Dwarf Fortress is a single-player fantasy game. You can control a dwarven outpost or an adventurer in a randomly generated, persistent world. The world is randomly generated with distinct civilizations spanning over 1000 years of detailed history, dozens of towns, hundreds of caves and regions with various wildlife. Command your dwarves as they search for wealth in the mountain. Play an adventurer and explore, quest for glory or seek vengeance. Extended ASCII character set rendered in 16 colors (including black) as well as 8 background colors (including black). Although Dwarf Fortress is still in a work in progress, many features have already been implemented. Please post all support issues in the forums for the game.
Dwarf Fortress is a great game. It has a deepness like no other game in the world. It's a very hard game and needs a lot of time and tutorial to learn how to play and how "to loose" in an epic way!
Unfortunately there are some defects. Some of them are technical defects (like the fact that DF does not use multi-threading and so does not use multicore power). The other is a control deficit: the control system of DF is a bit too confusing and does not allow a complete managment of the fortress without external tools.
I hope that these point are going to be a central development focus in the next releases.
Dwarf fortress is special. Most people will hate this game when they will start playing. The interface is not user friendly, the graphics are in ASCII and it is basically impossible to survive one year in your first fort. After the beginning, some people will hate this game because it's hard, it's impossible to win, it's unfair.
For these reasons, I rated this game 9/10.
But this game, this game is one of the most complete ever released. You start your game with seven dwarfs. You decide what they bring and what are the skills of each one. The first season will mainly consist in starting digging, creating a farm (because you need to feed these dwarfs!) and starting to design what will be in the future a great fortress. The dangers are many : the fauna will sometimes be extremely dangerous, your dwarfs could run out of food, or they could become crazy if you let them unhappy.
Jump in the time. You dwarfs survived the first season, migrants have arrived, just like a caravan with needed goods. There are now other challenges for you fortress. You don't want to run out of booze, because a sober dwarf is a slow and unhappy dwarf; metal is starting to be needed and construction of basic goods will need more wood. Your dwarfs need a dining room, beds, and you may have to start thinking about dangers from the outside with your growing population.
New jump in the time. You now have a population of nearly a hundred dwarfs, but even now, even now that you have a true city working in front of you, you must keep working hard to maintain the order. Your nobles are making demands, they want a better life than the others and you will learn to hate them. Goblins are lurking outside, ambushing your dwarfs, attacking your fortress in great numbers.
But your choices are endless. Whatever you want to do, you can do it. If you see a volcano at the beginning, you may use it to build a magma cannon at the end. Because this is dwarf fortress; if you want to have something, make it.
Great depth. Unparalled depth, really. Few strategy games come close to the sophistication of Dwarf Fortress (the only titles I can think of are the original X-COM: UFO Defense and maybe Sid Meier's Alpha-Centauri.) As a result the game has a massive learning curve, but I don't consider that a problem considering the scope of this game; it's to be expected that an extremely complex game will seem overwhelming to newcomers. Newcomers who stick it out are rewarded with a unique empire management experience. The one true problem with this game is that it takes an "Operator from the Matrix" Degree to recognize what the ASCII tileset is actually showing. It is at first blush a very visually cryptic game. Although in time, knowing what ASCII characters represent can become second nature. Dwarf Fortress loses a point for being visually disorientating to newbies, but finishes with a very healthy 9 out of 10.
Such a great game. The depth in the gameplay is one of the better elements. The only thing that I could say bad about it that it has a really steep learning curve and that is becomes hard to keep track of so much going on without the help of mods.