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A Game of Dwarves Review

What can I say about A Game of Dwarves. I can easily say I was not expecting a game that is incredibly addictive, challenging, strategic, and unique. At first glance you would think this game is more of an RPG judging by the name and the ATLUS released console title. This is a strategy title with some RPG elements. I like to think of it as a Micromanaging version of Minecraft (without building massive structures of course). There is a lot of digging in this game, but it is damn fun staying out of the sunlight.

You play a Dwarven Prince who is on an epic quest to reclaim the Dwarf land. The continent is filled with treasures and history long forgotten that have been dormant and undisturbed since the Great War. Become a leader and command your own clan of Dwarves skilled in mining, military, and research. The mysterious mages have returned and it is up to you to stop them and take back what belongs to the Dwarves. The story is nothing extravagant. It should be noted that the story is actually pretty good. If you take the time and read what the lore of the game has presented you will find some more enjoyment in the story than someone who skips everything.

The core gameplay revolves around micromanaging a lot of Dwarves with different jobs to dig deeper underground to discover rooms that hold treasure and knowledge. In many ways, you get more than you bargained for. As you gather more resources your Dwarves will level up and be more adept at their job. Explore underground and build your settlement in a 13 level singleplayer story that will keep you occupied for hours.

There are five classes of Dwarves, Diggers, Warriors, Researchers, Crafters, and Workers. Diggers…dig, Warriors are the fighters, researchers…research for tech skill tree points, Crafters build items like storage chests, beds, and even traps, Workers gather food and lumber.  What makes this system really work is there every class of dwarf is essential. If you have more warriors, you will have a slow production force of the miners and workers. However, I will say that the backbone of your settlement will fall on Workers, Diggers, and Warriors. They provide the resources and defense your settlement needs.

As the Dwarves do their jobs, they will gain experience and become better at their profession. Warriors and Researchers can specialize and expand through the necessary upgrades in the tech tree. Warriors can be specialized two more times and Researchers can be specialized one extra. This is not free though, you must pay resources to do so. Some cost food, others iron or wood, the higher the upgrade, the more expensive the cost. There are other factors to take into account when running your Dwarven settlement. Morale plays a huge factor and if the Dwarves are unhappy they will not work at their best, slowing production.

There are a plethora of different resources to gather and the deeper you go, the rarer the resource. You will use these to create better items like research benches or traps, while others are more aesthetic and make the Dwarves happier. The more you dig, the more you find. However, be careful of where you dig, you may just find an orc or goblin home and they will invade your settlement if left alive. You will know when there is a room around indicated by the question marks in the black void. My changing your field of view and digging layer you can isolate these rooms with deadly and rewarding results.

Aside from the campaign you can play a custom game where you can create large underground Dwarven fortresses or give yourself a challenge and spawn a buttload of orcs. The game is simple for a strategy game, but it is so well done. The game feels finished and with the addition of Steam Achievements, there is quite a bit of replay value in A Game of Dwarves. I give it a 9/10. This is a must have for strategy gamers. Major kudos to Zeal Game Studio for developing this title.

1 Comment

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  1. Amy J. says
    November 3, 2012, 4:17 AM

    Soooo… a tiny version of Dwarf Fortress, with actual graphics. I’m so there.

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