Things X 5 – Double Diggin’

by Francois Joron

Spelunking adventure SteamWorld Dig, by Swedish developer Image&Form, has just been released for the Wii U after a successful launch a year ago on the 3DS and Sony consoles. I can only safely assume that many of you, like me, already have SteamWorld Dig installed on your 3DS. Is the new version worth going through the game a second time? Should you consider double diggin’ on this one? You should at least consider it, and here’s why, in classic Things X 5 fashion:

1

For the popping HD visuals

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The first thing that I noticed when I first played SteamWorld Dig on my Wii U is how gorgeous the HD visuals are. Everything is crisp looking, even on the GamePad, giving the unremarkable cartoony art style an unexpected visual boost.

2

For the addicting, yet relaxing exploration

02_SteamI wanted to first check out how SteamWork Dig looked and felt on the Wii U, then I realized that I had been playing the game for nearly 2 hours straight; this is how addictive SteamWorld Dig is. There is something special about repeatedly digging your way into the cavern, harvesting minerals until your lantern is nearly empty before going back to the surface only to go back again, digging your way further down the cave. There is a nice balance of digging just deep enough and having enough fuel left to make it back to the surface. Enemy encounters are few and far between and don’t pose much of a challenge anyway, which makes the game a rather stress-free adventure that focuses on exploration, solving puzzles, and gaining new abilities. It’s terribly addicting, yet strangely relaxing.

3

For the “metroidvania” gameplay

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As you are exploring, new abilities and items are slowly introduced and – in pure metroidvania fashion – give you an incentive to backtrack to some areas you have previously visited. Further more, you can upgrade your pick, health meter, fuel capabilities and more at the surface. There is a wide range of upgrades that facilitate your adventure but it never feels overwhelming. There has to be a subtle, yet important rhythm in how different gameplay elements are introduced to the player in a “metroidvania”-styled game and Image & Form, the developer behind SteamWorld Dig completely understands.

4

For the same setup as your 3DS

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SteamWorld Dig feels right at home on the Wii U. In fact, the TV screen and GamePad duo perfectly replicates the setup of the 3DS version of the game. It’s like having a really freaking big DS console in your living room. UI elements are nicely distributed between the two screens so your main display is uncluttered while your GamePad serves as a convenient inventory screen and indispensable mini-map. Different setups are also available, including Off-TV play and Pro Controller support, but the default setup is really the way the game was designed to be played.

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For simply returning to a great game.

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By returning for a second time to SteamWorld Dig and enjoying it as much, if not more, than in my first play through, I realized it might very well be one of my favorite downloads from the past few years. It’s a highly polished game that is simple but tightly designed. There is just something  unique about how you can ease your way into the game and just keep going until it ends (with the unfortunately bland boss battle from the 3DS release). SteamWorld Dig was one of the top downloads for the 3DS and now appears to be a heavily recommended, if not mandatory, download for your Wii U, even it is essentially the exact same thing you’ve played on your handheld. It’s just a great game to return to.

This feature was written based on a Nintendo eShop code provided by Image & Form. SteamWorld Dig is now available to download on the Nintendo eShop for the Wii U for $9.99. 

Don’t forget, you can drop me hints on my Twitter account. Also, you are welcome to send me a friend request on my Wii U, my Nintendo Network ID is Jorf-Jorf. My 3DS Friend Code is 5069-3920-3758. If you want to snoop at what I’m playing on PS3 my PSN ID is l_am_error. Have a great week!

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Want to win a copy of SteamWorld Dig? Follow @4colorrebellion and @ImageForm and leave a comment below with your Twitter handle and your region of choice (US or EU) for a chance at getting a free copy for your Wii U. Good luck!

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