There are a few prefaces I would like to make before I get into the review:
- I did not play the first one
- I have played about an hour of the game so this is not a complete review
Steamworld Dig 2 has you playing as Dorothy (Dot) as she goes on her mission to find the protagonist of the first game Rusty. SD2 has been categorized as a platfomer which doesn’t do it proper justice. SD2 has features of a puzzler and strategy game which makes it well-rounded. The game requires a player to strategize how and where they want to dig, because if you don’t consider your surroundings and where the treasure is located, you could easily dig yourself into a position where you miss out on the treasures. As you dig you will also need to manage the oil in your lantern and try to collect all the resources to “keep the jewels flowing” (I feel like this is a Dune Reference). Throughout this process to collect all the resources, the player needs to keep a path upwards so that they can return to town to sell resources, perform upgrades, and refill their lanterns oil.
Then to top off the OCD need to collect all items strewn throughout the mine, there are puzzles that are sprinkled throughout the game that you need to think through in order to clear in order to get upgrade components. SD2 provides that great balance for people who just want to rush through and beat the game or for the players who need to be completionists (like me).
The games mechanics are very straight forward with Image & Form doing a great job of introducing new mechanics without making it feel like they are hand holding you through the process. The upgrade system is very clean and easy to understand. The choices that you need to make when you have enough resources to upgrade allow you to adjust to your style of play, without making you regret that decision later on (a la Alpha Protocol).
As I have said, this is very early on in my gameplay, so the only weakness I have found is that if you don’t plan out your mining routes, you could get to a point where you dig out too much, or have a stone fall down and smash a big gaping hole, then it could be hard to impossible to climb back up to the top. At one point I was digging around chasing resources when I fell into a hole that I had no way to climb out of. While I had bombs to dig upwards, I was limited by the water I had on hand. This led to a point where I got frustrated and killed myself as I had run out of bombs and oil for my lantern.
Overall, the time I have put into SD2 has been enjoyable and really makes me want to keep digging. Rusty, if you hear me, I am coming and will rescue you (or will I)?