Dwarf Fortress

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More Info About This Game

Details about Dwarf Fortress

Game Info
Bay 12 Games
Kitfox Games
Release Date
December 31, 1969 (Calendar)
Purchase (Some links may be affiliated)

Boasting what is quite possibly the longest Early Access period in the history of gaming, Dwarf Fortress is a game about a bunch of dwarves who are trying to build themselves a home in a harsh land. This might sound like your typical city building kind of game, but it's so much more than that.

Firstly, the dwarves in Dwarf Fortress are a bunch of ornery alcoholics. They won't function properly without a steady supply of booze, so make sure that you get stills up and running as soon as you can (and bring plenty of liquor with you to hold you over).

Players start the game with just seven dwarves and a wagonload of supplies. From there, they must build out a fortress that can sustain their population and survive whatever the many local dangers may be. There really aren't very many rules about how you can build your fortress, either. Want to build an entire above-ground town? Go for it! Want to pump magma up to the surface and scorch the earth with a weapon that would make a supervillain blush? Go right ahead (you monster)!

Once you start getting successful, your problems in Dwarf Fortress only increase from there. Immigrants will start moving to your new home, putting stress on your workshops and farms that need to keep up with the new arrivals. Pesky nobles will show up and start making demands, and there's not much you can do about that. You definitely can't lock the nobles in a room and flood it with magma to eliminate the problem, no sir.

Dwarf Fortress is seriously complex, featuring a level of simulation that is downright staggering. Individual bones and viscera are tracked and the dwarves in Dwarf Fortress can even sustain psychological damage — a downside to some, and the perfect mindset for a ruthless soldier to others.

If building fortresses isn't your thing, Dwarf Fortress also features a roguelike "Adventure" mode that lets you travel the land taking quests and kicking ass. While you won't have to worry about keeping an entire fortress alive, the roguelike mode of Dwarf Fortress still has plenty of hazards for you to overcome.

Dwarf Fortress is less than halfway completed and it's been in development for almost two decades. That means we're likely to see the final version sometime between 2035–2040. If you don't like to play Early Access games, you probably are going to have a bit of a wait for Dwarf Fortress.

Strike the Earth!

From the Dwarf Fortress website:

Dwarf Fortress is a single-player fantasy game. You can control a dwarven outpost or an adventurer in a randomly generated, persistent world.

Although Dwarf Fortress is still in a work in progress, many features have already been implemented.

  • The world is randomly generated with distinct civilizations spanning centuries of detailed history, hundreds of towns, caves and regions with various wildlife.
  • The world persists as long as you like, over many games, recording historical events and tracking changes.
  • Command your dwarves as they search for wealth in the mountain.
    • Craft treasures and furniture from many materials and improve these objects with precious metals, jewels and more.
    • Defend yourself against attacks from hostile civilizations, the wilderness, the depths, the dead and creatures of the night.
    • Trade for all manner of exotic goods with your neighbors.
    • Establish a barony and support the nobility as they make demands of your populace.
    • Keep your dwarves happy and read their thoughts as they work and relax.
    • Z coordinate allows you to dig out fortresses with multiple levels. Build towers or conquer the underworld.
    • Build floodgates to divert water for farming or to drown your adversaries... and don't forget the magma!
    • Lay out taverns, libraries and temples to enrich your dwarves' lives. What discoveries will your dwarves make?
    • Accept non-dwarven residents from all over the world as your reputation grows.
    • Surgery, sutures, splints, crutches and more: care for your wounded dwarves instead of leaving them to fend for themselves.
    • Retire your fortress, then unretire it after spending time playing other roles in the world.
    • Honey, wax, pottery, windmills, waterwheels, soap, plaster, wool, eggs, dyes, cheese, glass, animal training, papermaking, parchment, bookbinding and much much more...
  • Play an adventurer and explore, quest for glory or seek vengeance.
    • Meet adversaries from previous games.
    • Recruit people to come with you on your journey.
    • Explore without cumbersome plot restrictions -- thriving capitals, villages, catacombs, labyrinths, bandit camps, caves and more!
    • Seamlessly wander the world or travel more rapidly on the region map and in underground tunnels.
    • Travel by day and search for a place to shelter as night falls.
    • Build a cabin in the woods with the help of your companions.
    • Listen to rumors and help out town and civilization leaders.
    • Earn a reputation as a hero, friend, soldier, enemy, thug, musician, etc. with the various civilizations in the world.
    • Retire and meet your old characters. Bring them along on an adventure with a new character or reactivate them and play directly.
    • Z coordinate allows you to move between twisting underground caverns and scale structures, fighting adversaries above and below. Climb, jump and sprint!
    • Stealth system with vision arcs which also respects vegetation density and other factors.
    • Use signs like shoe impressions and animal tracks to hunt and avoid danger.
    • Steal a mummy's treasure or learn the secrets of life and death at a necromancer's tower.
    • Visit your retired fortresses and ask your dwarves to join you on adventures.
  • The combat model includes skills, body parts, individual tissues, material properties, aimed attacks, wrestling, one-time opportunities, charging and dodging between squares, bleeding, pain, nausea, various poison effects and much more. Attacks and other movements extend over several instants, allowing you to deliberately catch enemy blows or plan your counter-attack.
  • Generated poetry, musical forms, instruments and dances. Watch the dwarves perform, or try it yourself!
  • Hundreds of animals and other monsters, including many that are randomly generated for each world.
  • Multi-tile climbable trees and many, many kinds of plants. Fruit, flowers and falling leaves.
  • A dynamic weather model tracks wind, humidity and air masses to create fronts, clouds, rain storms and blizzards.
  • Over two hundred rock and mineral types are incorporated into the world, placed in their proper geological environments.
  • Add new creatures, weapons, plants, metals and other objects via modifiable text files.
  • Extended ASCII character set rendered in 16 colors (including black) as well as 8 background colors (including black).