Dwarfs!? is a 2D real-time strategy/management game developed by Power of Two and published by Tripwire for the PC (via Steam) on May 4, 2011. Players manage a growing dwarf colony, digging for treasure while defending the colony from monsters and the elements (namely water and lava).
The game was developed in the XNA framework and was re-released on October 18, 2012 as a free-to-play game, in which only Arcade (in Easy and Normal difficulties), Tutorial, and Challenge Modes are available. Players can purchase various add-ons, including the Difficulty Pack (Hard and Tedi-Hardcore difficulties for Arcade Mode for $2.99), the Endless Mode Pack (Endless Mode for $1.99), the Skirmish Pack (Sandbox, Rush, and Dark Modes for $2.99), the Base Defend Pack (Defend the Base Mode for $2.99), and the Summer Carnival Pack (Carnival Mode for $1.99).
The game received a minor cross-promotion with Tripwire's Killing Floor on December 11, 2012. By purchasing the full version or earning the "Not A War hammer" achievement in the free-to-play version, players can unearth a Dwarfish Axe in the Killing Floor map Moonbase.
In Dwarfs!?, players must indirectly manage a growing number of dwarves (in a style similar to Lemmings) in a growing dwarf colony. There are two types of dwarves:
Dwarf Digger - Used for exploration, these spawn regularly at Town Halls and at Outposts (if the player has toggled each Outpost's Ale button). Wandering aimlessly, they earn gold from digging soil and mining minerals. They are poor in combat situations and can often dig themselves into trouble (such as opening walls that hold back water).
Dwarf Warrior - Used for combat, these must be spawned manually at either the Town Hall or an Outpost. Each Warrior is assigned to either the Town Hall (which hold a maximum of 8) or an Outpost (which hold a maximum of 4). Those assigned to the Outpost can train them (at a price), making them tougher against enemies. They will either patrol around their base or wander around aimlessly, and can be called back to their base by pressing that base's Bell button.
The main objective of the game is to earn score by digging for minerals, gold ores, and special Treasure Caves, all of which add to the player's bank. The player can use the bank to spawn more dwarves, train warriors, create outposts, and spawn special objects. Players initially choose a difficulty and time limit, and the game ends when either the time limit is reached or the town hall is destroyed by either monsters, water, or lava.
Caves and Obstacles
Each empty blocks of area scattered around the mine can host one of many things, either good or bad:
Treasure Cave: The cave has various amounts of gold, depending on its distance from the Town Hall.
Empty Cave: The cave has nothing but open squares.
Water Cave: The cave is flowing with water, which can quickly fill the dungeon when released. Water can be blocked with a Wall object. It's recommended that players trap the cave (by blowing up a Dynamite object in front of the Wall and blocking the surrounding cave with the Rock object) so that other Dwarf Diggers cannot randomly breach the cave from another side.
Lava Cave: The cave is flowing with lava. Similar to water, lava can fill the dungeon when released. Though it travels slower than water, the lava can slowly burn through walls. It's important that players halt the flow of lava by blowing up a Dynamite object in its path, creating a hole for it to flow in.
Horde Cave: The cave contains a small group of enemies (either Goblins, Dark Elves, Spiders, Skeletons, Zombies, or Blobs), which should be disposed of by Dwarf Warriors.
Boss Cave: The cave contains one of the three bosses of the game: the Goblin Shaman (who summons Goblins to do its bidding), the Spider Queen (who rapidly summons Spiders and attacks nearby targets), and the Lich Lord (who can summon nearby Dwarfs into his cave and turn slain Warriors into Zombies and slain Diggers into kamikaze Skeletons). If the boss is not disposed of, they enter Rage Mode, which can have devastating effects (the Goblin Shaman summons water, the Spider Queen jumps around open areas towards the Town Hall, and the Lich Lord attacks the Town Hall instantly at regular intervals).
PC System Requirements
- OS: Windows XP SP2, Vista, or Windows 7
- Processor: 1.7+ GHz or better
- Memory: 1 GB
- Graphics: DirectX®9-compatible
- DirectX®: DirectX®9
- Hard Drive: 250 MB
- Sound: DirectX®9-compatible
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