Chinese Association of Idaho State University (CAISU)
Title: Lord of Dwarves
Genre: Indie, Simulation, Strategy, Early Access
Stellar Sage Games
Stellar Sage Games
Release Date: 7 Mar, 2019
With the usual caveats about EA titles, I have to say, if you are a fan of Gnomoria, Dwarf Fortress, Rimworld or any of the management\/colony style games, this one is definitely worth your consideration. While the initial impression visually may be off-putting and very basic, the gameplay and indeed the thought and effort put into the design, are rewarding.
Again, while the aesthetics are simple, everything is animated and clearly displayed with its own model\/icon. The menu GUI is basic but functional, and should be easy to figure out within a few minutes of exploration. You are never unclear with what is happening in the game, although the tech-tree is not clear without actually building workstations first (hopefully this is addressed). It very much feels like Gnomoria but in 3D, without water tiles (unfortunately). I would really like to see a liquid system with rainfall filling crevices, lakes and lava pools underground (it is possible I haven't found these deep down yet).
In my 8hrs of play I experienced no crashes or performance issues, and as far as bugs go my only problem was with tabbing out of fullscreen setting the game into windowed mode, requiring a reset of the option to enable fullscreen again. I would like to see a windowed-fullscreen option for non-native resolutions.
Playing on normal the resource collection seemed pretty easy to keep up, maybe a little too much so. I did lose every dwarf after 1 yr to an orc invasion, so enemy challenge is certainly in there. Organising your dwarves into groups with different roles, skills, priorities and loadouts is all handled very straightforward and obvious. The AI seems to have no problem with pathfinding or following orders.
Overall, definitely recommend for fans of the genre or even those looking to dip their toe in.. I love the crap out of this game.
I am a huge fan of Towns even though it wasn't completed. I picked up Gnomoria as well and that was a bit more complicated than I wanted at the time. Lord of Dwarves takes everything I love about them and makes it so much better.
There are so many mechanics in the building, digging and crafting that are fantastically easy and intuitive. I would wholeheartedly recommend going through the campaign so you learn about how it all works. I'm am very impressed with what we've got here and will be playing this for a long time now. I can't wait to get into the next mission and learn more stuff.
So good! If you enjoyed Towns!, this game will blow your mind!. So far I'm really digging this game! (pun intended) I've played through most of the campaign available and just want to say what a great game so far! It plays similarly to other early access games such as colony survival or castle story. I really highly recommend this game for anyone who likes to build their own castle, create their own army, and fend off orcs while rebuilding an empire :). Saw there was zero reviews, so decided to gamble and give it a try :D
It's actually pretty fun! It feels very early release, but it's surprisingly functional, more than what I thought. It plays like a voxel castle builder mix with Dwarf Fortress, exactly what it looks like. You build workshops which require you build parts to those workshops, assign dwarves jobs like Hauler and Craftsman, you place areas for archers to sit and guard posts, you dig into terrain in 3 dimensions, place stockpiles, farm plots... There really is a solid backing for a good Dwarf Fortress-ish defense game here.
I'm sorry developer, but for the love of god you might want to add some variety to that music. It was really cute at first, seemed like you made it yourself with some free synth music tool... but it just keeps droning on and on and is just off tune enough to make me feel unsettled the whole time. I'd put a lot more work into that, or download some free music with a license that lets you use it in commercial software.
Also the UI could use a ton of prettying up. It's not too bad, just doesn't feel clean. I seriously think with better music and a clean UI the game would feel a lot more solid, rather than a really-early early release game. The engine is there, just the game needs to be polished up.
From a gameplay standpoint there's actually quite a lot of content. Seems like there could be more content in other areas, like visuals and monsters or something. Even just different sorts of "biomes" might make it feel a lot more fresh across different play throughs.
The "campaign mode" is more of a tutorial than a campaign, for those interested in this game. It actually teaches you a ton.
Thumbs up for Early-Release, hoping that this gets polished up into a professional game with more content and becomes an indie hit :). Well.. what can i say about this amazing game???
First off, i hesitated with this game simply because i felt i had too many similar ones in my library - well yes and no.
This is not Gnomoria\/Towns\/Lantern Forge\/Dwarf Corp etc ... Well, ok.. in many respects it is lol - you can build\/dig\/gather\/forage\/kill stuff etc so in that sense it is very similar to the above games...
But, as far as in some respects it is a lot more simpler but also a lot more interesting...
**I have only played a few levels of the campaign so far and have not yet tried sandbox mode (as of date of review)**
And it is an amazing campaign - it actually has a tutorial (which more or less holds you're hand the entire way) but as the *levels* progress, you are able to build more and more *free form* (which is what i love in games like this (build what\/how\/where and when)
Graphically its nothing to write home about - but even that it does well, i would personally say i like these graphics comparied to most of the games i list above (easier on the eyes, easier to see what is going on etc)
I actually **Care** about this game (the others, although i do like them and play every once in a while - they don't really give me a sense of... *worth*??? as this game does) - i think this is due to the *background story*
Yes, it is still in early access after 5 years (away from steam) for which reasons i could not even begin to understand (not a negative - for me)
I would be interested to see what further things Nick has planned for this game.
