User Score
8.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 190 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 190

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  1. Oct 23, 2011
    10
    Dwarf fortress is a game about telling a fantastical story in an imaginary, abstract world, it is amazing and it covers a lot of things about fantastical in a tolkien like way, a lot of fun, you get 3 game modes, the fortress mode in which you embark your dwarves to settle wild lands and have amazing adventures and a horrible death, where you get controll of 5 dwarves and build a fortressDwarf fortress is a game about telling a fantastical story in an imaginary, abstract world, it is amazing and it covers a lot of things about fantastical in a tolkien like way, a lot of fun, you get 3 game modes, the fortress mode in which you embark your dwarves to settle wild lands and have amazing adventures and a horrible death, where you get controll of 5 dwarves and build a fortress as the number increases to up to 200 dwarves.

    you must get miners, farmers, soldiers, woodcrafters, stonecrafters, masons, cooks, brewers, tanners, leatherworkers up to around 73 proffesions, evry dwarf is unique and has a mood, likes and dislikes things, every dwarf in this game is a living, breathing (and breeding) living, this game mode issn't for lazy people, seriously, you MUST learn to play it, its not like other cheap pick up and play games, wich mike make it awkward for the regular gamer, but with time and love, everyone can learn to play it easily.

    After looking at fortress mode you can go on adventure mode, where you take controll of one character of the world in its adventures, this mode is incomplete, crappy, and difficult to play but yet, fun, its incredible how many people play it because as incomplete as it is, it is AMAZING.

    Also, you get legends mode, where you can see the story of your world, because when you generate a world you must know you are not playing a level, it is a world, when your fiirst fortress dies, the world will stay there, and you can visit it again right where you left it in adventure mode, or reclaim your fortress, or build a new one, because the world goes on.

    That feature, generating a real world has cautivated the hearts of millions of people, because your world itself is a story that advances with you.

    Now, the game has ASCII graphics, wich means its made with symbols and letters, at first this freaks out everyone, and i mean EVERYONE, you must pull yourself together and drop your lazyness off so you can learn to play, but as i said, with time, and love, you can play this game in 2 days, it is amazing, how
    " " " "
    " D " " " "
    becomes a dog standing on some grass, how meaningless symbols become tunnels, caves and mountains, this game is as famous as minecraft, only that it issn't so talked about.

    You will freak out a bit at the beggining, use the magmawiki to understand the symbols and you'll see how those triangles adn green things become bushes and hills, i strongly recommend you use captnduck's tutorial on youtube ;)
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  2. Dec 11, 2022
    10
    Yep. Masterpiece.

    A whole underground world for you to discover. Deep and brilliant emergent game-play. Endless stories unfolding before you once you get past the initial learning curve. Get past it. You're in for something genuinely unique. A true labour of love, nearly twenty years in the making with more is being added all the time. Simply stunning.
  3. Dec 9, 2022
    10
    Do not treat this game as an ordinary one that you will abandon forever in a week. Dwarves can be thrown as much as you want, but they will constantly evolve and give out new content that will make you come back. And this content will not be released for a year or two, but as long as the developer brothers are alive
    ------
    Не относитесь к этой игре как к обычным, которые вы навсегда
    Do not treat this game as an ordinary one that you will abandon forever in a week. Dwarves can be thrown as much as you want, but they will constantly evolve and give out new content that will make you come back. And this content will not be released for a year or two, but as long as the developer brothers are alive
    ------
    Не относитесь к этой игре как к обычным, которые вы навсегда забросите через неделю. Дворфов можно забрасывать сколько угодно, но они будут постоянно развиваться и выдавать новый контент который заставит вас вернуться. И этот контент будет выходить ни год, ни два а до тех пор пока братья разработчики живы
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  4. Nov 22, 2017
    9
    An incredibly complicated game that is certainly worth your time to master. For the entry fee of free fans of the RPG genre can immerse themselves in an entire world made from scratch specifically for every play-through.
  5. Dec 14, 2022
    7
    I have only played the game that was recently released, I have not played the previous ascii version. Its a very impressive game considering how small the team is, but it simply is not for me. Its clear that it has been the backbone of other games I enjoy more in this genre (Rimworld for example), but the original is not for me. Its not too difficult, and in quite a few ways I find itI have only played the game that was recently released, I have not played the previous ascii version. Its a very impressive game considering how small the team is, but it simply is not for me. Its clear that it has been the backbone of other games I enjoy more in this genre (Rimworld for example), but the original is not for me. Its not too difficult, and in quite a few ways I find it easier than other city management games. My main issue is that with all its depth its rather clunky. Trying to optimize a sick base or build walls of the same material just takes too much time. While i see how much is in there, and there are plenty of game mechanics I have not explored, all I see so far is how mundane it is. I'll probably return to give it another shot in a couple months. Its definitely good, but the user experience needs to be improved by a lot. If I want to build 4 simple houses, it shouldn't take me minutes to drag and click on what I need, it should take seconds. Expand
  6. Dec 14, 2022
    10
    Great version of the game that makes it a lot more accessible. If you haven't played this legendary game yet, now is the time to start.
  7. Jan 5, 2023
    10
    This is a very particular sort of game. It's not user friendly. It's not going to make learning easy. It's not going to fire off a hundred flashing lights a second to keep your attention. But for those who can find appeal in one of the most intricate strategy management rpg, it contains hundreds of hours of bliss.
  8. Jan 13, 2023
    9
    Review só pra lembrar a nota que dei pro jogo:
    Jogo Incrível sendo na minha opinião o melhor jogo de criação de colônias (ou neste caso fortalezas) que existe hoje em dia, com uma profundidade extrema e possibilidades infinitas de acontecimento bizarros, hilários, tristes e sem noção.
  9. Feb 22, 2014
    9
    Dwarf fortress, one of the most fun and !fun! games ever. It seems that the majority of negative reviews are about the graphics and saying that they din't understand how to play after 5 minutes. I have played this game for a couple of years and i still don't get bored of it. Sure there is a steep learning curve, well more like a cliff but the gameplay and story is all that matters.And ifDwarf fortress, one of the most fun and !fun! games ever. It seems that the majority of negative reviews are about the graphics and saying that they din't understand how to play after 5 minutes. I have played this game for a couple of years and i still don't get bored of it. Sure there is a steep learning curve, well more like a cliff but the gameplay and story is all that matters.And if you have played this game and understand how to play i can almost guarantee that you will agree with me. Of course if you only have little time to learn this game you should not play it since its tutorial is next to nothing. The amount of content in this game is astonishing anywhere from discovering the circus and fighting clowns to chopping down trees and laughing as your fortress gets light on fire from armok knows what. I would give it a 10/10 if it was done but it is not and will not be for a long time. Expand
  10. Feb 7, 2014
    9
    I'm tempted to say Dwarf Fortress is the best game I have ever played. I have clocked up over 200 hours of play over the last 6 years.

