In this Dwarf Fortress Steam Review I will cover what Dwarf Fortress is and why you should give it a try. The follow article will be a full review over Dwarf Fortress one of the most interesting Simulators longest developed games of all time.
Dwarf Fortress Review
In an age where Simulators/Simulations have to focus on one thing: “realistic as possible”. Dwarf Fortress stands out and doesn’t have to follow this #1 rule in Sim design. While Dwarf Fortress isn’t new and is actually 20 years old. Started development in 2002. Came out for free in 2006. Dwarf Fortress has started a name for itself as “The most complex game ever created”.
With the new Steam version out which upgrades the game to be more accessible for players (like me) who couldn’t get into the game but thought the game was pretty interesting. Even when looking more deeply into this wonderful game, you may be surprised that there have been a lot of games inspired by Dwarf Fortress like Minecraft, Terraria, and Rimworld.
There are even several games that may look like Dwarf Fortress, and those games have their own spin. Dwarf Fortress even created its own genre called the Colony Sim which would make this game the first of its kind.
What is Dwarf Fortress?
Well, Dwarf Fortress under the hood is a World Simulator. When creating a world, you can set the parameters on how you want it to be. Instead of a loading screen like most games when creating a world. You get to see the world forming. In the text box in the top left corner.
You get to see the dawn of civilizations, wars, plagues, and anything you can think of that would happen in a world that is generating. There are 3 different game modes, each in integration with the world you created. As it is a World Simulator. What you do in these game modes will change what you did in the world.
The three game modes are:
What is Fortress?
Fortress mode which is very popular is your Colony Management Simulator. You start with 7 dwarfs, all with their own personalities, thoughts, emotions, and what they may or may not want to do. Fortress mode does have a tutorial and it only teaches you what you can do at the start. The game doesn’t hold your hand. the game doesn’t give you any goals. You are set to make your own goal and see how long your colony will survive.
The game will give you interactive book-long tips on how to do certain things and you can reread them if you can’t remember or misread something. There will be many dangers and even if your colony didn’t survive. You can always start a new one and see if you can improve your previous attempt in the same world. Remember losing is fun. You can’t win in Dwarf Fortress and this game doesn’t have a win condition or You are victorious.
The world will keep on going as part of the World Simulator. Even if your fortress was destroyed. Instead of game over. Whatever year that fortress ended. The years will continue to the next fortress.
Here is my current run. I finished the tutorial. I saw a bunch of dead animals lying down outside of my hamlet “Erarthob Leadgirders”. I had no dwarf set to hunt and began to worry about something. Once the traders came by but had nothing to trade. I saw a bear just lying dead on the ground. Several of my dwarfs caught a plague and it was close to winter. I found out on the DF Wiki that I couldn’t make a farm in the winter but I could make one underground if there was soil or sandy soil. Surely enough I struck an elevation rich in red sandy soil. While I wasn’t sure about the kind of plants I had. I found out these 50 Plump Helmets weren’t Helmets at all. Instead, they were purple mushrooms that had the ability to grow underground in any type of soil. I started planting them and I was able to survive my first year with plenty of food and Mushroom Wine. Thank you DF Wiki.
What is Adventurer?
Adventurer is an Open World Sandbox Role Playing Game. You can do whatever you want as you see fit. You can even chat with dwarfs in your Retired fortress or explore your abandoned fortresses. You can go on quests, and set up camp. pretty much what you do in an RPG. This mode is currently not available in the current version of this game but however, but there are pretty interesting stories that can happen. I would recommend watching Sseth review of the game. I haven’t played Adventurer mode but I will when it’s out or try it when I either retire or my fortress is destroyed.
What is Legends?
Legends is technically not a game mode but more like a Book about the world you created. It has stories that are happening in your world. World events, wars, what is happening to your retired fortresses. If you are into the lore, this would make you happy. Even when you do something in Fortress and Adventurer. Legends will change as well even if you weren’t in it all the time. As I said, Dwarf Fortress is a World Simulator. Whatever is happening in the world will show up in legends. If you had a dragon come by to visit and destroy your fortress. You can find that same dragon’s name in legends and realize. It wasn’t a random event. Instead, the dragon was on its quest for a dwarven holocaust as one dwarf stole the dragon’s gold. While the dragon couldn’t find the thief. The dragon decided to go on a rampage destroying every dwarven kingdom until it finds the thief.
Dwarf Fortress Steam Review: Conclusion
I recommend the game to anyone looking for Unique experiences. I have tried this game many of times and even bought a guidebook to learn how to play. But the steam version with an in-game tutorial, mouse support, an official tileset made by members from the DF community, brand new music which also has dwarven language for lyrics, and steam workshop support for making it easier to set up mods. This game may end up being one of the games that you will be playing forever. This game is a labor of Love and the developers have been working on this game for over 20 years with the goal to “simulate all of existence”.
This game just like when it was released back in 2006 is nowhere near 1.0. The game is currently on 50.04 meaning it’s 50% completed. This is a pretty Interesting and Unique game. Even if it took decades to be this good. I don’t think other games that may take 2-4 years will have this much detail as Dwarf Fortress. As someone who never really like Simulators/simulations because they were trying to be too realistic which isn’t appealing to me. Dwarf Fortress feels like a breath of fresh air to the genre and I think with this steam version.
It will give new players the experience that many in the genre don’t offer.
I hope you have enjoyed this Dwarf Fortress Steam Review, be sure to follow me to see more over on Steam.
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