Dwarf Fortress Reviews
A dedicated renewal for an already-legendary video game, the 2022 release of Dwarf Fortress brings it to a level where the casually interested can finally dive in and Strike the Earth!
A worthy revision of the legendary settlement sim. Slightly less impenetrable, just as engrossing.
Dwarf Fortress operates under a similar logic. It will instill in you, the player, that “slender intuition” of what to do. It may, as it did for me, invoke a sense of anxiety as you feel unsure what it is you ought to be doing. But in following your instincts, stories will begin to arise, just as they do for a novelist when they sit down to write. Your base motivation (survive the winter) will be supplanted by something else as you respond to what unfolds before you — whether that be drunken cats or, in my case, a dwarf who struggles to find purpose in life. Your only role, then, is to see that story through.
It's Dwarf Fortress as we know it, but much more approachable for both new and returning players. The new interface makes it easier to get started, but there's still a huge amount to learn and the game isn't great at teaching you. If you can give it the time and patience it requires, you'll be rewarded with one of gaming's most intricately detailed and deeply satisfying story generators.
A graphical overhaul offers a gentler way of playing this vast, strange strategy game of staggering intricacy
“Dwarf Fortress” is a storytelling engine as much as it is a game, spitting out associations and facts and details that you can shape into a coherent and specific narrative. This is also what we do to our own lives, personifying random events so that they feel significant rather than a matter of chance. Life isn’t usually a satisfying narrative. It isn’t so much that “Dwarf Fortress” is a perfect simulacrum of life, but that it shines a bright light on the human tendency to look for meaning in everything. I care about my dwarves because the stories I make up about their lives are also the ones I make up about my own.
Dwarf Fortress is a hobby more than a game at its highest levels. It’s something that has enough depth and complexity to devote a small part of your life if you want. Its community is devoted and their command over the mechanics of Dwarf Fortress allows them to do incredible things with this game. That being said, it may not be for everyone. The Steam Release lets you see whether or not this game is worth your time enough to get invested in truly understanding this game.
Dwarf Fortress looks more modern and offers a lot more ease of access on Steam, but it is still an intimidating game. Another batch of tutorials or contextual tooltips would go a long way toward helping new players uncover the deeper mechanics of the game. There’s something to be said for figuring it out yourself, but that’s not everyone’s learning style.
I think they’ve done it. This is the classic Dwarf Fortress experience but with nice graphics, some quality of life improvements, and more robust mouse support. Strike the earth! Don’t slip on the puke!
Dwarf Fortress is one of the most incredibly complex games to ever be released, with Bay 12 Games showing no sign of slowing down in the coming years. While the complicated menus and steep learning curve might be too much for some people, this game will be exactly what most colony management fans have always been looking for.
While Dwarf Fortress, much like the Dwarves it features, may still be a bit rough around the edges, the asking price of $29.99 ultimately seems like a fair deal. It is a highly replayable experience filled with questionable Dwarven decisions and antics you’ll find yourself amused or bewildered by on a regular basis for many hours to come, and benefits from the expectation of support continuing long into the future, as it has many years before this Steam version release.
Buy the game for you and everyone you know, move away to a remote, off-the-grid cottage in the mountains, and don’t go back to the city until you master Dwarf Fortress. You will find that the madness of this game is more appealing than the madness of the real world most of the time.