    The interface is difficult to master, but well worth the investment. If you are used to games only having 4 buttons and an auto-aim then you might be best leaving Dwarf Fortress for the grown ups.
  11. Dec 6, 2013
    10
    Dwarf Fortress is the ultimate example of a game that favors system and simulation over interface and graphics. There are a lot of things going on, and it's easy for a fort to collapse when the unexpectedly bad happens. Because of this, the game has a pretty brutal learning curve, even if the interface weren't totally weird and borderline nonsensical. I can't entirely deny that the gameDwarf Fortress is the ultimate example of a game that favors system and simulation over interface and graphics. There are a lot of things going on, and it's easy for a fort to collapse when the unexpectedly bad happens. Because of this, the game has a pretty brutal learning curve, even if the interface weren't totally weird and borderline nonsensical. I can't entirely deny that the game might simply rely on a form of Stockholm Syndrome to keep a large portion of its fanbase.

    However, "Losing is fun" is the game's motto, after all. There's even a "reclaim" mode so you can try to take back an old fort (if you dare). So go out and strike the earth!
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  12. Dec 8, 2022
    10
    Dwarf Fortress has long been a fantastic game, and this full release finally addresses what had long been the elephant in the room for this game: the graphics and interface. With this long-awaited update and release the game has become far more accessible and usable. Once again I've found myself loving the process of setting up my forts and the even more Fun process of seeing how it allDwarf Fortress has long been a fantastic game, and this full release finally addresses what had long been the elephant in the room for this game: the graphics and interface. With this long-awaited update and release the game has become far more accessible and usable. Once again I've found myself loving the process of setting up my forts and the even more Fun process of seeing how it all ends. A must-have game for any simulation game fan. Expand
  13. Dec 4, 2015
    10
    Dwarf Fortress: slaves of armok is one of the most amazing games i ever played, it has huge amounts of replayability, content, and endless FUN that it never ceases to amaze me. being a free game, theres absolutley no reason to not try this, however new players are suggested to take up guides on the official wiki or youtube. you dont really have to be perticulary intelligent to play this,Dwarf Fortress: slaves of armok is one of the most amazing games i ever played, it has huge amounts of replayability, content, and endless FUN that it never ceases to amaze me. being a free game, theres absolutley no reason to not try this, however new players are suggested to take up guides on the official wiki or youtube. you dont really have to be perticulary intelligent to play this, just passionate and patient

    the game simulates so much things and the amount of micromanagement allowed goes beyond any other game, if you love that, and got time.. you'll certainly never regret trying this
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  14. Jul 6, 2011
    9
    Dwarf Fortress is a game about stories. "Losing is fun." is the motto because of the many ways your dwarves will meet their demise; but all of those ways will come with a story to tell.

    Dwarf Fortress has a steep learning curve and an enormous return on investment. You direct the actions of an initial 7 dwarves to establish a new fortress in a procedurally generated world of rich
    Dwarf Fortress is a game about stories. "Losing is fun." is the motto because of the many ways your dwarves will meet their demise; but all of those ways will come with a story to tell.

    Dwarf Fortress has a steep learning curve and an enormous return on investment. You direct the actions of an initial 7 dwarves to establish a new fortress in a procedurally generated world of rich background and realistic landscape. As you strike the earth to find minerals and stone to make crafts and weapons from, you will encounter many challenges, create treasure troves, become a bustling center of trade, and fight off the hostile savages of the land (e.g. goblins, elephants, dragons, oh my!). Your fortress will grow to make clothes from plants and wool, raise livestock, create fantastic mechanical contraptions like pump stacks, danger rooms, gladiator pits, and hallways of death filled with traps. The only limit to your fun is your imagination.

    And when you want a break from your fortress, you can jump into Adventure mode and play a wandering hero, collecting followers, defeating epic beasts and terrorizing creatures of the night; all of this in the same rich world generated fresh and especially for you. Go from a peasant to a legendary hero in the same detail and variety as your fortress's experience.
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  15. Dec 8, 2022
    10
    This game is only for intelligent people. If you have a low attention span, I'd recommend the game Call of Duty by Activision.
  16. Jan 31, 2014
    10
    This game is only for the intelligent or those with a love of complex simulations. It's the most complex game ever created in terms of simulating events and behavior.

    The "Lazy Newb Pack" contains a tile overlay and utilities to better manage and understand the game (and make it look less arcane). If you have a short attention span or demand wonderful graphics, stick to the console.
    This game is only for the intelligent or those with a love of complex simulations. It's the most complex game ever created in terms of simulating events and behavior.

    The "Lazy Newb Pack" contains a tile overlay and utilities to better manage and understand the game (and make it look less arcane).

    If you have a short attention span or demand wonderful graphics, stick to the console.

