A Cynical Look on Dwarf Fortress

Well, I'm back. Today, the subject shall be Dwarf Fortress, the most complex ASCII game I've ever seen. Now, before the technical details overwhelm you, these things you need to know about Dwarf Fortress are actually quite simple. You have dwarves. You build a fort. You attempt to survive. Everything Is Trying To Kill You. All in all, the game makes losing fun. Which may possibly be why the unofficial motto is "Losing is fun."

Now Fortress mode, which is the mode I've played as of the time of this typing, is much like The Sims. Except more in depth, less pretty, and more hilarious. Oh yeah, and the fact that a single wrong move spells doom for hours of work, as there is no in game way to avoid saving your work. The save when you exit sounds nice at first. ONLY at first. Because after you've accidentally tunneled into magma at the wrong level and it is now filling your fortress from bottom to top, you'll wish there was a way to revert to an earlier save.

Now while that sounds terrible, it actually serves as a great way to make sure you never screw up the same way twice. Or at least not twice in a row. While the game punishes the slightest misstep severely, it still somehow manages to be fun. Between managing a goblin raid, your drunken lunatic dwarves, the snotty nobles, and still trying to expand, there's always a challenge.

On to actual gameplay! The gameplay is what makes Dwarf Fortress so good. The gameplay puts other, bigger, better budget games to shame. The kind of shame that makes one want to go hide in a hole, then have the hole closed by a boulder, and then have concrete poured over the entrance. Nearly everything works perfectly, amazing for an alpha edition of a game. There are some issues, like fish being ridiculously powerful. Yes, fish are an issue. Remember, Everything Is Trying To Kill You. Thus,your fisherdwarves have the nasty habit of being pulled into the river by their beards (Dwarves fish with their bears. Everyone knows this.) and drowning. Only purring maggots being milkable, (cows aren't) megabeasts being caught in cages, but everything somehow works. Even the things that seem to be broken somehow add to the fun that is Dwarf Fortress.

The traps are limited only by what you can imagine doing with pressure plates, levers, stones, pillars, and the rest of your materials. Including magma. An example of the fun of this game is getting the magma (which is trying to kill you) and opening a floodgate, releasing it onto an invading party of goblins (which are, of course, trying to kill you) creating an awesome site of dead goblins. Boatmurdered is an excellent example of why this game is so hilariously fun. Even when thing are going totally wrong, it's still all kinds of awesome.

In art, Dwarf Fortress is as good as it gets. If, of course, you're looking for ASCII simplicity. Otherwise, it's terrible artwork. However, the artwork fits the game beautifully. I have to give Dwarf Fortress a 87/100, for excellent gameplay, with some minor flaws, and outdated artwork. Oh, and did I mention it's free? Yeah, you can go try it for nothing.
If any responses ask for it, gameplay tips can be given.

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