Reviews: Dwarf Fortress

Love the game myself, but...

I notice all the extremely positive reviews and I just have to write a somewhat dissenting review. I love me some Dorf Fort, laughed at some of the things my idiot dwarfs do to get themselves killed, literally gasped when a recently conscripted, unarmed Recruit pulled an embedded iron crossbow bolt out of a !!Forgotten Beast!! and stabbed it in the brain case with it. I play the game to death and enjoy every second of it... but, I'm not posting this review to gush.

There's really now excuse for why user accessibility is so damned dreadful after so many years of development other than pure elitism. Dammit Toady, if you don't have the time to work on the user interface, just post a general call for help on the Bay 12 forums! I'm sure there are hundreds of people that are willing to streamline the UI, make a better fucking tutorial, smash those bugs, and everything else that an outsider would notice from the outset. I'm not saying to put the entirety of the DF wiki into the game, there needs to be some discovery. I'm starting to think that the DF community all have some aspect of Stockholm Syndrome, maybe that of an abused spouse who refuses to leave his or her partner. We don't need to put up with such a terrible interface! Something intuitive, better interaction with the mouse, all that is possible if Toady dropped his pride and asked for help. Hell, he wouldn't even have to pay for it, we'd all do it for free!

I'm sure there are some already out there that fix everything I say. I'm saying put it in the official download, into the vanilla game so reluctant noobs aren't chased away. If it's a matter of adaptability for DF vets, add the option to switch to the old UI. Set up a poll so that the ones people send get voted to the top, then Toady will vet it, then it goes into the game.

All Hail the God of Blood

Ah, good ol' Dorf Fort. This is by far the quirkiest game I have played in a long time. If I had to describe it, I would say it's Minecraft meets The Sims meets the Cliche Tolkienesque fantasy world.

On steroids.

Dwarf Fortress makes Net Hack, a game renowned for its depth and complexity, look like Pong. It is the next level of gaming. Every era of gaming has had a genre that is in the vogue. In the NES era, it was the Platform Game. After that, it switched to the Shoot Em Up. For a while, it was the Fighting Game. Currently, it is the First Person Shooter. Next, it shall be DF-esque Simulation Games. My evidence for this: Minecraft. Minecraft has moved into mainstream, right? Well, what if I told you that it takes inspiration directly from Dwarf Fortress?

It's obvious that DF is not for everyone. It speaks for itself in that regard. It is HARD. Once you have played Dwarf Fotress, you will know what it truly means to Lose. This is the main thing that stands between DF and the mainstream. Minecraft was able to succeed where DF "failed", because it applied DF's playstyle to a simpler interface, opening it up to a wider audience. DF will never move beyond Cult Classic level — but it will shake the gaming world.

If you're reading this review, you're probably considering this game. But before you try to go ahead and it out, let me give you some advice. Never. Give. Up. DF will attack you. DF will brutalize you. DF will mug you. DF will rape you. DF will KILL you. DF will devour you. You will bleed. You will bruise. You will die. You will Lose. But you must never give up. If you keep at it, you will master Dwarf Fortress. You will have done what many have tried, and many have failed. Will you attempt will this Herculean task? And, in the end, will you succeed?

I invite, nay, challenge you to play Dwarf Fortress. To climb the Learning Cliff. To face all that this unfinished masterpiece has to offer. I challenge you... to Lose!

Extremely Overcomplicated

Dwarf Fortress is very complicated, and that's what makes it good.

You'll like it if you can handle the goal-lessness, the difficulty, and the complexity. Although personally, I enjoy all of that.

The most complicated game ever. and this is why it's GOOD.

Dwarf Fortress. The most complex game in the whole world by a good margin, and yes even other Roguelikes are not that complicated.

No, this is no claim by a mere fanboy. What other game includes geology, biology, military tactics, physics (as... quirky as they are), sociology ? No other game. What other game includes that many possibilities of planning and generally different possibilities ? In which other game you can create both extremely detailed epic stories and be able to create that epic just as you desire, creating the plot all along and having mostly full control over how the story unfolds ?

It's The Sims meets Settlers meets Dungeon Keeper meets any Dungeon Crawling Roguelike, and it is not only as good as these games, it's as good as the SUM of them!

