‘SteamWorld Dig’ Review – GAHMER GOTY 2013

I saw it. I shrugged. I didn’t have to buy it. I didn’t have to listen. But they won me over with a single Tweet from the developer. Perhaps it was the intrigued by the cockiness that pushed me to take a dig into the unknown. Is it because I am a gamer? 

When I first started on my top 10 games of 2013, it soon became top 5. Then I realised that the game that comes out on top is in an entirely different league to my other top games. It wasn’t just something I enjoyed. It wasn’t just a well designed and clever game. It was both. And that to me made it special beyond words. I started writing a review for this game a month ago, hoping to state my top game of the year before the end of 2013 and give a review with it. I reached 800 words before realising I was forcing myself to state basic faults that weren’t a real problem for the game.

While the 3DS has had some amazing games this year, I find myself a little in disbelief that nothing compares to this title. The gameplay, the fun, the atmosphere. Perfection. Ask me if I could ever love an indie game more than other big titles this year and I’d laugh. After what Trine 2 did to me and my love of sidescrolling… as far as I was concerned, indie game basically meant “pretty puzzle platformer”. However I got a game that was puzzly, platformy and still a complete masterpiece.

And at 10pm, 31st of December 2013 I realised that I should just straight out say that no matter how awesome SteamWorld Dig is, it has been about the greatness performed by its developer Image and Form that has sold me on the game. If it wasn’t for a reply to a tweet questioning the game, I would never have jumped in and found the best game of 2013. Their use of social media has led them to being one of the most recognised indie developers of recent times. Interviews causing more attention saw the developer getting a massive following. Their use of Twitter is charming, making me feel closer to a developer than ever before.

I’ve replayed SteamWorld Dig twice. I very rarely put myself through such circumstances but the ways that you can play intrigued me. My first playthrough was slow (7 hours) as I collected everything possible. As people were posting how short the game was, I tried again as fast as I could (1hr20min). Later Image and Form used their charm and social media wizardry as a competition to see who could finish fastest and collect as much stuff as possible. While I missed the chance to participate, plenty of people were posting multiple attempts. It’s such an easy game to enjoy and delve into.

SteamWorld Dig is now available on the 3DS eShop as well as Steam. It is my favourite game of the year and I really hope that you buy and try the game.

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