Steamworld Dig 2

A 3DS classic gets a follow-up that doubles down on the charm.

SteamWorld Dig 2 review

My absolute favourite thing about the first SteamWorld Dig - a game that, in the memory, seems pretty much bursting with favourite things - was a simple collectable. It was an in-game currency of some kind, although inevitably I can't remember what you could spend it on. What I can remember is what it felt like to collect it. You would free it from the rock it had been trapped within, where it took the form of a metallic blue sphere. The act of freeing it, though, would cause it to erupt, and so a series of tiny ball bearings would burst out at you and fly around the immediate landscape. Brilliantly, these ball bearings had a bit of physics to them: they would knock and bounce and generally rattle through the air all about you. You wanted to grab them, but you also had to dash to collect them, and in dashing, brilliantly awful things might happen to you.

That particular collectable doesn't make it through to the sequel, which is odd, I suppose, because SteamWorld Dig 2 is as loyal a sequel as you could imagine. But its absence doesn't really matter. I didn't really miss it. And that's because SteamWorld Dig 2 is as loyal a sequel as you could imagine. It's loyal to the spirit of the original game rather than the detailing - although it's quite often loyal to both. So it's loyal to the spirit of that beloved collectable: it knows that physics is fun, and that physics gets more fun when different elements, each with their own predictable physical consequences, come together and start to set each other off.

The first SteamWorld Dig game ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. Rusty, the plucky robot miner you send clanking through a series of scrappy adventures, has defeated an awful boss, but has been caught in the ensuing cave-in. That means that this time out you play as his friend Dorothy, who has set off to find him. Despite the change in lead, Dorothy's adventure feels wonderfully familiar. There are 2D mines filled with soft earth for you to dig through as you progress down and down in search of your missing buddy. There are enemies and jewels buried about you, the first to avoid or despatch with a swing of the axe, the second to take back to town - a bigger, busier town than first time around, of course - and sell to buy upgrades.

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Nintendo reveals several Switch indie games and release dates

Nintendo reveals several Switch indie games and release dates

SteamWorld Dig 2! Kentucky Route Zero! Morphies Law!

Nintendo unveiled its "Nindies" (a terrible word that means independent games coming to Nintendo platforms) showcase in a livestream earlier today and the reveals came quick and fast.

Aside from the major announcements like Super Meat Boy Forever and No More Heroes: Travis Strikes Again, there were loads of smaller titles that were given release dates or Switch reveals.

There's SteamWorld Dig 2, which will launch exclusively on Switch on 21st September for 14.99. Developer Image & Form noted that the PS4 and Steam versions would arrive "a few days later."

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SteamWorld Dig 2 is coming to PS4 and Steam "a few days" after its Switch debut

Scheduled for a late summer or early autumn release.

We've known since its announcement that SteamWorld Dig 2 would be a Nintendo Switch exclusive upon its launch. What we didn't know is what other platforms it would be arriving on and when. Now developer Image & Form Games has confirmed that its side-scrolling sequel will arrive on PS4 and Steam "within a few days of the Nintendo Switch debut."

The Nintendo Switch is finally out and while its launch library is slim and retail third-party support lacking, the handheld hybrid has a healthy bunch of independent games headed towards its library. At a GDC showcase I played five such titles, and they were all a lot of fun.