I’m 5 years late to this party, but I recently finished Steamworld Dig on my Nintendo Switch and I have nothing but love for the game. For those that haven’t played it, you play as a robot named Rusty that searches the underground world for his Uncle Joe. In his search, he learns more about the town and the technology present in the buried world.
Townspeople assist you by offering equipment upgrades and weapon upgrades, paving the way for a really charming progression system. The story is light, but present throughout the entire game. It presents just enough mystery to keep you digging while not bogging you down with hefty dialogue and idle conversations. It’s definitely a quick game that I can picture myself playing through again entirely.
The basic gameplay loop is extremely gripping as well. The goal is to dig down as deep and quickly as you can, while simultaneously digging for valuable gems that you can sell in the town in order to upgrade your gear. There is a limit on how long you can be underground, as well as other resources to manage, so the game can feel tense or unnerving at times based on the situation you are in. There are also various enemies that you can be killed by, which causes you to drop the gems that you have collected and respawn back on the surface. All of these factors create the “just one more run” feeling, as well as the urge to go “just a little bit deeper.”
It only took me 5 hours to finish the game, so it’s not long or overwhelming by any means. Any longer and the game may have felt repetitive, while anything shorter could have felt insubstantial. Additionally, there are extra objectives to accomplish on top of simply completing the story. The difficulty ramps up for these extras, but the challenge can be exhilarating and rewarding.
This game is perfect for the Switch because it’s not too hefty of an experience to pick up on the go, but it also presents a deep world that rewards exploration and curiosity. It’s easy to feel like you’ve accomplished a lot in just a few minutes of gameplay. I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a small, charming, and fun experience (if there’s anyone left that hasn’t played this game in the past 5 years).