Review: Dwarf Fortress Worth the Wait


Kyle DeVault

In 2002 two brothers started working on making a game where anything was possible and the stories were endless. And while Dwarf Fortress isn’t completely Infinite, it’s pretty dang close. 

While some players have been playing the game since it was released in 2006, there was a new release of the game on Steam on Dec. 6. The new version of the game has graphics and more streamlined controls making the game easier to jump into. 

In the game you start with a wagon with some essential items, seven dwarves, and that’s it. The game gives you no further explanation of what to do. You can start mining, farming, building and really anything else you can think of. 

The fun of the game is making a goal for your settlement of dwarves and then working to try to meet that goal and probably losing in the process. After all, the slogan of the game is “Losing is fun”.

So how can you lose? The most obvious is your fortress running out of food or drink, but that’s not all. You can also be attacked by creatures like bears or fantasy creatures like goblins. You can also lose by any other way that ends in all your dwarves dying like your fortress flooding or being subdued by lava. 

It is a game that can be put under many categories. Overall it is a colony-building game, but it has RPG elements as all of your dwarves progress in different skills. It has amazing story elements as it is completely randomly generated so anything can happen, and it also has survival elements, roguelike elements and simulation elements. 

One thing I have not talked about is the game’s complexity. For someone just starting out with no guidance, the game can immediately make people think they don’t like the game simply because they don’t understand it. There are thousands of weird little mechanics that while they give the game its endless charm, they also give it endless complexity. 

Overall, Dwarf Fortress is an amazing game with an almost infinite amount of replayability considering the random generation. It has super cool mechanics and is a very fun game to play as long as you are willing to learn the pretty steep learning curve.