Smells like Dwarf Fortress.
As one of the games that I’ve totally fallen in love with, Dwarf Fortress deserves at least one paragraph of praise. Or two. Maybe three. I’ll stop at four, I promise…
I don’t think I would have ever even heard of the game if it hadn’t been for Minecraft and a friend of mine. Eli, the aforementioned friend, talked about Dwarf Fortress for a long time while we played other games. “Losing is fun!” and “It’s super complex!” were a few of the phrases he used and that was enough for me to give a little look. I was instantly turned off by the ASCII gaphics and the odd controls. Even with a graphical tileset, the game looked weak. I dismissed it and moved on. Weeks later, I had my wisdom teeth out. Bed-ridden, uncomfortable, and lacking a stable internet connection, I decided to try Dwarf Fortress again. After hours of sifting through tutorials and videos, I finally got my first fortress running and, damn, it was gratifying.
The enjoyment value someone gets out of Dwarf Fortress is largely in the hands of the person playing it. Like Minecraft, there isn’t really an ending. You never win. In fact, you can only lose. The premise sounds ridiculous, but the line “losing is fun” really becomes true. Most of the fighting is written out in combat logs that you can read. The actual visuals for the fighting are nothing more than two squares dancing around each other, but the combat logs are so detailed it really doesn’t matter. Weapon attacks can knock out teeth, bruise muscles, and break bones.
Before I go forward, I think I should explain a little about the game itself. The game is, as one of a my friends put it, a large-scale game of the Sims. I think its a little different, but I can see the similarities. When you start the game, you can have a world procedurally generated for you based on a few different parameters. The world includes mountains, hills, civilizations, hidden monsters, and years of history. Right off the bat your can go into the legends mode and check out the historical figures and sites of your new world. The depth is staggering. Once you have the world, you get to pick a location to settle and, from there, you try and survive with your group of hearty dwarves. Food, water, beds, and the like are all required by your dwarves and helping them help themselves is pretty much your job. You don’t get to control each dwarf in the traditional sense. Instead, you get to designate jobs to be completed. Such jobs can range from digging a rock tile to making steel buckets.
Now that I’ve said that, I don’t have much to move forward to. I’ll definitely post some screenshots and stuff later, though. For science. Perhaps I have too much Portal 2 on the mind.