The Steamworld franchise by Image and Form has become a favorite over the years thanks to their quirky world and great designs. The first Steamworld Dig introduced to us to essentially Metroidvania by way of Dig-Dug; and Steamworld Heist gave us the cowboy robot X-Com that no one knew they wanted. Going back to Dig’s world with Steamworld Dig 2 meant that Image and Form had to mix things up. With new game mechanics and a larger world, Steamworld Dig 2 is a great follow-up.
The game follows the story of Dorothy, one of the NPCs from the original Steamworld Dig. Rusty has gone missing following his adventure in the last game, and it’s now up to Dorothy to find him.
As before, your mission will involve you digging down to uncover the truth in a new town. The gameplay loop of digging to find resources that will let you upgrade and go further down returns. The game itself is still hard coded in terms of the environment, but there is more than enough to get everything you need.
Just like the first game, you’ll find upgrade stations that unlock new abilities and tools to further aid you. By the end of the game, Dorothy’s move set will allow for a lot of different ways to get around. In the first game, you mainly stuck to the one area under the town; this time, there are two additional areas with their own obstacles and secrets.
Speaking of secrets, the developers have really gone all out in terms of hidden areas and additional rewards.
Steamworld Dig 2 features an additional way to upgrade Dorothy in the form of upgrade cogs. As you spend money upgrading your equipment, you’ll unlock mods for the majority of your gear. The mods add new enhancements that provide additional functionality or remove a negative.
Activating these mods cost upgrade cogs that can be found all around. There is also a hidden final difficult area requiring all the game’s artifacts to see.
Additional challenges come in the form of Steamworld Dig 2’s caves which act as puzzle platforming sections. Image and Form have really stepped up their level design for the caves, with each one providing a different take on the game’s design. If you do happen to get stuck, many of the game’s later upgrades and mods can be used to “break” previous sections.
All in all, I really enjoyed Steamworld Dig 2, and as a fan there isn’t a lot for me to complain about.
Steamworld Dig 2 is a great example of a sequel taking what worked with the original and improving things further. If you never heard of the series before, outside of a few references for fans you can jump right in.
My one wish for the series would be to see more of a rogue-like mode in the form of procedural generated levels. As with the first, there isn’t any reason to come back to the game once you’ve beaten it.
I will say that for the post-game super challenge, I would have liked the developers to do a better job of explaining advanced maneuvers to the player. The hidden area requires knowledge of specific maneuvers that are not reference or tested at all in-game.
Unless you absolutely hated the first game, Steamworld Dig 2 is a great title and another solid entry in the Steamworld brand.