- suggestions for you Nick -
Please can we have a mode where we can choose our own size map? (don't know if this is on sandbox to be fair as i haven't tried it yet)
*wel thats about it for suggestions at the moment - can't really say much else at this time while only being on level 3 of the campaign)
Amazing concept, amazing game
but the only reason i give it an 8\/10 is because the confusing *game crash on launch* error
**this is fixed by forcing game compatibility mode to windows 8 and full screen optmization to off**
Best \u00a315 i have spent to date i would say!
Yes sandbox does have a map size choice (as well as a whole host of other things - how many caverns and of what dimensions\/terrain changes (mountains\/valleys\/palteaus etc) how often *invasions* occur and how many in each, difficulty... Even how many dwarves and stocks you start with!!!
And the biggest selling point for me? **choose your start location where the camera is focused!!!**
I dont think i need to update this review further (unless for some reason it becomes a negative - but i don't see that happening!)
Epic game Nick... Please keep adding to it! (i know you have almost done all you can minus tweaks\/bug fixes... BUT here is a big suggestion for you (maybe you won't because the code is already implemented - and that is fair enough (just thought i would try :P) one would be female dwarves (have kids to expand the population) or better yet... have them spawn from some kind of *rock cacoon* (as in legends of old)
That's about all i can say here to be honest (watch out for a series coming soon at *Graham lee* on Youtube). This is a well made, fun little game. Manage resources, build a fortress, repel attacks.
I wish there were a way to search for a particular item name to know what is needed for it.
It is singleplayer, but I hope the developer will consider adding multiplayer.. Not actually "sandbox", you are forced to play very specific meta and playing same meta again and again not fun.
Also game full of fake difficulty, ever screen brightness cannot be changed because it bound to difficulty and set on game start, everything become darker at nigh, ever torches and unlit ungergound turn completely black, forcing you to restart or messing with monitor settings.
Another instance of fake difficulty are "shines", shines are fun, but game requre you to grind books to unlock recipes, at same time, once you unlocked a shine, it stay unlocked permanently, ever if you start new game.
There are no option to unlock recipes ever if you start creative game.
Basically game force you to read guide to access all content (there is no guide!)
Final instance of fake difficulty is lack of tooltips, there are no tooltips, at all, you do not know effects of materials, do not know is tin better then copper, what damage of traps, what durability of walls and doors, game just hide everything from you.
Especially painful with food and farming, is yam better then potato? Probably yes, probably no, there are no tooltips.
Combat is outright disaster and balance non existan.. Just a very cursory review for now and the only reason I'm doing it is that this reminds me quite a bit of Gnomoria right now. I'd usually wait a bit longer before doing a review, but it seems this lone dev has quietly been plugging away at this for some time now and finally decided to bring it to Early Access on Steam - and based on the quality of this admittedly early version, I can recommend the game.
+ Plays very similar to Gnomoria, but smoother and without many of the bugs (so far)
+ To expand on this, there are a lot of QoL improvements here that Gnomoria never had
+ Easy to customize so you can play how you want in sandbox
+ No crashes & no game breaking bugs so far
+ The crafting\/tech progression seems solid for the most part, but I do miss researching
+ Yay, another game that allows z level mining - finally!
- A tad expensive, but if you want to support the dev it isn't...
- Music, UI, and art\/animation need some serious loving - the UI is some sort of ugly (and small), but functional
- Graphic options caused a bit of an issue on a dual monitor setup, but dev already reached out to me on that - maybe fixed soon
- A few minor bugs
- Where's the turnip seeds?
Again, just a quick cursory review that may change in the future, but so far I am enjoying this game.
Lord of Dwarves Release Date:
After more than five years of development I'm excited to announce that Lord of Dwarves will release in early access on March 8, 2019.
What is the development status?
Lord of Dwarves is feature complete. The full campaign and sandbox mode are done. The game is very playable and fun.
Then why early access?
If the last five years of development has taught me anything, it's that I want to keep tweaking and balancing the game to make it even better. But I don't want those ongoing tweaks to prevent fans from playing a game which is very content full and fun. Hence early access.
You can buy into early access knowing that there is a whole game here with tons of content. Also know that you can email me with your thoughts for improvements. I want to hear what you think will make Lord of Dwarves an even better game.
I'll leave you with a quote from one of my Alpha testers.
“... there's enough playable content and depth that you probably could've gotten away with an Early Access release, but holding back and wanting to put out something of quality is a rare, but good, thing these days."
(Note: this quote references Lord of Dwarves as it was 2 years ago). Patch v0.22.8 May 5, 2019:
It's been longer than I wanted since the last patch due to unexpected life events. We came home to find an inch of water in our apartment. We had a whirlwind week moving all our stuff (including my development machines) to a new apartment. The machines are (mostly) back up and there are a number of good improvements in this latest patch so I wanted to finally get it out.
I also have a number of changes brewing that change the save file format. Whenever I finish those changes the old save files won't read in the new version. But don't worry, there is an option to run the old version and load old save files if you want to finish a game in progress. I'll post more info when that release comes.
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