First Dwarf Impressions: An Adventure With a Little Bit of Everything

Written by Allen

June 11, 2024

The rise of indie developers that picked up the pace last year continues to shower us with their own takes on the established formulas of the modern game industry. Where at times, they show exactly how it’s done right. And what we have today is “First Dwarf,” a game that tries to combine a few genres and come into its own. While it’s not officially released yet, it’s been spending a good while in the oven. And the kind developers at Star Drifters here have been kind enough to give us the public a demo, which they will be releasing into early access soon as well. And well, we’re never gonna strike gold if we don’t pick up a pick axe, so let’s get cracking.

Enter Tru, Ragna, and Tru’s handy mech, where we start the story with what remains of an airship that has seen better days. And the First Dwarf spares no time in making the settlement he needs to ensure his survival and the expansion of territory for his people.

 

 

To do this, you must first survey the area and secure some resources, which is easy enough with a working mech. After chopping some wood and carving out some rock as every open-world crafting game makes you do, we are quickly made familiar with some basic enemies and how to deal with them. I’m not certain as to why there’s a timing window required to make follow-up attacks, I actually think it only gets in the way rather than makes combat engaging. But hey maybe it improves later on. Finally, Tru realizes that the sun is setting and that more of whatever we ended up fighting earlier will be coming to prey on whatever we’ve built. So we prepare for it with fortifications such as walls and turrets. And brace for the oncoming conflict until it’s clear to once again explore the uncharted areas of the land.

One of the more unique factors they have for First Dwarf is the incorporation of having multiple playable characters available to you. Being the Dwarf himself, the trusty dragon companion, and the mech itself. While the function of the mech and the dragon do function distinctly from each other so that’s all great. At the moment, I have no idea how being a dwarf works in the game since there was never a point that I needed to be outside of the mech.

 

 

And that’s pretty much the game loop, the systems so far are not really complicated or deep, but it’s enough to keep you interested as the story chugs along. We also have to keep in mind that the game is only about to enter early access, so they probably have more planned over the horizon and we have to wait for them to reveal these ideas to us.

If anything does feel unique from the game being made by Star Drifters, it’s that there’s a clear intention to make a linear story with adventure to be had. The system they’ve set up is close enough to an open world that a lot of unique content can be made from the unique functions they can create. I found it interesting that base building is also resource management, as there is a necessary upkeep to maintain by making more and more functional structures around a settlement. All of the basic resources can be easily set up to be automatically farmed to help keep up with that, and it was quite interesting that mana springs can be interlinked so that they function as a collective power source, kind of like how power plants work. I think they are putting more thought into First Dwarf than they are letting on, and I’m quite excited to see where they take this in the coming months.

 

 

Their game also features the possibility of multiplayer, which I have not been able to experience, I do wonder where they plan to go with that since it looks like they don’t plan to have servers up to run sessions of First Dwarf. However, they do have early access being made available soon, so let’s see where it can go from there.

If you want to check out First Dwarf, you can find out more on their website and Steam page.

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