Can You SteamWorld Dig It? (Switch)

SteamWorld Dig is a revolutionary indie game that took the 3DS eShop by storm. Now it’s back in high definition on Nintendo Switch, ready to be taken anyway or taken in on the big screen. This game features Rusty, perhaps the most beloved SteamWorld hero. This is Simeon’s first time taking to the dirty, dank underground caverns. How will he fare?

“Exit the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (
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SteamWorld Dig Review (Switch)

SteamWorld Dig is indie developer Image & Form’s first claim to fame. Originally released on 3DS in 2013, Dig was universally “dug” around the industry. On February 1st, 2018, Nintendo fans get another chance to play this instant classic on Switch.

SteamWorld Dig joins its sequel and SteamWorld Heist, on the eShop. The main differences between the original Dig and Dig 2 are that, 1: this game is shorter, and 2: the underground labyrinths are randomly generated. It’s kind of like having your own village in Animal Crossing, where all the same features are present, but their placements are determined by an algorithm. This is helpful for people like me who have beaten the game before, to have a fresh experience upon revisiting the steampunk world.

You play as Rusty as you navigate the Earth’s underbelly, mining deeper and deeper under the surface. As you traverse, you’ll gather gems and ore along the way. Once your pouch is full, or your lantern runs out, you will return to the town above, sell your goods, and use the money you earned to upgrade equipment. (By the way, the non-playable robot who you sell to is Dorothy, who goes on to star in SteamWorld Dig 2.) Stronger tools allow you to dig deeper, unlocking more sections of the world in a creative spin on the Metroidvania gameplay loop. Continuing to advance, you will discover caves featuring puzzles that have a predetermined design.

This pattern of digging, mining, spending, upgrading, and repeating is the core of SteamWorld Dig. And it’s a strong core. Few games rival it in instantly hooking the player. The soundtrack is solid (even eliciting memories of Metroid Prime at times), controls and interface are extremely user friendly, and everything periphery melts away as you focus on your goal. However, one aspect of the game sticks out like a sore thumb—and that is combat, which is neither compelling nor rewarding. Rudimentary enemy patterns and limited offensive options leave you feeling lucky when you succeed, but more often, just wishing you could avoid enemies altogether. On that note, with the right tools you can hurry and strike some baddies before they hatch, preventing a cumbersome encounter.

Combat is a mere distraction and not an essential part of the experience, which continues to be a weakness in the series. That’s just about the lone complaint there is to find in this game. Although, I have to wonder if Image & Form could have spent longer to make this a more enticing package. The developers have come a long way and learned many lessons since this game was released. Originally, SteamWorld Dig was finalized at the point just before their team went bankrupt. They’ve gone on record saying that it wasn’t wholly completed to their liking. This port was an opportunity to enhance or add value, but the devs instead opted to do a quick and dirty port.

Okay—the port isn’t dirty at all, but how could I resist that pun with a game about digging? To be clear, the game runs and looks great on Switch. And with no additional bells or whistles, they’ve created an affordable entryway into the wonderful SteamWorld lineup of games. This is worth picking up if you’ve somehow skipped the series, or if you’ve been missing Rusty, his original adventure, and the grassroots origin of one of the best developers on Nintendo eShop. You’d be hard-pressed to play this game without a grin on your face.

SteamWorld Dig gets an 8/10.

Review // SteamWorld Heist: Ultimate Edition (Nintendo Switch)

SteamWorld Heist is an indie game developed by Image & Form, who brought us the immensely popular SteamWorld Dig game and its sequel.

Heist takes place after the events of Dig 2, as our robotic characters struggle to cling to existence after Planet Earth has been shattered.

Resources are scarce, and that’s why our trusty Steambot pirate leader Piper and her scrappy crew are exploring space and raiding enemy ships for loot.

The objective of the game is to enter a series of procedurally generated ships, accomplish certain missions like obtaining epic swag, rescuing robots in distress, or destroying big baddies.

Combat consists of moving your characters behind cover, lining up shots, and firing weapons that you’ve collected from across space. Many times, destroying all enemies is not a requirement for success, so it pays to play smart and keep the mission in mind.

Along your journey, you will collect a plethora of weapons in many categories and a ragtag bunch of crew members with different abilities. It’s up to you to determine your loadout for each mission, and any characters that survive the ensuing encounters will gain more experience points and level up.

Controls are flawless. Whether you’re playing with Joy-Con, Pro Controller, or even touching the screen without the need for any buttons, the game adapts to the way you want to play. You can gain a bit more accuracy by aiming with the touch screen if you prefer, even if you play the rest of the game with analog sticks and buttons.

Gameplay in SteamWorld Heist is turn-based, but fast-paced and exciting during the player’s turn. Aiming is a nonstop challenge that gets easier with experience, and as you learn how your character’s “breathe” and move naturally as you line up a shot. Sometimes, I wished that I could speed up the enemies’ turn, especially when multiple Scrappers and turrets were on screen. A “zoom-out” button also would have been helpful for scouting a ship, but panning around works fine.

It’s hard to complain about the graphics in this game, which are high definition with a stylized art approach. Presentation is equally good, with quick load times, a driving atmospheric soundtrack, simple user interface, and genuinely funny and clever writing that endears you to the characters and their world.

SteamWorld Heist: Ultimate Edition boasts a healthy amount of content, including DLC previously sold on other platforms. A large range of difficulty settings promises replayability, as well as New Game+ mode unlocked after beating the game (which took me over 10 hours). The downloadable content adds a playable character, interesting side-missions, and a load of hats with pop-culture references.

Simeon and I both played through this title simultaneously, and it was really fun to compare our loadouts, including all the optional characters Simeon unlocked while I was impatiently pressing through the main storyline. Exploration and strategizing is rewarded in this title!

SteamWorld Heist is easily recommendable to everyone that enjoyed Mario + Rabbids, the Worms series, or previous SteamWorld games. Heist has more limited movement options than Kingdom Battle, but is also available for the lower launch price of $20 on the Switch eShop, launching December 28th. To sum it up, it’s a challenging, rewarding, interesting, smooth, expansive game for a great value. Two Button Crew awards SteamWorld Heist: Ultimate Edition an 8.25 out of 10. Buy it!

Steam-Rolling Through Dig 2!

It’s the first installment of Let’s Play Switch! Simeon and Scott sit down to take SteamWorld Dig 2 for a spin, the newly released digging Metroidvania Nindie title. Is it worth your $20? Yes! Is it worth you watching this entire video? Yes again!

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

What Our Favorite Upcoming Nindie Games Are

No pun in this snippet – the Nindies really are knocking it out of the park on this console!

Wow, if you like indie games, you’re in for a treat with the Nintendo Switch! A large swath of games is incoming throughout this month and the next few to come. Nintendo is taking a more active role in curating relationships with indie developers, and only letting the top quality content through to the eShop. That’s why Nintendo’s Nindie presentation a few weeks ago was jam-packed with exciting and engaging titles. Here are our favorites!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Top 5 Metroid-LIKE Games

If Nintendo’s not gonna do it, someone’s gotta fill that Samus-shaped hole in our hearts.

Metroid fans, we feel your pain… for it is our pain, too. It feels as if Nintendo is neglecting us. And indeed, they may be. BUT – other developers are filling in and bringing us unique experiences that remind us of Samus and her isolated adventures! Indeed, indie developers seem to have taken it upon themselves to give us the classic, 2D, puzzle/shooter/exploration action that we crave. You can’t go wrong with picking any of the titles we discuss in today’s episode!

Shot by Alex Campbell

“Escape the Premises” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0