    But, if you love games that are incredibly deep and surprising and never play out the same way twice, and don't mind a learning cliff, this is a truly astounding game.
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  17. Feb 26, 2014
    10
    Dwarf Fortress is a game unlike any other when it comes to its depth and complexity and it is such a unique gem that I have given a perfect score despite a couple of glaring deficiencies and the fact that the game is only roughly 1/3 complete as of right now. Dwarf Fortress is at its heart a procedurally generated fantasy world simulator with two modes of play. In adventure mode you playDwarf Fortress is a game unlike any other when it comes to its depth and complexity and it is such a unique gem that I have given a perfect score despite a couple of glaring deficiencies and the fact that the game is only roughly 1/3 complete as of right now. Dwarf Fortress is at its heart a procedurally generated fantasy world simulator with two modes of play. In adventure mode you play from the perspective of a single adventurer exploring the randomly generated world around you. Adventure mode is very rouge-like in feel and execution. The second more popular mode of play is fortress or dwarf mode which explores the same procedurally generated fantasy world but as seen through the filter of an extremely deep civilization simulator type game where you control the destiny of a fledgling dwarf settlement. The game models the world it creates down to the individual organs of the creatures which inhabit it. Everything from the motor peripheral nerves, circulatory and pulmonary systems to the indivicual bones, teeth and organs of each creature in the world is modeled and tracked in exquisite detail. Even the personalities and psychology of the individual dwarves is modeled and directly effects how they interact with one another and the world around them. The physical world itself is modeled in similar detail with dynamically generated climates, weather, geology, biomes etc. All of this creates some amazing emergent game play which ranges from epic sagas such as the hilarious tragedy known only as Boatmurdered to player generated masterpieces such as a working in-game calculator created from a complex system of water and gear driven logic circuits not to mention weaponized magma flinging mine carts and crazy doomsday devices that flood the entire region with lava or cave in the an entire city. Having espoused upon that which makes this game so amazing and unique its time to get to the down sides. The learning curve is more like a cliff... that is covered in spikes and has a load angry goblins at the top pelting you with boulders and burning oil. On top of the horrible learning curve is the worst user interface I have ever had the displeasure of using. Both of these problems are somewhat understandable given that the game is currently in early alpha development but they are so glaringly bad that they need to be mentioned anyway. Also as a work in progress the game is very buggy which is actually one of its charms sometimes. Bugs can create some truly hilarious behavior in a game this complex. Another draw back for many is the graphics which are very primitive even after installing the various graphic mods which are a major upgrade from the native ASCII graphics although it makes the game more like reading a book where your imagination fills in the imagery. Despite the circa 1980's graphics Dwarf Fortress will bring a modern computer's processor to its knees with all of the complex modeling that goes on and you need a pretty nice machine to run it properly in Fortress mode. All in all Dwarf Fortress is a unique and amazing gaming experience for those with the chops to tackle the learning curve and the God forsaken user interface. This is certainly not a game for everyone but for those seeking true depth and complexity none can compare to the beautiful and ingenious disaster that is Dwarf Fortress. Expand
  18. Aug 3, 2014
    10
    After playing this game for several hours, Carter81's mother was so impressed by my skills that she gave me her phone number, and now I'm his new dad.

    Thanks, Dwarf Fortress!
  19. Dec 7, 2022
    10
    I had long since played the Lazy Newb pack fan bundling of a tile set and utilities for the previous free version of Dwarf Fortress. Few other games I have played were both good a decade prior, and received solid improvements that entire time. It figures that one of the best games this year was mostly the work of two brothers with independent control. The new updates for the paid versionI had long since played the Lazy Newb pack fan bundling of a tile set and utilities for the previous free version of Dwarf Fortress. Few other games I have played were both good a decade prior, and received solid improvements that entire time. It figures that one of the best games this year was mostly the work of two brothers with independent control. The new updates for the paid version prevent the need for a third party pack just to make it minimally viable for a dedicated fan to play. Now, I could see it opening up the game to include those that are only semi-dedicated. Expand
  20. Oct 16, 2014
    10
    Difficult as hell and unimaginably complex. Dwarf Fortress makes you work for your fun. This is no "Press X to Win" casual game. Even the controls and UI require serious research and it will probably be a while until you get a successful fortress up and running. Fortunately, the community is wonderful and there are plenty of well written guides to get you started, but ultimately all theDifficult as hell and unimaginably complex. Dwarf Fortress makes you work for your fun. This is no "Press X to Win" casual game. Even the controls and UI require serious research and it will probably be a while until you get a successful fortress up and running. Fortunately, the community is wonderful and there are plenty of well written guides to get you started, but ultimately all the decisions are yours and the successes & failures of your dwarves are ultimately up to you. Expand
  21. Dec 7, 2022
    10
    Game has a steep learning curve, but builds fantastic stories of failure. Easily one of the greatest games ever created.
  22. Jan 8, 2018
    10
    First you learn the UI/menus. Then you learn how to keep your dwarves alive for awhile. Then you learn how to make your fortress thrive. And then you realize you have to start thinking like a programmer in order to make the game run smoothly/efficiently. Which means you end up relearning the menus/UI all over again. Somewhere along the way, too, you realize Tarn Adams is a unique genius,First you learn the UI/menus. Then you learn how to keep your dwarves alive for awhile. Then you learn how to make your fortress thrive. And then you realize you have to start thinking like a programmer in order to make the game run smoothly/efficiently. Which means you end up relearning the menus/UI all over again. Somewhere along the way, too, you realize Tarn Adams is a unique genius, and that we're all lucky he decided to make this his life pursuit.

    Perhaps this is a better endorsement: A couple of summers ago, i dropped a couple hundred bucks on a new GPU so I could play The Witcher 3. What did I spend the majority of my time playing instead? Dwarf Fortress.
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  23. Jun 17, 2020
    10
    The game might be a bit overwhelming at first but once you start to learn the mechanics it becomes extremely fun. The amount of stuff you can do and what can happen in the game is impressive and if you don't feel like leading a group of dwarves, you can always play Adventure mode, create your own character and explore the world
  24. Nov 30, 2018
    10
    Dwarf Fortress is a really artistic, creative, and fascinating experience which played an imperative part in the shaping of my taste in media over the course of my childhood. It taught me to have a very mindful relationship of the relationship between graphics and creativity. It excited the imagination phenomenally and continuously promised a wonderful and intricate fantasy world.
    From a
    Dwarf Fortress is a really artistic, creative, and fascinating experience which played an imperative part in the shaping of my taste in media over the course of my childhood. It taught me to have a very mindful relationship of the relationship between graphics and creativity. It excited the imagination phenomenally and continuously promised a wonderful and intricate fantasy world.
    From a purely mechanical perspective, Dwarf Fortress is extremely detailed, which leads to a fair bit of complexity and a steep learning curve. The game is not especially inaccessible, though, because one of the main features of the game is that it makes losing a fun, enjoyable, and rewarding experience. This notion of losing being "fun" is one of the central tenants of the game's design, and being exposed to this kind of mindset is a radically interesting domain to consider, especially since it is so often missing from nearly all other interactive media. The mechanical complexity and elegance of the general descent into losing Dwarf Fortress feels like a critical design component which belongs in every game.
    Aesthetically, Dwarf Fortress has a very unique style; its primitive graphics are made into a sort of art form, and the mechanical density and huge flurries of activities on the screen create a sort of hypnotic experience. The game has very detailed and fun bits of flavor scattered about its randomly generated narratives as well.
    Dwarf Fortress is one of the best video games of all time for many unconventional reasons, and I would recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat.
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  25. Nov 30, 2021
    10
    It is my favorite game, it's because of it's freedom, it's deep meaning for every little system.
  26. Jan 19, 2020
    10
    I honestly consider Dwarf Fortress to be symbol of games as a whole. It's stayed just under the mainstream of gaming for nearly a decade and a half, and has built an enduring community dedicated to watching ASCII graphics.

