After about two years, Dwarf Fortress – the most intricate world-simulation sandbox ever – has seen a major release, and an astonishing amount has been added to the game. New additions include new plants and animals, more complex trees, more interesting fortress reclamation, more detailed civilisation, social, and political models, and much, much more.
I blinked back tears, my heart aching in my breast, deeply affected. I opened my post-editor and then I began to write this, dabbing occasionally at my eyes with a tissue.
Katawa Shoujo (translation: “Disability Girl”) is a free, English, Visual Novel game by Four Leaf Studios, which is a collection of talented people scattered around the world. Five years in the making, the game is among the best of its breed, in my opinion.
There are dozens, nay, hundreds of ways this Visual Novel project could have gone awry, turning to mere pap or horribly insensitive trash; instead it is remarkably well thought-out, smart, sensitive, emotional and insightful.
The Toady One has released a fresh update for Dwarf Fortress (now up to 0.38.11), which contains a whole bunch of nifty bugfixes and tweaks.
The much-anticipated “Hauling” release of Dwarf Fortress has made it out for public consumption.
This release (0.34.08) has extensive changes hauling mechanics, stockpiles and adds minecarts (and tracks) and wheelbarrows. It takes a little bit to get your head around the new hauling menu, and how minecarts function and interact with stops and stockpiles. You’ll probably want to start an experimental fortress or two just to get to grips with them.
When you’ve got the basics down, though, it works very well indeed.
Arx Fatalis (Arkane Studios, 2002) is among my favourite games of the last decade. There are numerous favourable comparisons to make between it and Ultima Underworld (Blue Sky Productions, 1992), mostly because it was intended to be Ultima Underworld 3, but the developers could not obtain an appropriate license for the name.
The game takes place in (or rather under) a fantasy world whose Sun has failed. As the Sun dimmed and the world got colder, various species banded together to build vast, underground complexes, to be their new homes. The truce between races didn’t really last once everyone got settled in, however.
It’s from the folks who did Penumbra, so I pre-ordered this without much in the way of hesitation.