Hello. How are you doing? It's the day after the United States's 2020 Presidential Election, and let's just say 2020 continues to be on-brand. Fear not: I'm here to slip a little good news into your doomscrolling. Earlier today Image & Form, the studio behind the top-tier SteamWorld games, confirmed it's making new games for its steampunk universe.
Image & Form also tweeted that it's "not ruling out" sequels to previous games. "We would love to revisit earlier games in the series," the tweet reads.
Does this mean we'll see a SteamWorld Heist 2? Dear Robot Lord in Robot Heaven, I hope this means we'll see a SteamWorld Heist 2.
I've been in love with Image & Form's SteamWorld series since I played the original SteamWorld Dig on the Nintendo 3DS. Admittedly, outside factors helped the game leave an impression on me: I was without power for a full day thanks to the 2013 ice storm that heralded a particularly tough winter, and I'll never forget digging with Rusty in the cold and dark.
Rest assured you don't need any kind of creepy outside atmosphere to soak in the SteamWorld games. When I received an HD copy of SteamWorld Dig for the Wii U (RIP), I fell in love all over again. You never forget the first time you dig deep enough to uncover Old World—and it turns out repeated visits are also chill-inducing.
SteamWorld Dig is great, SteamWorld Dig 2 is even better, and RPG fans should definitely check out SteamWorld Quest, a light card-based jaunt that echoes Slay the Spire. That being said, news about a SteamWorld Heist 2 would bring some serious joy and color to [gestures vaguely] all this.
I like turn-based strategy games, but SteamWorld Heist's mix of strategy, action, unique physics, and peerless world-building makes it irresistible. If you haven't played SteamWorld Heist—shame on you, by the way, it's available for pretty much everything, so chop chop—here's the gist: Its main character, Captain Piper Faraday, is a space smuggler who takes various jobs to keep her small crew happy and well-watered (H2O is more precious than gold to steam-powered robots). Unfortunately, "Scrapper" steambots are kidnapping and dismantling innocents, and generally making a noisy mess. Piper, worried that the Scrappers' antics might attract unwanted attention from the Royalists who generally don't stray into the outskirts of space, soon finds herself pulled deep into their shenanigans. But as the story progresses, it becomes clear the Scrappers are small cogs next to the real threat lurking in the vacuum.
SteamWorld Heist's story and setting is great stuff, but its gameplay is almost guaranteed to draw you in. Levels are 2D, which is unusual for a turn-based strategy game. The reason for the 2D viewpoint quickly becomes apparent when you first position Piper, use your controller to physically line up her scope with a Scrapper's head, and bam. It just feels so good—especially when you bank a tight shot off an opposite wall and send that slug sailing into a Scrapper's eye.
Not everyone on Piper's team favors the easy elegance of a rifle scope. Some, like the rough-mannered Seabrass, prefer guns that sacrifice a scope for sheer power. Characters can also specialize in melee attacks. Every stage in SteamWorld Heist feels like it's just long enough, and the action component prevents you from getting bored. It's simply a well-designed game, and nearly all its reviews shine like brass in the desert sun. Including ours, of course.
Whatever content Image & Form has in mind for SteamWorld, I will be happy to stretch out my hands and receive it. A whole new sub-series is fine; it'll be cool to take another trip into an unexplored corner of the SteamWorld Universe. Right this second though, I long to hear Steam Powered Giraffe belt out a new dirge from the basement of a grim space pub.