    I'm not good at Dwarf Fortress. I would never dare embark on an aquifer, and I religiously put points into swimming whenever I play adventurer for fear of drowning in
    I honestly consider Dwarf Fortress to be symbol of games as a whole. It's stayed just under the mainstream of gaming for nearly a decade and a half, and has built an enduring community dedicated to watching ASCII graphics.

    I'm not good at Dwarf Fortress. I would never dare embark on an aquifer, and I religiously put points into swimming whenever I play adventurer for fear of drowning in a brook. I don't know how to build a magma pump stack, refuse to touch perpetual motion generators, and cannot understand fortress schematics on the bay12 forum.

    Losing is fun is a phrase you'll see everywhere in this game, and I think I have my own interpretation of it.

    You build a fortress. You build some housing. You secure food and drink. You get migrants. With or without the help of external tools, you assign jobs to them based on skills or (more likely for me) based on whatever you need at the moment. You build up more and more. You withstand sieges and raids by fantastical and horrifying beasts. You develop everything a stereotypical dwarven fortress might want. Steel production is a little complicated, but a quick jaunt to the wiki will set you straight. You build a military and maybe subjugate a few towns or launch a couple raids. Congrats, you win.

    That by itself is a great game. You get to see everything you build come together. Soon enough you've got millions in wealth. With judicious FPS management and enough time, you might see the passing of generations (Although admittedly it takes an insane amount of dedication given a dwarf's lifespan). You find the spoilery parts of the game and react accordingly.

    You won. But you also have been winning ever since the immediate fear of game over vanished.

    It's really easy to play it safe in dwarf fortress. Walls are indestructible. So are bridges. Build a simple gate out of the two as your sole entrance and you are impervious to sieges so long as you don't run out of food and drink. Spend the next few decades in-game making art and masterwork furniture if you want. What losing is fun means is that you do as much weird **** as possible and see what you can get away with.

    Do you want to build a palace out of solid gold? Sure, if you can find enough of it. Do you want to build a magma pump that floods the surrounding area? Sure, if you can provide it enough power to get the desired throughput. Do you want to get into niche industries that aren't really vital like gem encrusting, building a library, or industrialized mermaid ivory harvesting? Sure, although I don't think anyone had a functioning plan for mermaid ivory yet. Thankfully, some simple modding sidesteps the whole ethics issue.

    I suffered a really big setback last week in my latest fortress. I was trying to build a tower up to max height as a side project using the stone left over from another project, but wanted to modify it partway through to have more staircases up. Unfortunately due to completely preventable circumstances, my dwarves deconstructed part of the floor out of sync, causing part of the tower to collapse on one of my more prominent dwarves. A ton of stone fell two stories, crushing him to death immediately. Seeing their friend and pillar of the community be crushed to death shattered morale. Tantrums ensued, probably not helped by the fact that I had a big alcohol shortage due to wasting so much labor on the tower, combined with low water supplies due to a sudden siege. I essentially executed several troublemakers by sending them out to fight a besieging army. Sure, the fortress isn't lost, but my tower project faces a very, very big delay now. Several important dwarves are going to be haunted for the rest of their lives with constant flashbacks and trauma. I didn't get away with it.

    Losing is fun.
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  27. Oct 28, 2021
    10
    At first, after downloading the game, everything is confusing, especially the UI, the tile sets, and the mechanics but after that, the game is actually fun as you learn.
  28. Dec 19, 2022
    0
    Unnecessarily complicated and overwhelming, takes too long to figure out to truly be fun. More time consuming than anything, without making much progress whatsoever.
  29. Dec 8, 2022
    10
    The best, most detailed and deepest game ever created and probably will not be outmatched by anything for decades to come.
  30. Dec 8, 2022
    10
    This is not a game, it's a piece of art, a great experience you MUST live!
    20 years of programming, for 20 years it was free, now we have to pay these two great men!
    Thanks a lot Adams borthers!
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarf_Fortress
  31. Dec 9, 2022
    10
    Everything from the classic version there is to love. But now with a helpful tutorial for new players and an intuitive GUI and mouse support.
  32. Oct 5, 2011
    10
    Dwarf fortress is a game with a very steep learning curve, poor graphics and a difficult to navigate menu. However once you can get past these flaws it is an amazing game simply because of how in-depth it is. every dwarf has all its organs and body parts monitored individually, leading to humorous moments when your dwarfs bites another dwarf and shakes him around by the front tooth. EvenDwarf fortress is a game with a very steep learning curve, poor graphics and a difficult to navigate menu. However once you can get past these flaws it is an amazing game simply because of how in-depth it is. every dwarf has all its organs and body parts monitored individually, leading to humorous moments when your dwarfs bites another dwarf and shakes him around by the front tooth. Even when you get past the basics the game still provides a good challenge as there is no goal, no 'You win' screen, whether it be Goblins, Famine, Flooding or simply your fort becoming so great your pc can not run it smoothly anymore you can not win which has led to a motto among the community of 'Losing is Fun'

