I decided not to call this a review since the sheer enormity of Dwarf Fortress defies “reviews”. And I have only experienced a piece of half of the game. It’s a free game! Downloads at 9mb so go grab it!
Dwarf Fortress looks like this:

a fast travel map

Everythings ASCII. Half the game falls under the banner of Free Roaming Roguelike. If you know what the term Roguelike means etc then chances are you already know what Dwarf Fortress is. For everyone else a Roguelike is a niche genre of games which are known for being super hard(core). Usually dungeon running RPGs where you kill menacing letters that represent monsters. No saving and when you’re dead you are dead. The dungeons and equipment is usually randomly generated.
Dwarf Fortress started as a civilization simulator (inspiring aspects of minecraft actually) and eventually an adventure mode was added where instead of controlling a society you control a single person. Your character can then explore the world and even come across societies (or the ruins) that you built in an earlier game.
The world is procedurally generated, including civilizations, then time is passed and history is made, you can stop the process whenever you like and then that is you’re random world created for you.

River scene

Due to the games graphics, you can run it on any pc (even mac!). Unfortunatly you’l need a good onboard graphics card on your brain to truly enjoy it.

The unofficial tagline of the game is “Dying is fun” and let me tell you, you have a lot of fun. I started playing last night, so I’m gonna write down what happened to my first 3 characters.

Saga of Three Deaths

I created a peasant girl called Tim (I got the fe/male symbols mixed up). She ventured forth, awed at the surrounding deserts. She got tired so decided to camp for the night in the middle of the wilds. Her final moments were spent stumbling through the dark being chased by Boogymen. Yes, Boogeymen.

My second character died in some inane kobold attack.

My third character was a noble hero called Caveworm (I think). He managed to accrue a group of soldiers to fight for him. Since noble hero’s don’t kill people, cronies do. They did a fine job of killing outlying bandits who had been causing the local village trouble. On their way back home Caveworm got the thirst for action, and hark! Before him was a loathsome tame duck. “I shall chop off its left leg” cried Caveworm as he took aim.
As he brought his sword down one of the soldiers spoke out to Caveworm “I cannot even recall your name, but you will fall to my sword!” “ai,” said another, “and mine.” the other two whipped out their weapons and in unison declared that they too shall get in on the action. Caveworms final moments were spent moving 3 metres from the duck before being brought down by a flurry of righteous blades.

From that moment on the soldiers swore to protect innocent ducks almost everywhere (as long as they were within a reasonable distance of course). The formed a fellowship that is now known as the Knighthood of the Duck.