Sometimes, for whatever reason, you just don’t feel like playing a game that checks all the boxes of what you love about games. It just doesn’t click for you. Who understands the machinations of the human mind?! Maybe because it was a bit old, or that I’d played many similar games, but SteamWorld Dig fell into this category. I’ve played a few great digging games, I’ve played a slew of platformers and indies, and the draw of SteamWorld Dig just never got to me.
What drew my attention back to SteamWorld and spurred my purchase of the first game was the release of SteamWorld: Hand of Gilgamech - a card based RPG. I loooove card games and I thought I should probably check out the earlier games to see if I was into the series before buying the newer (and therefore more expensive) one. When I saw that SteamWorld Dig was on sale recently for $3 on the Switch I picked it up and goddamn! What looks like a decent indie game played incredibly smoothly, had fantastic art and audio design, and drew me in immediately. SteamWorld Dig is only about 5 hours long and when I beat it I knew I’d been sucked into the world of SteamWorld.
After beating SteamWorld Dig in a few days I immediately picked up SteamWorld Heist (also on sale) for about $8. The western/robot hybrid was brought even more to life with more characters, space saloons, and some particularly snappy western songs.
A much longer game, SteamWorld Heist is a turn based tactical strategy game. It is completely different from SteamWorld Dig in every way other than aesthetics and worldbuilding and highlights the brilliance of SteamWorld games: the developers’ decision to make totally different genres of games within the same fictional world. SteamWorld Heist was as amazing as Dig and I loved my entire playthrough, going the extra mile to level up my characters and get perfect scores on every level just because playing it was so much fun.
What struck me after loving both SteamWorld Dig and Heist is that I’ve yet to even play SteamWorld Dig 2 which is consistently the highest rated out of all of them. I’ll be picking that up soon and then making my way to SteamWorld: Hand of Gilgamech - the game that actually rekindled my interest in the series in the first place! I hope the developers keep stretching their imaginations and trying out new things because SteamWorld is an incredibly fun place to spend some time.
If you haven’t played any SteamWorld games I will add my voice to many others and say: just get one. Get any of them! They all seem to be good. They’re also frequently on sale, so give one a shot!