Gamescom SteamWorld – Sweden builds up a head of steam
Image & Form is a small game studio in the Swedish city of Gotenburg. With approximately 20 employees CEO Brjánn Sigurgeirsson managed to reach into the big player’s territory and achieved top notch ratings, beating established top brands, with his SteamWorld games.
My first contact with Image & Form was a coincidence. I just bought myself a new Nindendo 3DS console and checked out Nintendo’s digital game catalogue, as I stumbled across SteamWorld Dig. You play Rusty, a little steam-powered robot, who lives in a kind of wild west world and has to dig for several secrets.
First a gold digger, then a space pirate captainDelighted about the visual style and gameplay of the game, I found myself quite sad as I reached the game’s end in about 4 hours. I almost forgot about the Steamworld, as the Goethe Institut’s project Faites vos jEUx gave me the opportunity to visit Gamescom 2015’s business area where I found Image & Form’s booth.
Linus Völkner and Image&Form | © Image&Form Together with his collegue Julis Guldbog, Brjánn promoted SteamWorld Dig’s successor, SteamWorld Heist, which I was able to test. Reluctantly I realised, that I was now no longer digging in the Wild West with Rusty, but raiding space ships and saving the universe, alongside space pirate captain Piper Faraday, while I must not forget to collect as many hats as possible. But it was the same love for detail and the unique visual style I loved about SteamWorld Dig that I found in this game. Piper and her crew are also steam-powered and Julius hinted that Piper and Rusty would live in the same universe and that we might learn about the connection of their fates in a future game.
We said each other goodbye and Julius provided me with SteamWorld goodies and a business card. But it was not until the end of the day as I realised that there was something else special about the SteamWorld.