Mine for ore and discover hidden powers as a steampunk robot!
SteamWorld Dig is a Metroidvania style game with a focus on mining. You play as a robot that has inherited his uncle's mine out in the desert. The local townsfolk are happy to see the mine re-opened and gladly assist you via purchasable upgrades. They also happen to know a thing or two about your uncle, particularly that he's hidden a lot of specialized tech down in his mine.
Aesthetically, the game is pleasing and friendly, with a colorful (though not garish) cartoon art style. Steampunk robots living in the Old West makes for an amusing setting, but it's not entirely sunshine and smiles. The main character learns about the loss of his uncle at the start of the game, and later dialogue mentions a war and humanity... as things of the past. I'm not certain if the game itself goes much farther into the setting's history, but its teased enough to keep me interested already.
As you might expect from this type of game, there's a variety of character upgrades both in-town and underground. As you tunnel deeper into the mine, you'll obtain ores that can be sold in town to pay for new items and abilities. There's often several upgrade options available at any given time, and you're free to choose the ones you find most important, assuming you can pay for them. The more exotic powers however can only be obtained by exploring the depths! Things get more challenging as you descend of course, but you'll rarely get into an impossible situation if you use just a bit of thought and discretion.
Due to limited inventory space and lamp fuel, journeys into the mine are often fairly short. This isn't too much of a hassle though, as you can upgrade both of these aspects as well. Short trips have some advantages too - you never feel overwhelmed or burnt out from exploring and progress can be made even if you only have a few minutes to spare.
In the video I drew comparisons between SteamWorld Dig and Terraria, but they have little in common other than mining and a bit of Metroid influence. Terraria features heavy use of survival, crafting and building elements while SWD is very much rooted in adventure platforming. If you preferred the adventure and mining aspects of Terraria (or just like Metroid-style games in general), you'll probably find SteamWorld Dig very enjoyable.