SteamWorld |OT| Attune Your Ears to the Grinding Gears

Mar 19, 2019
305

The SteamWorld series is a cross-genre video game franchise developed by Swedish Image & Form, taking place in a world where the wild west and steampunk clockworks meet after the world has since succumbed to apocalypse. Nearly every game is almost entirely self-contained, distinguished by unique subtitles; subsequently, every entry is also a different genre, with distinct gameplay that best suits the context of any of the given games.

This is the Community Thread for discussing the metas, plots and strategies for each of the games in the SteamWorld series. Please tag all relevant spoilers and clearly denote what is being spoiled.

  • SteamWorld Tower Defense


Released in 2010 exclusively as DSiWare, the SteamWorld series began with SteamWorld Tower Defense.

Rather straightforward, in SteamWorld Tower Defense human invaders wish to steal gold from the Steambots' mining facilities. It is up to the player to, in Tower Defense tradition, set up turrets and other traps to impede their progress to your base.

Despite being the most standard of the bunch, SteamWorld Tower Defense has maintained a reputation as the single-most difficult game developed by Image & Form, with the game's lead developer being the only employee to complete the game as of 9 years later.
  • SteamWorld Dig


SteamWorld Dig saw the first multi-platform release of a SteamWorld game, in 2013 seeing itself on the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii-U, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and PC, and later being ported to the Nintendo Switch in 2018.

In SteamWorld Dig, players assume the role of a Steambot named Rusty as he assists the desperate mining town of Tumbleton by descending into the town's subterranean labyrinth of a mine. A 2D platformer with heavy Metroidvania influences, SteamWorld Dig features strong cyclical gameplay; lowering oneself into the mine, the player uses Rusty's pickaxe in order to deconstruct the game world and platform downwards, picking up minerals along the way until they find their outings soft-limited by their carrying capacity and torchlight. The player must return to town, sell minerals, and upgrade the duration of their torch and increase how many minerals they can carry in order to gradually increase the length of their next dig. Throughout the game, per the Metroidvania standard, Rusty finds new abilities which allows him to platform in previously inaccessible locations.

The game later spawned a sequel called SteamWorld Dig 2 which featured identical gameplay, but the player played as one of the hub-world NPC's from the first game.
  • SteamWorld Heist


SteamWorld Heist is the 2016 successor to SteamWorld Dig, released on the Nintendo 3DS, PC's, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii-U, XBox and mobile devices. The planet Earth has long since died, exploding and scattering itself throughout the universe. Now taking to interstellar travel, the Steambots have colonized the fragmented planet, squabbling over what few precious resources are still there to be scavenged. Players take the role of Piper, a royal soldier-gone-renegade, now smuggler and space-pirate captain, as she leads her rag-tag band of steam-powered bandits as they raid ships for water and eventually take to a revolution against the Red Queen.

SteamWorld Heist is a turn-based tactics game that attempts to combine the side-scrolling, active-aiming system of the Worms series with the management of XCom. Units are distinguished by their class, which dictates what special skills and passive abilities they learn when leveling up and what weapons they're able to use; in addition, units are distinguished by a equipped weapons, which not only have unique projectile and aiming qualities, but also sometimes unique perks which modify the behavior of the unit's skills. Though there's a plethora to choose from, at the onset of every mission the player must pick a team of three.
  • SteamWorld Quest


Released in 2019 on the Nintendo Switch and PC's, SteamWorld Quest is the most recent entry in the SteamWorld. Taking place within a fairytale where all the residents of a high-fantasy world from the people to the animals are clockwork, SteamWorld Quest has players control a motley crew of small-name villagers as they go on a quest to rescue the imprisoned members of the famed Hero Guild and as our hero Armilly attempts to earn the Guild's favor by solving the mystery of an up-and-coming Dark Lord and his Void Army.

SteamWorld Quest is a deckbuilding/turn-based RPG hybrid. In a party of 3, every participant in combat has a deck of eight-cards which is then combined into a party-wide deck of 24. Every turn, the player draws to 6 cards in their hand and plays up to three in order, using weak cards to build up Steam Pressure as a price for more powerful cards. Every character's unique abilities are represented by their unique cards, of which there are over 100 for players to synergize and glean comprehensive decks from.
 

Bardoon

Member
May 27, 2018
591
England
Playing SteamWorld Quest at the moment and thoroughly enjoying it. Not sure how long the game is but I've just got the fourth party member and all the team is around level 15.

SteamWorld Dig 1 & 2 were great too, especially 2. I tried Heist last year but couldn't get into it, maybe I will give it another try sometime.
 

gazoinks

Member
Jul 9, 2019
259
I grabbed Heist and Dig 2 yesterday as some games to dive into to get my mind off my breakup, and man... These games are just so well-built. I played Dig a while ago and loved it, and it's really impressive how Dig 2 expands it so much the original feels like a prototype, and yet it still feels really purposeful and not bloated. Heist is a really cool take on turn-based strategy, and the active aiming is a clever way of adding user control where most games would have RNG. Both really awesome, creative games. Image & Form's ability to take on different genres and pull them off within their cohesive aesthetic really impresses me.

I know it's gotten a mixed reception, but I very much want to play Quest as well. I love a good card RPG. Wish they'd port Tower Defense to the Switch so they'd all be available there.
 
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IsaOfTheWorlds
Mar 19, 2019
305
Sorry to necro, I never realized this thread got any attention.

I just picked up heist on eshop for like £4. Any tips before I play?
You probably already beat the game by now, but I'll go ahead and give advice for anyone looking to get into SteamWorld.

