SteamWorld Dig: A Fistful of Dirt

9.5 Overall Score
Gameplay: 10/10
Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 9/10

Awesome Gameplay|Cool Upgrades|Very Addicting

Not Enough Bosses

Game Info

GAME NAME: SteamWorld Dig: A Fistful of Dirt

DEVELOPER(S): Image & Form

PUBLISHER(S): Image & Form

PLATFORM(S): Nintendo Wii U

GENRE(S): Action/Adventure

RELEASE DATE(S): August 28th, 2014

Its hard to reinvent the wheel once the wheel has already been made, in this case it is hard reinvent a metroidvania game once franchises such as Metroid and Castlevania have perfected the genre. Steam World Dig might have a very strong case to dispute this argument as it has done a masterful job in creating a franchise worthy of comparison. A mix between a spaghetti western and robots, Image & Form Games has created a original indie game that first appear on the 3DS and now Steam World Dig arrives to the Wii U and brings its fun and wackiness with it.


Steam World Dig starts off as playing the main character Rusty, a steambot who arrives at a western town of Tumbleton that only has a population of 3. Rusty is there to inherit a mine left by his uncle but needs the right tools and money in order to find what valuable minerals his uncle’s mine has. Starting of with a pickax, Rusty digs down to find minerals which he could trade for money and upgrade his equipment to better help him in his quest to dig to the bottom of the mine. There are three robots who live in Tumbleton that help Rusty in traded his minerals for cash and buying various equipment that will ease with his exploration. As a homage to Metroid, Rusty can also upgrade his abilities by finding power-up stations that are hidden in the depths of the earth. The deeper Rusty goes into the mine, the more valuable the minerals he will find and the more dangerous obstacles he will have to avoid.

The gameplay in Steam World Dig is excellent as digging for minerals could never be so much fun. Inspired by the classic Dig Dug, the game does a fabulous job in recreating this old gameplay mechanism into something fresh and new. At the beginning it may seem repetitive as the digging may seem slow but will soon become addicting as the challenge of upgrading equipment will keep players wanting more. Upgrading equipment is not as simple as it sounds though. The player will have to choose which equipment such as an improved lantern or a better pickax is more necessary at the time. Strategy is as important in the game as digging itself. There is no right path to dig but the player must wisely become aware to dig a narrow path to climb out as players will retrace their steps many times throughout the game. Further into the game will also become difficult as enemies and traps will become harder to avoid. It may seem like a simple game but it is truly very impressive on how smart and enjoyable the gameplay is.


Graphically, Steam World Dig is top-notch.  It is one of the best looking indie games out there. Mixing a spaghetti western theme with sci-fi robots seems odd but works perfectly as these characters come to life on-screen. The game definitely has a classic SNES look to it as if SteamWorld Dig was a lost treasure that nobody knew about it in the 16-bit era but has been finally found after all these years. The sound of the game is also terrific as its music also merges spaghetti western tunes with robotic cac0phony. It is a credit to developers Image & Form  in combining two different genres that are far at both ends of the spectrum and making it work. Although there is no voice acting in the game, the dialogue between characters is made with robotic chimes that brings back memories of the unforgettable conversations between Fox McCloud and friends in the classic Star Fox.

As good if not great as this game is its not a perfect 10. It may be nitpicking but the game could have used boss battles between Rusty’s upgrades to make the game feel more epic and meaningful. Now spoiler if nobody wants to know but there is a boss battle at the end of the game but that is it and maybe a couple of more bosses might have added more to the experience. SteamWorld Dig can also be short to some as collecting and exploring will probably get to about 6 hours of gameplay. Now this is no knock on the game as the value plus the overall experience overcompensates any small complaints that anyone may have but it is worth noting.

My Recommendations

SteamWorld Dig is a excellent indie game that truly stands on its own for its uniqueness and awesome gameplay. In a era where first-person shooters dominate the video game industry, it is a nice change to play a original game that tries to do something different and make it work. Now its not a perfect game but for $9.99 who can complain? So pick up this game cause its a true bargain if you can dig it.



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Author: Pete Simos View all posts by
Avid fan of Nintendo Games and the J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets!

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