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Games : Highly Recommended
Release Date: August 8th, 2013 Movie Release Year: 2013

SteamWorld Dig: A Fistful of Dirt

Overview -

Developer Image & Form, young and ambitious, graced the 3DS and PC last year with 'SteamWorld Dig: A Fistful of Dirt.' Described as a platform mining adventure by the company, you take the role of Rusty, a steambot miner with a knack for uncovering mysteries in his uncle's old mine. Though many titles in the past have exploited the very basic addiction of digging into unknown depths, 'SteamWorld Dig' throws in a light story and character progression, along with some charming visuals, to carve out its own spot on the landscape. The PS4 and Vita ports have recently been released, which makes now a perfect time to reexamine the game.

Highly Recommended
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
August 8th, 2013

Video Review


In adopting a steampunk western theme to the visuals and presentation, Image & Form basically circumvented the need for any truly creative visuals from a tonal or atmospheric standpoint. It's pleasant and, more importantly, pragmatic. Up on the surface, the town of Tumbleton slowly builds into a bustling little marketplace where Rusty can spend his cash. The characters at the helm of each store are compelling in the way one insect stands out from another. There's not a lot going on inside, but they look the part and they play the part very well.

Inside the mine it's a very different story. Dark and mysterious, the beacons of light scattered throughout the dirt almost pull you in, fighting your desire to stray and find doubtless glorious goods scattered about. It plays well into the whole lantern mechanic too, beckoning a balance of time and miner's ambition. Again, very pragmatic and not too overwhelming.

Audio Review


The music and accompanying rhythmic sounds of Rusty's various tools play you through the mine like a "whistle while you work"/western hybrid. As with the presentation, it's a pragmatic sense of progression and mystery in the score, and an efficiency in the sound design that doesn't scream creativity but goes a long way towards cementing the atmosphere. You're pushed forward without any overbearing tick compelling you to turn the volume down.

Adventuring through a mine sounds like a one note sort of deal. It could have been, but then I imagine Image & Form never would have attempted the project in the first place. They saw a potentially monotonous act and employed a variety of key mechanics to make it fun and truly satisfying from beginning to start. Somehow tightly linear while feeling open and unique to each and every player, a day in Rusty's metallic shoes is never the same as the last and always worth another trip down into the dark.