Dwarf Fortress is Pretty Awesome

Dwarf Fortress is awesome

I was at work searching for something on the internet last week and I happened to stumble upon a blog posting by someone which talked about a little game called Dwarf Fortress. They had a screen shot of the game in the post, and the ascii graphics alone intrigued me. So, when I got home I downloaded the game, thinking I would play it for a few minutes and be done with it. I was wrong…I played it a lot over the weekend…Dwarf Fortress is amazingly radical.

Basically, you start the game with a bunch of dwarves (little smiley faces on the map), some cats and dogs, and dig into the ground to build a fortress. It almost reminded me of The Sims. You don’t directly tell the dwarves what to do, you just create tasks, and dwarves who are set to do that task eventually do it when they have time. For instance, you can zone an area to be dug as a tunnel, and a dwarf who you set to mine and who isn’t busy drinking or attending a party or sleeping will eventually dig the mine.

As you progress, your goal is to accumulate wealth and try to make all the dwarves happy. They like their own bed rooms, for example, but at the start of the game you might not have enough materials to create a bed for every single dwarf so you can designate a common barracks and everyone will share the beds in that room (or sleep on the floor). Later, when you have dedicated dwarves chopping trees and dedicated woodworkers making beds 24/7, you can start creating the beds more quickly and accommodate all the dwarves.

Over time you get more and more dwarves, which allows for more specialists in the labor force. Instead of assigning one dwarf to mine and be a mason, you can have one dwarf be a miner and another be a mason, allowing mines to be created faster and the mason to create more goods because you don’t have one dwarf trying to do both things.

There is a huge amount of depth to the game, it’s really very impressive. The menu is very difficult to get used to at first, and the Z-Axis is confusing (you go up and down levels, for example you dig one level into the ground, then you create a staircase and dig out the next level and so forth), but if you give it time and get used to the hotkeys you’ll see that Dwarf Fortress is a very well created, fun game.

As a side note, winter came one year in my game, freezing the river, the dwarves only source of water really. The dwarves nearly all died of thirst…they would lie in their beds and other dwarves would try to bring them water but, since the river was frozen, they could do nothing…There were dead bodies scattered all around the fortress…it was horrible. The few that were left would throw fits and complain and wouldn’t work to gather food. Things started to get ugly and they began eating the cats. Once the cats were gone they started to go mad and eventually perished. Which was not awesome because I spent hours building my empire only to see it destroyed because of a frozen river. But it was sort of fun to watch still.

You can download the game here.

6 thoughts on “Dwarf Fortress is Pretty Awesome”

  1. This is a lot to write about a game that apparently isn’t good enough to share with all your friends.

    p.s. Computer Games are for Chumps. Robert has officially become a chump. BOO YAH.

  2. Somebody is being totally negative. What was I supposed to say, “Radical Dude, there is this PC game called Dwarf Fortress that you would not like at all, just so you are aware.” Everything about this game doesn’t work out:

    1. It’s a PC game. How many times have you said PC games are for Chumps.
    2. It has horrible graphics.
    3. It has dwarves. You hate them so much. You nearly walked out of the first Lord of the Rings movie because of the dwarf in it.

    I was only trying to protect you from the truth.

  3. I just about busted out laughing in the middle of class in regards to point 3. I will now counter. My feelings were hurt cus I was left out. At least give me the opportunity to know and make fun of such games.

    To Point 1 : I just can’t get into PC games. Games are made for Home consoles, not computers. I am pretty much right about this. So don’t try to counter my bullet proof argument.

    Point 2; I only play games with awesome and radical graphics. I am so independent that I make the graphics with my soul. My Soul only makes awesome and radical graphics, so I can’t deal with crap that is neither awesome nor radical.

    Point 3: Fricken Dwarves. What the heck is their problem? Fricken get taller and normal or something. They all have small man complex and its annoying. They fricken have height issues and the only way they deal with it is to carry around axes and swords and they try to kill tall people. I mean next to them a baby is a fricken giant, this is ridiculous. But Seriously wouldn’t it have been hilarious if I had walked out of LOTR because of a dwarf. Instead I fell asleep. How Independent.

    In Closing I take back my anger because you did try and protect me from the truth and archaic games that have no place in todays modern world.

  4. “I was at work searching for something on the internet last week and I happened to stumble upon a blog posting by someone which talked about a little game called Dwarf Fortress.”
    same happend to me, the blog is this one :-)

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  6. A Game of Dwarves is a welcome reutrn to the Dungeon Keeper style of management games. Despite a few strange design choices and a lack of strong momentum in the lengthy campaign, the game still offers great value if you are looking for a rather relaxed session of dwarf herding.

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