I fully recommend not sticking with one group of three at all. There's multiple different chapters, with different enemy types and gimmicks and objectives and hazards, and really for a seamless campaign you'll want to use the first chapter to develop as many of your units as possible to maximize adaptability.

This is also important because synergy is important. Sure, you can have a group that covers all bases fairly well for the game, but I'll think you'll find it easier to have a few standby groups with other focuses. For example, for a lot of the
teleporting enemies
I used a group that focused on Valentine, a SteamBot who could forego movement for buffs and had a long scope, and I used two other characters with buffs to increase his damage so I wouldn't have to worry about chasing the enemies around the map. It made it a lot easier than it would've been using my jack-of-all-trades party which included a member with an AoE gun with no scope.

I know it's gotten a mixed reception, but I very much want to play Quest as well. I love a good card RPG. Wish they'd port Tower Defense to the Switch so they'd all be available there.
Has its reception been mixed? SteamWorld Quest was fantastic, and from a look at reviews it seems generally favorable. That being said, SteamWorld Quest was amazing and a good take on Slay the Spire, the system leaves so much room for build-centric strategies, the characters and locales are all colorful, the plot is very standard but done beautifully and the end-game twist is wonderful. I fully recommend the game for you, I believe you'd love it. :)

Playing SteamWorld Quest at the moment and thoroughly enjoying it. Not sure how long the game is but I've just got the fourth party member and all the team is around level 15.

SteamWorld Dig 1 & 2 were great too, especially 2. I tried Heist last year but couldn't get into it, maybe I will give it another try sometime.
Heist takes some time to get into I think. Potentially also not your thing, which is totally fine, but it's second to Quest in the series for its later-game narrative beats. Glad you're loving Quest, hope you try your second bout with Heist!
 

JoeNut

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,224
UK
Sorry to necro, I never realized this thread got any attention.



You probably already beat the game by now, but I'll go ahead and give advice for anyone looking to get into SteamWorld.

I fully recommend not sticking with one group of three at all. There's multiple different chapters, with different enemy types and gimmicks and objectives and hazards, and really for a seamless campaign you'll want to use the first chapter to develop as many of your units as possible to maximize adaptability.

This is also important because synergy is important. Sure, you can have a group that covers all bases fairly well for the game, but I'll think you'll find it easier to have a few standby groups with other focuses. For example, for a lot of the
teleporting enemies
I used a group that focused on Valentine, a SteamBot who could forego movement for buffs and had a long scope, and I used two other characters with buffs to increase his damage so I wouldn't have to worry about chasing the enemies around the map. It made it a lot easier than it would've been using my jack-of-all-trades party which included a member with an AoE gun with no scope.
Thanks, I actuall have just started it today, so this is good timing. Presumably it's a good idea to replay levels and recruit as often as possible then?
 

Megasoum

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,205
I picked up Quest on the eShop sale and really enjoying it so far (just got to Chapter 4)

Without spoiling anything too directly... I'm curious, do you ever get more than 8 slots in your deck? I get that this is kind of the whole concept but this feels so restrictive lol
 
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IsaOfTheWorlds
Mar 19, 2019
305
Presumably it's a good idea to replay levels and recruit as often as possible then?
Grinding isn't necessary, no, but it doesn't hurt. Ultimately you just need to be careful to cycle through characters as frequently as possible. Recruit when able, yes. Characters are restricted by "classes" but each character has a unique kit that allows them to fill unique roles; no two characters operate exactly the same, so it's always best to keep a look-out for characters that better suit your individual playstyle and strategies! :)


I picked up Quest on the eShop sale and really enjoying it so far (just got to Chapter 4)

Without spoiling anything too directly... I'm curious, do you ever get more than 8 slots in your deck? I get that this is kind of the whole concept but this feels so restrictive lol
Sadly, no. Deck size is constant all throughout. I found it annoyingly restrictive, too, but I think it's also more consistent. Bigger decks would be hard to keep focused, no?
 
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IsaOfTheWorlds
Mar 19, 2019
305
Image & Form going to do a Q & A on Thursday

Man, can't believe i missed the deadline. I'll definitely check it out though; I'm looking forward to seeing what genre of games I&F tackle in the next SteamWorld, hope they address it. Unfortunately, I can't seem to stream the Q&A now; any word on how the Q&A went?

Just finished the first act. This game is super addictive.
Haha, yeah! Glad you're liking it this time through! :) What kind of party have you been running?
 

JoeNut

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,224
UK
Man, can't believe i missed the deadline. I'll definitely check it out though; I'm looking forward to seeing what genre of games I&F tackle in the next SteamWorld, hope they address it. Unfortunately, I can't seem to stream the Q&A now; any word on how the Q&A went?



Haha, yeah! Glad you're liking it this time through! :) What kind of party have you been running?
I'm kind of flitting between them all, I like Sally as she has the killshot ability, and I like the big brute guy who can agro everyone to attack him. Piper is a good all rounder. Havent tried to the little red guy who you find in a heap needing an energy core yet, s/he any good?
 
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IsaOfTheWorlds
Mar 19, 2019
305
I'm kind of flitting between them all, I like Sally as she has the killshot ability, and I like the big brute guy who can agro everyone to attack him. Piper is a good all rounder. Havent tried to the little red guy who you find in a heap needing an energy core yet, s/he any good?
You mean Fen, right? Fen is fantastic, and a genderless entity. Their main ability is a chargable attack that pierces enemies and cover.