Dwarf Fortress is an amazing, mindboggling game, a roguelike that simulates an entire world in pursuit of simulating the remote but promising outpost of hardy dwarves which you lead in it. Deep, intricate, and brimming with fascinating and arresting "emergent properties", it always had one big thing going against it: the impenetrability of its text-mode graphics and user interface.
Fantastic, then, that it's now available on Steam and Itch with an accessible, attractive new UI crafted by Kitfox Games. It's not just a tileset slapped over the text, but a complete reworking of the game's UX. There's even a tutorial!
In this complex construction/management/roguelike simulation, every generated world brings a unique challenge, whether it's dwarves with their own simulated personalities or aquifers. Observe what makes your fortress fall into eventual decline, and learn for next time… until something else inevitably goes wrong.
The combat model includes skills, body parts, material properties, aimed attacks, wrestling, pain, nausea, various poison effects, and much more.
It's difficult to convey the depth of the generation. Hundreds of animals and monsters, many of which are randomly created for each world, as well as generated poetry, musical forms, instruments, and dances for your dwarves to practice and perform. A dynamic weather model tracks wind, humidity, and air masses to create fronts, clouds, storms, and blizzards. Over two hundred rock and mineral types can appear, in their proper geological environments.
Remember: Losing is fun!
The impression created by the strange and simple abstraction of ASCII will never leave me, but this will draw me back in, inexorably, to whatever disaters and tragedies await in the latest version of this incredible simulation.