According to Bay 12 Games, Dwarf Fortress has sold almost 500,000 copies in December on Steam

A fantastic sandbox, but it's definitely a strange game.

I caution anyone who wants to dive in, know that the game is filled to the brim with wild features like telling you the exact breakdown of the poetic forms your dwarves generate (down to the meter, rhyming scheme, subjects, etc), but at the same time, the UI lacks the ability for you to equip your military dwarves without going through a bunch of hoops.

There's an incredible amount of imagination here, and the level of simulation really is absurd. I can't believe some of the stuff going on under the hood, like knowing the individual preferences of each animal or describing the rhythm and scales used in musical forms.

But then you start to hit the wall of things that are frustrating, like the fact that FPS is the #1 killer of fortresses after you learn how to play, or how the oft-touted Legends Mode where you can read the history of your world is filled to the brim with random garbage, or the ways in which the basic UI is missing features that seem like they'd be important (why can't I search for a dwarf by name? You tell me that Urist so-and-so is doing something, but by the time I click on the notification, urist has moved... so I can't find him... and then I find out I have four Urists, so I have to figure out the last name...), or how children are generally rampaging demons because they do low-priority jobs in the fortress, and the lowest priority job is corpse hauling, which scars them for life, turning them into tantrum machines almost permanently...

The unstated mechanic of requiring your imagination to connect the dots is also probably frustrating for some people. I'm fine with it, but the level of input required by you is often understated by the community.

I do love it, for what it's worth. It just is definitely not for everyone, and I have a bit of a tough time calling it a game. I also wonder why it's lacking the Early Access tag.

Fair warning for anyone looking to dive in: It's really not that complex. The complexity comes when you start getting wild dwarven engineering ideas. If you can read a tooltip, you can figure the game out.

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