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Steamworld Dig: A Fistful of Dirt Review

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On 10/07/2014 at 02:07 PM by Nick DiMola

I still really dig this game!

For Everyone.

It’s been roughly a year since SteamWorld Dig first hit the scene on the 3DS eShop. Now, Nintendo fans can experience the game on the Wii U in full 1080p HD, with some exclusive content. If you didn’t catch it, I had an opportunity to review the game when it released last year and I absolutely adored it. Digging back through the mines on the Wii U has only solidified the strong love I already felt for the game.

Once again, the game’s progression loop is the key to the experience. The cycle of heading down into the mine to make a path and extract as much mineral as possible before returning to the surface to cash it in for new gear to make mining easier, longer, and more productive is unbeatable. It’s a highly satisfying routine that encourages progressive exploration that ultimately leads you to the game’s story objectives.

Caves within the mine hold new abilities for Rusty or rare minerals and orbs. Finding them is a treat and solving their platforming or puzzle challenges is always engaging. On the Wii U in particular, one of the caves now contains a secret area that harkens back to Nintendo’s past. It’s a fantastic easter egg that only serves to make SteamWorld Dig more endearing.

The Wii U also has an edge on the other platforms thanks to its multiple control options, inventory and map management on the Wii U GamePad, and Off-TV Play. Oh, and the beautiful 1080p graphics it boasts.

If you didn’t take the plunge on SteamWorld Dig yet, I highly suggest the Wii U version. It easily trumps the 3DS release, and is more feature rich than its PC, PS4, and Vita counterparts. However, if you have both a PS4 and a Vita, you might be best served grabbing it there thanks to the game’s support of cross buy. Regardless, SteamWorld Dig is a must-have game that begs to be played on any platform.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:

All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.

These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.

This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.

Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.

Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.

A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.




10/07/2014 at 02:28 PM

I need to play more of the 3DS version but I keep digging myself into a corner and am forced to shut the game down because I'm stuck. 

Nick DiMola Director

10/07/2014 at 02:38 PM

I want to say there's a self-destruct option somewhere in the game so that you can get back to the surface. However, I generally find that the best way to make your way down through the mines is to dig straight down on the sides, occasionally cutting across to make a horizontal pathway to maximize your ability to extract minerals.

On my Wii U playthrough, I made sure to be quite regimented using the aforementioned approach in it worked out incredibly well. Towards the end of the game there are a lot of open spaces, so it falls apart a bit there, but it's not really a big deal by the time you get there thanks to the equipment you've got.

Blake Turner Staff Writer

10/07/2014 at 09:57 PM

Got the PC version in a humble bundle recently. It did not disappoint. Damn Awesome game. And awesome review too!


10/10/2014 at 01:52 PM

I'm sure this looks fantastic on the Wii-U. One day I'll have one and check SD out.


10/10/2014 at 05:02 PM

Like Blake, I got the PC version of the Humble Indie bundle. Haven't started it, but it looks sweet and i'm fine with missinf the extra on the Wii U version.

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