    Overall, i'd say if you have the time to get past the rough flaws mentioned earlier you will not regret it, And since this game is still in alpha it is free and the developer is constantly putting out free updates
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  33. Aug 15, 2011
    7
    Dwarf Fortress may not be the funnest game in the world and it may only have ASCII graphics but its still a great game because of how advanced it is. Pretty much the only flaws are all the bugs, and its a tough game to learn. The main thing though is how complex the game is which is what really makes it fun.
  34. Feb 17, 2013
    10
    Possibly the best strategy game ever made. Free, but you will need a graphics pack (Google: "Dwarf Fortress Lazy Newb Pack") and a willingness to spend literally hours reading a wiki following tutorials in order to learn how to play. Once you do know how to play, though, you can do pretty much anything. Many games claim you can do anything you can imagine. DF, however, is the only gamePossibly the best strategy game ever made. Free, but you will need a graphics pack (Google: "Dwarf Fortress Lazy Newb Pack") and a willingness to spend literally hours reading a wiki following tutorials in order to learn how to play. Once you do know how to play, though, you can do pretty much anything. Many games claim you can do anything you can imagine. DF, however, is the only game I've ever played where this is actually true. Expand
  35. Jul 1, 2014
    5
    It has its charm, but after playing this game extensively for the last weeks, I have found it to be very buggy in almost all regards. Especially the military/equipment procedure is buggy.

    Even though it is a free, unfinished game, it is hard to forgive all these bugs, especially when it hasn't been updated in two years. Hopefully the next patch will remedy some of this and give us a
    It has its charm, but after playing this game extensively for the last weeks, I have found it to be very buggy in almost all regards. Especially the military/equipment procedure is buggy.

    Even though it is a free, unfinished game, it is hard to forgive all these bugs, especially when it hasn't been updated in two years.

    Hopefully the next patch will remedy some of this and give us a less unfinished Dwarf Fortress with more frequent updates.
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  36. Aug 2, 2012
    10
    Dwarf Fortress gets a 10, despite ASCII graphics and possibly the worst user interface ever created for a piece of software. Dwarf Fortress is a story generator. It helps you make amazing stories that you will tell friends and co-workers, leaving them in awe and disbelief. It's steep learning curve is worth the climb. The developer has stated that Dwarf Fortress is his life's workDwarf Fortress gets a 10, despite ASCII graphics and possibly the worst user interface ever created for a piece of software. Dwarf Fortress is a story generator. It helps you make amazing stories that you will tell friends and co-workers, leaving them in awe and disbelief. It's steep learning curve is worth the climb. The developer has stated that Dwarf Fortress is his life's work and it won't be finished for another twenty years. But it is already one of the best computer games ever created. If you are looking for immense depth, complexity, and a steep challenge, then equip yourself with patience and play Dwarf Fortress. Expand
  37. Mar 12, 2013
    10
    An amazingly complex game wrapped up with a somewhat frustrating user interface. It seems like it will one day be even more incredible, although for the time being development cannot really focus on making it more user friendly, since later development would just break it. That said, for those who can look past the ASCII graphics and the sometimes unintuitive gameplay, Dwarf Fortress isAn amazingly complex game wrapped up with a somewhat frustrating user interface. It seems like it will one day be even more incredible, although for the time being development cannot really focus on making it more user friendly, since later development would just break it. That said, for those who can look past the ASCII graphics and the sometimes unintuitive gameplay, Dwarf Fortress is very entertaining. Expand
  38. Aug 3, 2014
    10
    Dwarf Fortress is one of the best game experiences I have ever had. Although the very steep learning curve will turn away many players, and the very basic graphics may dissuade others, players who stick with the game will find an incredibly rewarding experience. Dwarf Fortress offers an incredibly deep, albeit complex world that can be enthralling, infuriating, hilarious, and more. TheDwarf Fortress is one of the best game experiences I have ever had. Although the very steep learning curve will turn away many players, and the very basic graphics may dissuade others, players who stick with the game will find an incredibly rewarding experience. Dwarf Fortress offers an incredibly deep, albeit complex world that can be enthralling, infuriating, hilarious, and more. The game has two gameplay modes:

    -Fortress mode
    In this mode, the player is initially given 7 dwarves and a wagon-full of supplies, and is tasked with creating a new fortress for their civilization. Beyond that, there are few limitations on what the player can do. One must take into consideration all aspects of dwarven life when planning their fortress- or possibly just ignore the needs of their citizens and build a giant statue out of obsidian that cries lava and shoots minecarts full of rocks at attacking armies from its mouth. Fortress mode is nearly limitless, and the graphics can be altered to your liking by simply installing a tileset or graphics set.

    -Adventure Mode
    What it says on the tin. Adventure mode offers a very rougelike experience in an open, randomly generated world (oh also you can generate entire worlds with fleshed-out histories of individuals, civilizations, wars, and more) that is once again very deep. The recent DF2014 update has increased the variety of adventure mode greatly, making it another amazing experience. In adventure mode, for example, one could visit the ruins of a previously lost fortress and loot its remains- or become the lord of nearly anywhere you want.

    I have barley scratched the surface of what Dwarf Fortress offers. I highly recommend that everyone try this game, even if it take a bit of effort to learn it.
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  39. Apr 3, 2015
    0
    One of the worst interfaces in gaming history.

    This game is pure hype, with too many people who never played it pretending like it is a masterpiece.

    If only there were more of a focus on the interface, it would be a better user experience.

