If you’ve played dwarf fortress, you’ve probably done one of two things:
Stared at the massive difficulty curve wall and quit, telling yourself it’s a game only for weird people. You probably went back to your Halos and your Modern Warfare 2s afterwards.
OR, you made it past the initial “What the hell” stage and discovered a game so deep and complex, you could spend whole months at a time on it and still be finding new and interesting ways to play (and fail).
The mantra of this game is “Losing is fun!”, and frankly, if you approach it like any other civilization sim, you’ll disagree. But once you get it in your head to look past the Matrix ASCII text-interface, you’ll start laughing like a madman every time you see some dwarf get shot in both ears but not the head. So far, my dwarves have been starved, dehydrated, subject to fighting, and killing each other, becoming depressed from the miasma bursting forth from all the dead bodies that they REFUSE to clean up, and accidentally dug into lava.
This game is so full of fail it makes its way through the bachelor course of Epic Fail, past it’s Masters in Win, and obtains a PHD in Epic Win, and continues its education while teaching.
If you’re subject to becoming addicted to games, clear out your calender. This game, developed by ONE GUY and his brother, is massively dedicated to details. While it’s not apparent at the beginning, the longer you spend with this game, the more it grows on you, and the more time you don’t realize has passed.
Now, I’ve only put in maybe 5-7 hours of play time into this, and I’ve made it through a year of diminishing-resource hell. But this game is like an abusive lover that I keep coming back to.
So far, the funniest thing I’ve seen begins with the message:
Catten Likototol, peasant has cancelled Sleep: Went insane.
and continued for an entire in-game SEASON while I was half-laughing madly and half-sobbing (Entirely possibly from tears of laughter) as I tried to fix the hell that had been unleashed. He went to pester another dwarf until THAT one became insane, and later Berzerk, which basically made every other dwarf in my fortress become engaged in the largest brawl I’ve ever seen. This all was brought on, I theorize, by my lack of alcohol. Later, right before Spring ended, more dwarves immigrated to my fortress, and promptly tried to walk through the brawl, quickly becoming involved. Two dead dwarves, a dead dog, 3 dead horses and one hoary marmot later, people are somewhat back to normal (The miller is convinced he can kick my carpenter’s ass, though), and I’m trying to clean up the aftermath.
The game’s interface only lets you see so much, though. Once your head gets around the idea of actually picturing what’s happening instead of showing you, like those spoiled current-gen consoles, you WILL have at least double the fun. For me, that effect kicked in halfway through my first year while I tried to picture a train of animals that were dead set on following one of my miners.
All in all, I can’t even begin to give this game a rating, because A) Any rating I give is bound to piss someone off, and
B)It’s way too complex to even begin to describe. So I won’t. I’ll just plug their site and let you decide for yourself.
But do me, and yourself a favor: At least try to make it through one year before you pass judgement and/or quit.
And just to help you guys who take this advice,
Ciao! I’m going back into the mines to drag some dead bodies out and plug a lava flow!