A Game Of Dwarves
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I found the Crystal..! Easier than I thought!

A Game of Dwarves is a very entertaining and fun experience that puts you indirectly, I repeat, indirectly in control of a kingdom of Dwarves. Gameplay revolves around digging and exploring while finding resources, such as stone, gold, iron, marble and using them to decorate your kingdom and to build other important objects necessary to each campaign's successful completion.

The first step to start any campaign is to build a sustainable base in which you produce enough food for the always extremely hungry Dwarves and have a bed for each of the Sleepy Heads. After that, it's time to explore the Dungeon Map and loot for resources, treasures while defeating countless powerful enemies along the way.

The Dwarves are called  (or spawned) and can be upgraded to special classes provided you have the required resources. These classes range from farmers to grow food, miners, well, to mine, builders to construct new objects,  scholars to research new technologies and most importantly fighters to defeat the enemies you dig up.

Every class proves to be important. You will need food to keep the bellies of the Dwarve's full or they won't work and eventually die. You will require miners to actually complete objectives as most of them require special resources you need to dug up or require you to discover secret chambers. You will definitely need fighters too defeat enemies you dig along the way - and they are powerful - so you also need to upgrade your fighters to more powerful ranks. This requires research points - thus come the scholar and new and rare resources - back to the miner. The builder is required to build supporting objects such as bridges, beds, food tables and decorations to keep everyone happy.

Anyway, after understanding the mechanics, every level will play the same. Build a starting base and complete the given objectives by digging, fighting,  sleeping and eating. It gets a little repetitive and there's no sense of progress between campaign levels which isn't bad by itself but starting from the zero each time, is a little frustrating after a while.

Not all is roses and A Game of Dwarves fails at the amount of control you have. The combat is horrible: you cannot control your Dwarves directly. You can put a special flag in a room and ask them to guard it but you cannot control them directly and ask them to move here, or attack there. Adding to that, fighter dwarves miss a lot and enemies dodge a lot so expect a lot of deaths along the way. Surprisingly enough you can teleport your dwarves and so if a fighter is not where it should be or a miner is being torn apart by a treacherous goblin, they can be moved.

The visuals are very cute and colorful but they are not 3D, despite the amazing, miss-leading introduction at the start of the game. This doesn't affect the gameplay in any way and perhaps not even the overall score but kinda leaves you wanting for more.

On the other hand, the voice acting is very limited and almost non-existent. There's only dialog between the Prince Dwarve (which is you, the Dungeon Leader) and the King Dwarve (the Kingdom Leader who gives you all the orders). However, this dialog is made by text and not by voicing. So if the King sayss "Find the treasure Chamber and harvest 150 Food", the voicing will be something like "King is speaking, you listen" and this applies randomly for any other dialog.

The background music is very calm and rich and fits the environment like a sock but there's only a couple of songs which get repetitive quickly though never ear-harassing in a way you have to turn them off.

The Campaign is well designed and the objectives are diverse not very hard to complete - the way to complete them is what is repetitive and limited.

Personally in a sequel or expansion, I would like to have more control over my troops and to see the combat tweaked. The combat system is actually very important because if you don't defeat the enemies you encounter, they will destroy every single Dwarve, including your Prince and it's game over for you. There should be status and attack options for the military smurfs, erm, Dwarves and the Prince should actually do something in the Dungeon, other than sleeping and eating.

Another tweak I definitely recommend is the addition of a day-night cycle and a clock along with it. Why? Dwarves need energy and food to work and they lose it pretty quickly meaning they are constantly running around from digging to the food table and sleeping a lot along the way. This could be fixed with a night-time where everyone sleeps and a day-time, with certain special periods, such as lunch time and work time. It would help make things a little more realistic and less paced. Even with the option to speed up the game, sometimes certain trivial tasks take forever because, for example, your miner is digging on the 6F while the food table is in the 2F and the bed on 1F - unless you keep moving the beds and tables from floor to floor - the only solution I found for this annoyance.

Some bugs also occurred like objectives not being completed, even after what was requested being addressed and most importantly sometimes the game did not start after running it. Fortunately, this only happened every once in a while.

I enjoyed A Game of Dwarves but the lack of control and limited options lessen its overall experience. However, no doubt we have something special here, accessible for no more than 10$ and so I consider A Game of Dwarves to be good. Remember to always support Indie developers. 7.5/10

Would have been better this way but...