    Nuff said.
  40. Jun 24, 2012
    10
    Little to no graphics, brutal learning curve, almost entirely keyboard based controls and yet undoubtedly one of the best games ever made. Having more content than just about any other game made, incredibly challenging game play and procedurally generated worlds leads to almost infinite replay value. Also at the price of 0 it just can't be beat!
  41. May 15, 2012
    10
    Dwarf Fortress is amazing. There's not much more to say about it. It's complex enough to warrant hours upon hours of tutorial videos. It's addicting enough to make you stay up all night playing it. With the developers releasing updates somewhat frequently, there's always new things coming out. The most fun though, comes from losing; watching your hours of hard work destroyed by demons,Dwarf Fortress is amazing. There's not much more to say about it. It's complex enough to warrant hours upon hours of tutorial videos. It's addicting enough to make you stay up all night playing it. With the developers releasing updates somewhat frequently, there's always new things coming out. The most fun though, comes from losing; watching your hours of hard work destroyed by demons, trolls, or goblins is oddly funny to watch. You're always learning from your mistakes in this game, and it's a great feeling when you fend off your first siege, find your first vein of adamantine, or take down that forgotten beast that has been tormenting your fortress. Adventurer mode is enjoyable, but not to the extent of fortress mode. I still get brutalized almost every time I make an adventurer, but it's still quite fun to try and see how far you'll get. Either way, this is a free game that I recommend with every ounce of my body. Praise to Armok! Expand
  42. Jul 15, 2012
    10
    If i had to sell somebody on Dwarf Fortress the biggest challenge i would run into would be the first impression. Dwarf fortress is really impossible to enjoy until you can get into the narrative of it. the beauty of the game is what a fantastic story all of the features make once they've all done their magic. And so in order to sell you on Dwarf Fortress i would have to recommend that youIf i had to sell somebody on Dwarf Fortress the biggest challenge i would run into would be the first impression. Dwarf fortress is really impossible to enjoy until you can get into the narrative of it. the beauty of the game is what a fantastic story all of the features make once they've all done their magic. And so in order to sell you on Dwarf Fortress i would have to recommend that you read Boatmurdered. just google it and follow the appropriate link. This entertaining narrative, to me, sums up why i enjoy playing Dwarf Fortress. Give it a try, and if after enjoying Boatmurdered you have difficulty enjoying Dwarf Fortress, just try again in a new fortress. Eventually you will have that magical moment in video gaming where the whole setting just clicks and you finally understand and become immersed in the world of Dwarf Fortress. vorpalsponge was absolutely right, Dwarf Fortress is truly a game about stories. Expand
  43. Nov 22, 2011
    9
    Dwarf Fortress is the premier game in it's genre, and a solid contender across the board. This game includes a construction and city building mode that exceeds all others in the degree to which you can create and the complexity which you can choose to partake of.
    The adventure mode is an RPG that can stand with the best of them.
    The interface and graphics can be difficult to get used to,
    Dwarf Fortress is the premier game in it's genre, and a solid contender across the board. This game includes a construction and city building mode that exceeds all others in the degree to which you can create and the complexity which you can choose to partake of.
    The adventure mode is an RPG that can stand with the best of them.
    The interface and graphics can be difficult to get used to, but there are plenty of user-made applications and mods to remedy this.
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  44. Nov 16, 2012
    10
    When I first opened the game I just sat there stunned... I'd never seen such a low tech "ugly" game. After a little searching on google I found the easy noob pack and installed one of the graphical mods. MUCH better. The learning curv was the next challenge and it wasnt AS bad as I thought it was going to be, with the help of a few online guids and youtube videos I got the hang of it.When I first opened the game I just sat there stunned... I'd never seen such a low tech "ugly" game. After a little searching on google I found the easy noob pack and installed one of the graphical mods. MUCH better. The learning curv was the next challenge and it wasnt AS bad as I thought it was going to be, with the help of a few online guids and youtube videos I got the hang of it. (INTERFACE WTF!?!?)

    The charm of the game comes from its complexity and depth.. and I mean.. SERIOUS depth. There's so much to this game, i've only been playing off and on for the past 6 months and I still discover something new on nearly every play session.

    The only downfall to DF is once you get the hang of it, every other RTS game seems shallow in comparison so If you're looking for a deep rewarding RTS experience, and willing to let go of all pre conceived notions of what you know of RTS's then this is your game, however If you're a casual player who just wants a quick thrill then DF will chew you up and spit you out. I tried a recent title: A Game Of Dwarves hoping for that DF 2.0 experience... and found it to be lacking in almost every department. I will keep my fingers crossed for a proper and i mean PROPER DF 2.0 game.

    Closest thing ive found to DF is a game called TOWNS, and even then.. very lacking.
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  45. Nov 12, 2013
    0
    One of the most overrated "games" of all time. The interface turns away the majority of gamers, which is why this game isn't a big success. The graphics are also non-existent. At least Minecraft HAS graphics.
  46. Dec 27, 2014
    0
    The game sucks hard. I invested many hours to learn it because people always tell how awesome and complex it is. I sit there with my dwarfs, have no clue what they actually want, the game explains nothing and you need to figure out every little piece of information by yourself. After much ingame time nothing happened, maybe one goblin thief came in and stole something unimportant,The game sucks hard. I invested many hours to learn it because people always tell how awesome and complex it is. I sit there with my dwarfs, have no clue what they actually want, the game explains nothing and you need to figure out every little piece of information by yourself. After much ingame time nothing happened, maybe one goblin thief came in and stole something unimportant, whatever. I know the game creates thousands of background story points while creating the world but I have not seen anything of it in my games. I feel like this whole "complexity" that people see is just the **** interface. I have given up on it because the game does not give you either challenge nor reward, it just sits there and you whonder what to do with it while trying to figuring out while some people love it so hardcore. Expand
  47. Oct 9, 2013
    7
    Dwarf Fortress is an amazingly complex and fascinating game. Unfortunately its complexity also works against it, as it takes a lot of time to even learn the basics or even re-learn them, if you haven't played it for a while. If you can overcome that hurdle you will get one of the most unique and entertaining games you have ever seen.
  48. Jun 14, 2013
    9
    Dwarf Fortress is one of the most incredibly deep and complex games I have ever seen.

    The only reason it is not a 10 is because it's not done. While it is currently playable and completely works, there is more development to be done and more features to add. This is a game of ASCII graphics, which means that characters are represented by and signs. But there are graphics packs
    Dwarf Fortress is one of the most incredibly deep and complex games I have ever seen.

    The only reason it is not a 10 is because it's not done. While it is currently playable and completely works, there is more development to be done and more features to add.

    This is a game of ASCII graphics, which means that characters are represented by and signs. But there are graphics packs like the lazy newb pack which increase graphics. The important thing to remember, is that this is a game about gameplay, not about high end graphics. So much of the game is just events, while you have to provide a little flavor in your own mind about how it happened.

    Did I have a dwarf get kicked in the teeth by a giant chameleon and lose two mollars? yes. Did I fashion the mollars into bone greaves and put them on my militia. yes I did. Did I have a dwarf sprial into depression because he had no pants? That happened.

