If you follow SGN TV on YouTube you may have already seen our Dwerg Saga feature. Over there we focussed more on the development of the game and its ongoing evolution with the game’s mastermind, Jock Findlay. If you enjoyed the piece, you may will have a Dwerg shaped hole (I’d get that checked out if I were you). So we thought we’d fill you in on the game itself. So here’s an intro the … experience which is Dwerg Saga!
Forward – Slowly
Firstly, Dwerg Saga is reminiscent of and unashamedly inspired by the intricate, labyrinthine, complex and challenging Dwarf Fortress. The game focuses on your clan of Dwerg and how they interact with the world.
Make no mistake, this game is complex, clever and curious. For example, when you boot up the game for the first time, don’t expect to jump right in to actual gameplay.
The first thing the game asks you to do is take a fairly in-depth personality quiz. Yes, the first thing the game wants you to do is quit the game and do a test…
This isn’t just some post-modern comment on the nature of gaming. Your answers to the quiz this will have a direct impact on your clan, how they interact with each other, and the world as a whole. You are in essence, building the brains of your Dwerg.
What The Hell Is A Dwerg?
This is a very fair question. A Dwerg is a lot like a Dwarf (but without the cliched Scottish accents). They enjoy mining and live off of the land. Dwelling in caves, underground or in the sides of mountains, content with the simple things in life.
To date, none of our Dwerg have sat down and started singing songs about Gold. Maybe if we’d answered the quiz differently…
They’re social creatures. They prefer clan life to living in isolation, they’re great at teamwork and enjoy helping each other out for the betterment of others. Each Dwerg has a role to play and they are happy to do that to the best of their ability.
However, do not confuse their simple, rustic way of life for stupidity. Each Dwerg has its own personality and character traits. This means that group dynamics can shift depending on the personalities of the Dwerg in a clan. Remember that quiz? Yeah, there’s a lot of character and personality going on. Your diplomatic, political, familial and mine supervisor skills are going to get a healthy workout.
That’s all well and good but you’re probably asking yourself, “where do I fit into all of this?” Brace yourself, Goldemar, because you will assume the role of clan leader, guiding your loyal followers and trying to find your place in the world.
Building a home, caring for your clan and leading them on their adventures (and misadventures). These are just a few of the tasks you’ll find yourself undertaking in the world of Dwerg Saga. That being said, the world is your oyster, do whatever takes your fancy. If building a cosy home underground with individual bedrooms for each Dwerg sounds more appealing than dealing with dire wolves then do exactly that! Described by the game’s creator as “Minecraft meets The Sims” Dwerg Saga takes the open ended nature of those games and gives the player freedom to do whatever they choose.
What’s Mine Is Mine
As the game is still in early development the adventure element of Dwerg saga is still a little light. Because of this I’ve spent most of my time in the game building and excavating.
In the world the game generated for my play through there wasn’t too many mountains so I set up camp near a river in the corner of the map. From there I dug out a base (around 4×4 squares) and proceeded to build a corridor. The room at the end of the path will become a storage facility. In that same room there is a set of stairs, leading to a lower level, this room has a wall dividing the stairs from what will become the living quarters. Within the bedroom there are dividing walls, allowing each Dwerg their own private space. Below that is the mine, that’s pretty self explanatory, I’m not going to tell you what happens there.
Verdict: Cult Classic
Dwerg Saga has hooked me. I often find it worming its way into my thoughts during my down time. Wondering how the clan is doing, thinking about what to build next and planning where to take my Dwerg are just some of the thing the game makes me think about, even between gameplay sessions.
Admittedly, the Dwerg Saga is still a little rough around the edges, occasional bugs can be a little frustrating. However, after speaking with Jock and hearing his enthusiasm for this project. I have no doubt that bugs will be ironed out and new and exciting features are on the horizon.
I’ve recently been getting back into Minecraft and Dwerg Saga provides the same cathartic freedom of it’s blocky counterpart while investing you in it’s world and inhabitants.
You can play Dwerg Saga‘s demo for free, or back it on Patreon for the most up to date version. If you’re a fan of Dwarf Fortress this is definitely going to be your next obsession!