It is not only a game, but a story generator and an universe generator.

Now for the less glorious parts... the graphics are only basic, the bugs are numerous (some of them which are grating) and the interface is quite unpractical. It is also quite hard to learn compared to most other games, and the game himself provides an incomplete manual which is clearly not enough.

Not to mention that if you like short, simple fun with simple games that are easy to learn and easy to forget, this is not the game for you.

But yet, even with these, this still is an artifact-quality video game that is definitely worth trying.

This game sacrifices graphics and UI for gameplay, and it's totally worth it. It permits you to use your cunning as you desire, unlike in some other games where Stupidity Is The Only Option.

The potential of this game is immense, both in comedy, tragedy, horror, ingenuity, sheer Badass and awesome. Try it !

You have struck diamond!

Dwarf Fortress is a deceptive little gem. After hearing all sorts of crazy stuff about it, I decided to give it a try... And, to be honest, I thought it was a joke. The UI was absolutely impenetrable and, due to the ASCII display, it took me an hour just to figure out what the hell I was looking at.

One glorious, Fun-laden year later, I am looking back at that first attempt and laughing my ass off.

Dwarf Fortress thrives on its depth. While most games boast about "100 hours of play time!", that is not depth. That is merely length. This game absolutely bowled me over with its sheer complexity — While the basic premise is childishly simple (Build a dwarven fortress!), there are many equally valid ways to go about building your deathtrap fortress, and there are so many variables (Climate! Terrain! Megabeast attacks! Et cetera!) that no two embarks are ever quite the same; Each fortress develops a character and narrative of its own, and the game's extreme customisability only adds to the rich variety.

So, is this game for everyone? Oh, HELL no. I cannot stress this point enough. The interface is utterly incomprehensible for the first few days, some features don't quite work the way they should, and quite a bit of patience and micromanaging is required while you watch your fortress blossom. Furthermore, Dwarf Fortress comes with absolutely no predetermined goals — while some people like setting their own goals, others just won't find this game very satisfying. Also, this game requires a lot of processing power, and on less-powerful computers can run so slowly as to be virtually unplayable.

Dwarf Fortress is hit-or-miss — you will either love it or hate it passionately, and I myself thought the game was a waste of time until I found the wiki and had it explained to me. If you're unsure, try reading the various Lets Plays, particularly the infamous Boatmurdered; it'll help you get a good idea of whether this is a game you would enjoy.

Overall, this is certainly worth a look, although it may not be your cup of tea.

The pinnacle of god games(sounds good right?)

Dwarf Fortress is one of the finest games I have touched upon, and with good reason! For such an earlier phased game (alpha!), DF knows what any nerd wants.

The possibility to do whatever you want with your collection of dwarves. This is more of a story-generator than a game, but you can do that just fine as well! DF first makes you create your world however seen fit, whether that be a tiny island or a ginormous RAM eating large land. You get to choose every little detail about your starting party (except personality) and you will get attached to your tiny 7 smiles on screen.

The UI in DF is very hard to manage at the beginning, but that is one of Toady's many goals and he'll make sure to user-friendly it up. Playing the game as is will only take a couple hours to get used to and once that's through you can get started.

You are going to have to be a person that likes controlling huge fortress that you build by scrap, you look at it in marvel and say, "I built that" before uploading it on the Map Archives and telling the stories you had about it on the forums. You see, DF is meant to be told to others, the forums are a perfect place for that. Many of the fans there will be happy to talk to you about it/bust jokes about magma and carp.

The wiki is ever growing with new information from the game, I know I'm starting to sound like a infomercial, but you need to play DF if it even seems mildly interesting. If you love building things, thinking of new innovating designs, and training huge armies of military to fight goblins (and other stuff with mods) in huge battles then DF is your game.

On the other hand, if you hate not having a goal, bare-bone graphic interfaces, and too much information, then DF should only be looked at and you shouldn't make yourself suffer if it's not your thing bro.

Such detail is put into everything, whether that be realistic wounds, personalities and attributes, descriptions on everything. It's just a wonderful game, and I'm happy to be in its community.