    This game is difficult to learn, you will have to read and watch tutorial videos. But it's exceptionally rewarding and infinitely replayable. EVERY element of the game is at your fingers, including world creation, and there are mods and utilities. It's a good community.

    This game is independently produced and a pet project. You will not find another game out there like this and it is incredible.

    Think Sim City, meets The Sims... but with dwarves.
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  49. Jul 9, 2013
    9
    Only reason I didn't give it af 10 is because of the strange controls and the "hard to understand" textures.. otherwise one of the best in it's genre!
  50. Mar 7, 2012
    10
    I think that day then ordinary people in two or alone became capable to create games is a most wonderful day in game history. And Dwarf Fortress is a game that confirms this statement.
    Dwarf Fortress is a most complex and difficult â
  51. Nov 5, 2013
    10
    Complex is the one word that encapsulates this game and the experience of LEARNING to play it.

    I first downloaded this game about a year ago; the idea of building a fortress in the mountains or ground sounded awesome; the idea of having to chop trees, fish, hunt, skin and tan the carcasses, or, raise chickens, goats, train war dogs or any other kind of animal including dragons to hunt
    Complex is the one word that encapsulates this game and the experience of LEARNING to play it.

    I first downloaded this game about a year ago; the idea of building a fortress in the mountains or ground sounded awesome; the idea of having to chop trees, fish, hunt, skin and tan the carcasses, or, raise chickens, goats, train war dogs or any other kind of animal including dragons to hunt along side my hunter, I mean, come on!

    But it didn't stop there, you could also farm, brew ale, beer and wine, create hundreds of crafts made from wood or rock, make levers to lower or raise a draw bridge, build moats, stone masons, carpenters, smelters; Vampires, Goblins, Necromancers, whoa, say what?

    I couldn't wait to play this free game, and when I opened it up, I was like, WTF is this garbage?!? The GFX are ASCII, it was like I was trying to read the matrix. I quickly closed the game and never opened it again till now.

    I came across the LAZY NEWB PACK, which has a tile set included in with it that makes the game look normal. And that was all she wrote.

    As I opened, so I will close, by saying that this is the most complex game I have ever played.

    It is simply AWESOME.

    P.S. Go watch some Let's Plays on YouTube for an intro into the game.
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  52. Feb 17, 2013
    10
    This game set the parameters I judge all the others. It is a game so complex that there isn't just one way of having fun with it. You could have fun making great projects, trying to optimize the processes of your fort, or just doing how I prefer, to observer all the little stories the game procedurally is showing you all the time, making you completely absorbed by them.
  53. Nov 5, 2013
    10
    Amazing game, every single variable is randomized and simulated, the difficulty requires actual skill and commitment to be able to play, and it is impossible to master. The graphics only add to this amazing difficulty. 10/10.
  54. Feb 17, 2015
    8
    One of the best games ever made. But the game have a very set demographics and is not for everyone. Plus the game have a rly steep learning curve like EVE is a child's game compared to it and EVE is the game that is know to be one of the hardest in the world to learn to play.
  55. Oct 8, 2014
    10
    FUN

    A lot of fun in this game. Just CRAZY. Really. There is no other one like this one. I love it because of the huge gameplay, full of surprises, impossible to understand without take it and torn it apart during two weeks, night and days. The wiki is very helpful, as the tuto everywhere on internet (youtube, wiki, blogs).

    Losing is fun! DF is VERY fun. :)
  56. Aug 3, 2014
    10
    A brilliant game with an in depth community, with each new world brings new history and life. The amount of stuff to this game is also amazing, just the whole research part can be pretty fun.
  57. Aug 3, 2014
    10
    .This is simply the best game ever. Whoever says the opposite is a console peasant. I've been playing only DF for 5 years straight and i can't get enough.
  58. Dec 20, 2014
    10
    This game is the best game is ever played - and a game really made with love. Yes, its graphics are awful at the beginning, but once you have understood the basics, you'll enjoy this game. You're free to do what you want, and the randomization of the universe causes all sorts of things to happen to you. There's such a diversity mixed with humor and absurd situations (try to read anThis game is the best game is ever played - and a game really made with love. Yes, its graphics are awful at the beginning, but once you have understood the basics, you'll enjoy this game. You're free to do what you want, and the randomization of the universe causes all sorts of things to happen to you. There's such a diversity mixed with humor and absurd situations (try to read an after-action report), that this game is both interesting and fun.
    Don't forget : "Losing is FUN!"
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  59. Mar 24, 2015
    9
    it is an incredibly complex simulation game where you take control of a population of dwarves. There is no endgame, there are no concrete objectives. You just have to do your best to allow your fort to survive all of the nasty things that can come upon it.
  60. Jul 31, 2015
    10
    This is one crazy-ass game.

    You will not learn it by yourself. You will need help. The interface is one of the most insane things that has ever existed, and I, a 5 year vet, still don't know what some of it does. You will need a guide, maybe a friend, maybe the expertly maintained wiki, but do not try to do it yourself, or you will become incredibly frustrated. That being said, once
    This is one crazy-ass game.

    You will not learn it by yourself. You will need help. The interface is one of the most insane things that has ever existed, and I, a 5 year vet, still don't know what some of it does. You will need a guide, maybe a friend, maybe the expertly maintained wiki, but do not try to do it yourself, or you will become incredibly frustrated.

    That being said, once the initial shock to the system is out of the way, WELCOME, to the greatest simulation game ever created. I can't explain it better than everyone before me. The only way to know is to experience.

