SteamWorld Dig

steamworld dig a fistful of quarter box art review
8.0 Overall Score
Graphics: 7/10
Sound: 6/10
Controls: 8/10

Fun easy gameplay

Short and rather repetitive after a while

Game Info

Game Name:   SteamWorld Dig

Developer(s):   Image & Form

Publisher(s):   Image & Form

Platform(s):   3DS/PS4/PSVita/Wii U/Xbox One/Switch/PC

Genre(s):   Platformer

Release Date(s):   August 8, 2013 (3DS)/December 5, 2013 (PC)/March 18, 2014 (PS4/Vita)/August 28, 2014 (Wii U)/June 5, 2015 (Xbox One)/February 1, 2018 (Switch)

ESRB Rating:   E10+


Tumbleton is up and coming….you can bring in the townies!!!

Rusty has arrived in Tumbleton with a deed and a dream of striking it rich. Rusty has inherited his uncle Joe’s mine, and though mining is dark and dangerous, Rusty is out to conquer the depths of the mine to bring the biggest treasures back to the surface. As Rusty digs deeper into the ground under Tumbleton, he finds that the planet holds secrets he never expected…and dangers he cannot avoid!

SteamWorld Dig (also known as SteamWorld Dig:  A Fistful of Dirt) is a side scrolling platformer released by Image & Form. Following SteamWorld Tower Defense in 2010, the game was released on multiple platforms and sometimes is paired with the spinoff game SteamWorld Heist which was released in 2015. The game received critical acclaim and multiple awards.

I picked up the SteamWorld Dig/SteamWorld Heist two pack for the Wii U as the Wii U reached its dying days. The affordable game has strong reviews, and I love some of the indie games that have developed…not only for their cleverness but their quick and easy play. SteamWorld Dig is a fun run, but it does have a repetitive nature to it.

steamworld dig a fistful of dirt gollum screenshot gameplay

Poor Gollum…he is just trying to sleep in a nice cave away from everyone and Rusty shows up and murders him with a pickaxe…

The game essentially plays like a variation on Mr. Driller. Rusty must dig his way through the ground as light, water, and energy threaten to run out. The game however is very forgiving. Losing your light doesn’t seem to do that much and life is easily bought (or you can respawn for a cost). The water does seem to become a key factor as the game progresses, but it is something that can be found without much problem (being more of a hassle).

The gameplay itself has you pounding and breaking rocks. There is a bit of strategy to it at the beginning of the game as it is easier to accidentally trap yourself or really mess up your pathway with some poor digging choices (the caves stay as you have dug them). The time it takes to dig through the rocks despite improvements to your pick sometimes gets dull and boring and you end up using your water powered fist more than a pick by the end of the game.

steamworld dig a fistful of dirt final boss gameplay screenshots

….and it all comes down to a generic Mega Man-esque villain

Unfortunately, you find yourself just digging to get to the next area instead of the fun of exploring. I wish that the game had more secrets and even sidequests for your character to take. Near the end of the game you have to return to a few areas of the first mines you couldn’t reach before and the game needed more of this. It also is loaded with enemies that are pretty worthless and a final boss (which like a lot of the digging) is actually more of an irritation than a threat.

SteamWorld Dig is a quick game. It takes probably around five hours to play, and I suppose you could finish even faster if you were racing and knew what you were doing. I enjoyed it but I can also see many areas for improvement. SteamWorld Dig was followed by the turn based game SteamWorld Heist and by a Dig sequel SteamWorld Dig 2 in 2017.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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