For those who don’t listen to our video game podcast, Gamer Heroes, you might not know that I’m a big fan of Image & Form (now part of Thunderful) and their SteamWorld series of games. If you’re not familiar with the series, the SteamWorld games follow steam-powered robots in two different game styles. SteamWorld Dig and SteamWorld Dig 2 are both digging platformers while SteamWorld Heist is a turned-based RPG platformer. I’ve spent a lot of time playing these three games and you can find my reviews of them here:
Overall, they’ve done a nice job bringing the game to Nintendo Switch. Back when I first played, it was on the 3DS and while it’s still one of my favorite handheld games, the graphics were certainly not HD given the restrictions of the DS hardware line. The game, also being available on Steam, PS4, Vita, Xbox One, and Wii U means that it’s been available in an HD format on other platforms for a while now. In fact, the Nintendo Switch version of the game is the first release of SteamWorld Dig since the 2015 release on Xbox One.
Now, I’ve only ever played on 3Ds and Steam. So if you’ve played on Playstation or Xbox and had a totally different experience, please let me know but also keep in mind that I wasn’t exposed to those platforms for this title.
The game looks good. Visually, the graphics are nice and hold up well on my HD TV as well as in handheld mode on the Nintendo Switch. Of course, SteamWorld Dig 2 just looks a lot better. While the basic visual style is similar, SteamWorld Dig 2 has a lot more going on with more background animations and minor movements. I think the biggest change for me is the single screen experience. On 3DS, the mini-map, inventory, and some other features display on the bottom touch screen and are easily accessible by clicking on them. The Switch, only having a single screen, handles this by providing the mini-map in the upper right of the game play screen and the inventory on the bottom. Clearly, this works better than it would have on 3DS due to the significantly higher resolution but I truly loved the dual-screen experience on the 3DS. Steam provided a secondary window for the mini-map, which I found a bit clunky, so I would at least rate the Switch version higher in that regard. One cool feature is that the options menu provides a slider for increasing or decreasing the size of the mini-map. I just made it as large as can be, since I primarily play in TV mode.
The game play is solid and smooth for the most part. I do find that the game is a little slower in response when compared to the more recently released SteamWorld Dig 2. So if you are going back to play this one, that felt pretty noticeable. If SteamWorld Dig on Switch would be your introduction to the franchise, then I doubt you’ll notice.
At the end of the day, I think this is a solid version of the game but I don’t think I can call it the definitive version or anything like that. Where you play the game will likely depend on your personal preference. I think the 3DS version still has a lot to offer but if you’re like me and seem to be playing your DS less and less thanks to the Switch, I’d snag this new release of the game and once you finish, you can move on to SteamWorld Heist, since it’s also available on Switch now.
SteamWorld Dig is a personal favorite of mine and it’s definitely an Indie game worth checking out. If you’d like to hear more of my thoughts on gaming, please check out Gamer Heroes. We have new episodes on Tuesdays and you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Blog Talk Radio, Google Play, and Spreaker!
‘Till next time… keep on diggin’.