    Strike the earth, and always remember, losing is FUN!
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  61. Mar 12, 2018
    10
    people jealous because there brains cant comprehend the scope and details of this game it is a masterpiece best game EVERRR AND IMEAn EVER made once you know how to play this game forget about your job wife and kids wont need them not even rimworld comes close!
  62. Dec 20, 2022
    0
    I don't understand how can be fun something so complicated, complex, huge and overwhelming.
  63. Dec 13, 2022
    10
    Dwarf Fortress is a 20 year old masterpiece that has inspired many games such as rimworld. Playing with mouse controls is now actually doable and they work great. Anyone who has not played dwarf fortress prior to its steam release should do so now as the amount of crap you can do in dwarf fortress is nearly limitless and YOU WILL LOSE, but that's the point of dwarf fortress, losing is funDwarf Fortress is a 20 year old masterpiece that has inspired many games such as rimworld. Playing with mouse controls is now actually doable and they work great. Anyone who has not played dwarf fortress prior to its steam release should do so now as the amount of crap you can do in dwarf fortress is nearly limitless and YOU WILL LOSE, but that's the point of dwarf fortress, losing is fun and you use your loses as a learning experience to try, try, again. One day you will lead the dwarfs to glory, but first you must lead them into defeat. Expand
  64. Jan 9, 2023
    9
    0-pointers are complete numbnuts. Sure, the Steam version needs some polishing still and maybe the interface is a bit difficult, but 0 points because of that? The game itself is one of the most introcate ever made, it is not supposed to be easy. It's the same as someone would rate all Soulslike games 0 because they are hard.
  65. Jan 1, 2023
    10
    Best game of 2022 and the past decade. If you played the ASCII version support the devs. If you haven't played the steam version you should!
  66. Jan 25, 2023
    10
    I built a dump because there were too many lung fish carcasses everywhere, then I started a death cult at that dump. Meanwhile, my Planter got lost in the mines so a bunch of Hamsters chewed their way out of cages before he could get to them. I don't know what we do with the hamsters. Or why Dwarfs have so many cats, or why there's an option to start a cult at the dump, but this is myI built a dump because there were too many lung fish carcasses everywhere, then I started a death cult at that dump. Meanwhile, my Planter got lost in the mines so a bunch of Hamsters chewed their way out of cages before he could get to them. I don't know what we do with the hamsters. Or why Dwarfs have so many cats, or why there's an option to start a cult at the dump, but this is my new best favorite game ever. And I hate survival/crafting/sim games. But this one just sort of . . . fits in my brain for some reason. So, if you have the mental capacity to juggle millions of insane things at once, and the willingness to fail harder than you've ever failed in your life just to learn how to fish, then buddy, this ones for you. 10/10 Expand
  67. Jan 24, 2023
    10
    The game is very complex and makes you dive deep into the study of how much effort and almost all your life the creators have invested in this game, an incredible amount of mechanics, interactions, an incredible world that generates new story branches, you can write a book for each adventure, thanks for this game.
  68. Dec 14, 2022
    7
    I do like this game and it can get very addicting. I think it may be better to wait until the game goes on sale. At the time of this writing, I have experienced multiple slowdowns and lag. There were a few times when certain functions would just stop working and would need to restart the game.

    My biggest complaint about the game is the need to rely on external resources to understand
    I do like this game and it can get very addicting. I think it may be better to wait until the game goes on sale. At the time of this writing, I have experienced multiple slowdowns and lag. There were a few times when certain functions would just stop working and would need to restart the game.

    My biggest complaint about the game is the need to rely on external resources to understand how to play it. An in-depth story driven campaign would help so much to teach Dwarf Fortress to new players. Instead you have to figure out everything on your own. It would not be that bad but the game is horrible at providing detailed information that actually helps in resolving problems that arise in your fort. For example, I was about four hours into a new fort (with twenty hours of overall game experience) when all of a sudden my dwarves stopped brewing drinks, even though I had hundreds of seeds and plants, with a large cavern farm and ensuring none of the mushrooms were being made for food and had plenty of barrels. It would have really helped to have had an AI assistant or in-depth encyclopedia that could have helped identify the problem. Am I losing because of a bug or something I don’t understand? I don't mind losing, but do dislike losing when not knowing how to access the information needed to fix the problem.

    The devs should check out games like Civ VI and its Civilpedia for in-game help, along with the optional guide AI character that will assist you in the game. Adding those types of features would go a long way with understanding the complexity of the game. Half my game time is me pausing to look up stuff on the wiki or youtube. There are just so many things you are left guessing about. I want to be able to click on an item and have a page show up like in Civ Vi and let me know about the item and how it's used. I would love to see a customizable AI assistant that warns you about problems and strategies to alleviate them.

    I would say it is fun and addicting but not accessible; it is a very niche game. There is nothing wrong with that but do think it will turn off quite a few casual gamers. You just have to view looking up guides half the time as part of the fun, I suppose (I don’t; I want the game to teach me how to play). I do enjoy playing the game and think it is worth trying out; I just think it may be better to wait a year and when it is on sale for about fifteen or twenty bucks. By then, there should be much more content and patches provided for the game to make it worth the price tag.

    I really do enjoy Dwarf Fortress, despite its flaws and lack of polish. I hope in a year or two I am able to come back to increase my rating of this game, but for now, 7/10.
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  69. Dec 26, 2022
    10
    The best game ever made gets even better with a graphical and sound overhaul on steam. If you don’t own this piece of gaming history you do not know what you’re missing.
  70. Jan 21, 2023
    10
    the best colony simulator game I've ever played, without a doubt this game has a gigantic complexity, where the world is fully alive, civilizations can be destroyed without even being present in the game, which progresses even if you do absolutely nothing , without a doubt it is a game worth your time, if you have the patience to understand the interface and its game play.
Metascore
93

Universal acclaim - based on 9 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 9
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 9
  3. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Jan 3, 2023
    90
    Dwarf Fortress is, initially, a little daunting. Not because it’s inaccessible, but because you just know that it’s going to turn into a real time-sink. Is it the prettiest game around? No, but it’s wonderfully, ridiculously deep and a sheer joy to play. If you’re prepared to put the time in, Dwarf Fortress will drag you into its depths and you won’t regret it for one second.
  2. Dwarf Fortress is a storytelling engine as much as it is a game, spitting out associations and facts and details that you can shape into a coherent and specific narrative. This is also what we do to our own lives, personifying random events so that they feel significant rather than a matter of chance. Life isn’t usually a satisfying narrative. It isn’t so much that “Dwarf Fortress” is a perfect simulacrum of life, but that it shines a bright light on the human tendency to look for meaning in everything. I care about my dwarves because the stories I make up about their lives are also the ones I make up about my own.
  3. Dec 13, 2022
    91
    A truly masterful fantasy simulation.