Today’s game is the underground hit freeware game Slaves to Armok: God of Blood Chapter II: Dwarf Fortress, or just Dwarf Fortress by Bay12 games.

Dwarf Fortress - ASCII Depiction

Dwarf Fortress is a city building / defense / survival sim game represented with ASCII characters.  For those who don’t like the text-based feel, there are also graphics packs you can use to play the game with a bit less of a text-based feel.

The game takes place in a randomly generated world which persists through different sessions of the game.  You can play in one of two primary modes: adventure, which is a more standard “wander around and do quests” mode, and fortress mode, which is a city building and defense mode.  The events in either mode are randomly determined and procedurally executed so no two games will ever be the same.  Even beyond these two modes, there are two additional modes which only come into play in certain circumstances.  The first is siege mode.  Siege mode occurs after you have lost your fortress to an enemy attack and had all your dwarves slaughtered.  If this happens, you have the opportunity to take control of a dwarf army and lay siege to the fortress.  If you retake it from the monsters that have conquered your fortress, you once again gain control of the fortress and continue with fortress mode.  The other is Legend mode where you can review all the lore of your world (if you’ve discovered it).

The game is extremely complex and the learning curve is very steep.  However, if you’re a fan of city sim games, you owe it to yourself to give the game a try.  I also highly recommend checking out the Dwarf Fortress wiki, as the game is nearly impossible to just pick up and play without extensive amounts of reference material.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?