NPC Barnacle Jones for gold coins. This currency can be used to upgrade Dorothy’s skills by visiting NPC Turtle Bucket. From the available ‘Upgrades’ menu, the player can enhance Dorothy’s Pickaxe, Backpack (known as ‘Bag of Holding’ in-game), and armor, to name just a few.

There is also a ‘Cog Mods’ menu where the player can enhance Dorothy’s equipment by spending gold cogs. These cogs can be either purchased from an NPC or found underground during Dorothy’s excavation of the mines.

The Cog Mod menu contains twelve different upgrades, including Miner’s Brite (a skill that brightens up darkened areas), Shrewhide Pack (a feature that protects the contents in Dorothy’s pack, should she happen to perish), and Sturdy Armor (a skill that increases Dorothy’s armor), among others. Enhancing Dorothy’s equipment (and upgrading her skills) is the only way to survive the game’s daunting challenges.

Steamworld Dig 2’s graphics contain a staggering amount of detail. The 2D sprites, for example, move with incredible fluidity. The underground environments – while initially dark – hide a plethora of different rocks, jewels and minerals just waiting to be found. And this doesn’t include the debris and other equipment left behind from the prior cave in, linked to the previous game.

As a game, Steamworld Dig 2 for Nintendo Switch is every bit as good as its PC/console counterparts, especially where graphics and performance are concerned. Gamers who haven’t already played Steamworld Dig 2 should play the Nintendo Switch version; it’s that good. It’s even better on the go.

Mike Pittaro
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Image & Form International AB
Publisher: Image & Form International AB
ESRB: E 10+ (Everyone 10+)
Price: $19.99

Steamworld Dig 2:

Review Score
Steamworld Dig 2’s graphics contain a staggering amount of detail.
Great sound effects compliment the gameplay.
Challenging gameplay that offers hours of enjoyment.
Steamworld Dig 2 for Nintendo Switch is every bit as good as its PC/console counterparts.
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