08.27.12

A Dwarf Fortress with a friendly interface?

Dwarf Fortress is notoriously difficult to learn how to play, and also incredibly detailed. The dwarves you order around can go insane or lose limbs. Individual trees have unique names, though the ASCII-like art makes it hard to tell what's going on for the uninitiated. 

One game with a similar feel but different look is Gnomoria. Instead of dwarves you have gnomes, and instead of ASCII art there's isometric pixel art. The game has procedurally generated worlds and the ability to give your people complicated orders, like Dwarf Fortress, and the visual cues of Gnomoria make it easier to visualize. The developer, RoboB0B, freely acknowledges his influences:

I play all the games I can get my hands on and have time for. To some degree, they have all had an influence on me. For Gnomoria, the biggest influence has of course been Dwarf Fortress. There are also influences from Dungeon Keeper, the Settlers series, the Anno series, The Sims and even The Incredible Machine.

The game is still in purchasable alpha, and has an active fan community and free demo.