The StreamWorld series of games is one of those family of titles I've always heard fantastic things about but for one reason or another never got around to playing myself. On iOS, we've got SteamWorld Heist [$9.99] which Shaun reviewed when it was first released in 2016. On the Nintendo Switch eShop, SteamWorld Dig 2, SteamWorld Heist and recently, the original SteamWorld Dig are all available. When looking for something new to play last weekend, I decided to jump directly into SteamWorld Dig 2 which turned out to be a game I blasted through in a single day, taking a little under seven hours to make it through the main campaign without much focus on searching for collectables.

Backing up a bit, if this is the first you've heard of the SteamWorld Dig games, you're in for a treat. It's like they took the digging and collection mechanic of the classic iOS game I Dig It [$2.99] and packed it full of Metroidvania-style equipment upgrades and platforming elements. It's really sort of absurd how well all these things go together, and the game seems to have a near-perfect progression curve as you're always either unlocking a new ability or heading back to town to buy a ton of upgrades which let you dig deeper, and go farther.

SteamWorld Dig 2 puts you in charge of Dorothy, a steam-powered robot that also made an appearance in the first game. You're on the hunt for your friend Rusty, who is the character you play as in the original SteamWorld Dig. There's not a ton of plot to speak of, with the game's story seemingly existing as a barebones framework around different objectives you'll be completing in the game world. This might sound like a bad thing, when in actuality, you end up having so much fun just romping around the game world that it doesn't really ever feel like anything is "missing."

Like most Metroidvania games, you start out not being able to do a whole lot. In the early game Dorothy is limited to jumping and using a pick axe to dig through rock- Both of which are pretty slow. One of the first big stopping points you'll reach is a seemingly impenetrable wall at the bottom of the mine. Impenetrable, of course, until you find the appropriate equipment upgrade which turns your arm into a jackhammer. This lets you blast through that wall, and far deeper into the mine much faster.

Each new ability then has their own set of subsequent upgrades, both by leveling them up via spending gold coins you get from selling gems you find and by using upgrade cogs. Upgrade cogs are scattered throughout the game world and are used to buy passive upgrades for all of your equipment and abilities. For example, one of my favorite upgrades I've unlocked is souping up the jackhammer so when Dorothy destroys a block with it, it pulls her forward. This lets you really, really move quickly.

I don't really want to spoil what other sorts of abilities and equipment you'll come across in your quest to find Rusty, but they completely nail how a Metroidvania should feel in SteamWorld Dig 2. Once you've got a few upgrades and need to do some backtracking, you'll be blasting through areas that initially gave you trouble. Additionally, they game features an end boss battle that cleverly seems to combine absolutely everything you've unlocked throughout the game.

All in all, SteamWorld Dig 2 was a ton of fun, so much so that I feel kind of dumb for not playing a SteamWorld game before. If you have fond memories of 2D Metroid games, SteamWorld Dig 2 is a game you need to have on your Switch.