One of the most highly-anticipated Greenlight titles has finally made its mark in the early access release section of Steam. Heavily based on the old ASCII game Dwarf Fortress, Gnomoria is a strategy/RPG/simulation-based hybrid game.
Just recently Greenlit, Gnomoria is joining the massive library of games available on the Steam Network. A one-of-a-kind survival simulation, Gnomoria is a sensational mixture of all these genres. Dwarf Fortress would be Gnomoria if it had a GUI (Graphical User Interface).
Even though Gnomoria and Dwarf Fortress are very similar, they’re two completely different games. Granted, there are many similarities, but the same thing could be said about other releases in the genre as well.
Gnomoria is an open sandbox-style simulator that gives you the freedom to do whatever you want. The player has the ability to design and even craft just about anything in the game world. You begin your dynasty with absolutely nothing, except for a few basic necessities and a small band of gnomes.
Since Gnomoria’s gameplay is non-linear, starting a new game will randomly generate a new world. The player decides the size of the map and its difficulty, and the game will customize it for you. This means the game is tailored to your specifications and it guarantees a completely different experience each time you start over.
You need to search for food as soon as you begin playing. Without food and drink, your gnomes will surely die. And that isn’t even the worst of your problems. You also need to worry about predators such as goblins. Aside from food, you also have to build shelter, mine for materials and gather wood.
Since everything needs to be built from the ground up, things can go wrong fairly fast. Learning to manage your gnomes is the key to success. Assigning gnomes to different professions can help your set priorities and get jobs done more efficiently.
The challenging part is deciding where to start the building process for your empire. You can build your fortress on the surface or hundreds of thousands of feet underground; it’s completely up to you. Not only do you have to worry about the placement of your fortress – or whether it’s above ground or not – but you also have to worry about building and setting up stockpiles, farms, gardens, distilleries and much more.
While playing the game, a floating tooltip box appears when highlighting functions inside the menu. This is a great feature; it helps the player understand the functions they’re using. When highlighting a function, a small description will appear right below the mouse pointer.
Gnomoria offers such a rich, robust strategy experience, it allows the player to think outside the box, so to speak. Since the game offers so much flexibility, you can pause or fast-forward time. When important decisions must be made, you can pause the game to consider your options. The fast-forward feature helps to speed up the building process.
As mentioned earlier, Gnomoria has a fully functional Graphical User Interface. This feature makes it easy to figure out the in-game features. If you get stumped for any reason, there is a help guide that is accessible from the upper right-hand corner of the screen. The help topics outline the basic necessities needed to build a strong, profitable civilization.
Just about anything can happen in Gnomoria since it’s an open-ended, sandbox-style game. And even though the game can be complex at times, the satisfaction you feel for establishing your civilization is overwhelming. Basically, the more you put into Gnomoria, the more you get from it.
This isn’t something you find often in today’s games. Usually, once you finish the main story, there is little replay value left (online multiplayer features aside). Gnomoria offers a unique experience that is guaranteed to be different every time you play; this alone adds to the game’s longevity.
The game also includes two different choices of music. You can choose between an orchestrated soundtrack (which includes some of the most atmospheric music ever heard in a video game) or a classic soundtrack that harkens back to the days of 8-bit gaming. Some will find the orchestrated soundtrack to their liking, while others will appreciate the retro-style music of the classic soundtrack. It really boils down to personal preference.
Gamers looking for a truly unique experience will find it when they play Gnomoria. This is the type of game where your imagination is the limit; there are no boundaries. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to the Early Access Section on Steam and find out what kind of ruler you really are.
James ‘Daripp3’ Pittaro
OS: Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7
Processor: 2.0 Ghz
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Hard Drive: 200 MB HD space
Developer: Robotronic Games
Publisher: Robotronic Games
|Crisp, clean and beautiful. The best looking tile set in a strategy game.|
|The music is the best ever heard in this style of game.|
|One of the best strategy/simulation games I have ever played. It's complex, but not overbearingly difficult.|
|A fantastic Village Management sandbox experience that does everything right.|