Dwarf Fortress – Fortress Mode

Best Indie Game - Dwarf Fortress Screenshot

If you’re looking at the disturbing and confusing image, worry not. It is a screenshot of the fortress mode of Dwarf Fortress, which is one of the best indie games I have played in a very long time. A cross between The Sims, Civilization, and Sim City, Bay 12 games provides us with an amazing sandbox indie game, but only if you are okay with repeatedly smashing your head into a brick wall because failure and frustration will occur. There is also a mode called Adventure mode, but it is a different game and we haven’t had a chance to play it.

Dwarf Fortress is kind of like many other RTS but it is VERY deep, in terms of gameplay.  The world generator creates huge 3d maps, several layers of 2d-maps drawn in beautiful ASCII characters. Then, you choose where you want to settle on the world map. Then, you are thrust into the gameplay, with no tutorial to help you. You start out with 7 dwarves, and you have to build a fortress, your home, and your base, by mining out caverns, collecting resources, and trading with caravans that come to visit you a couple of times a year. You can order the construction of buildings, workshops, and all manner of buildings, which usually your dwarves will be happy enough to oblige, as long as sufficient building material is provided.