Are you looking for a nice RPG featuring dwarves? Look no further than…
Well, I mean, you can keep looking because there is always something new out there, but this game is a good one, with an enjoyable story and gameplay. The Dwarves is a graphically intense game, so make sure your system can handle the requirements. The resulting visuals are very nice, but the audio is sometimes out of synch when there are close-up shots of the characters speaking. Not a game-breaker, of course, but noticeable.
Gameplay is best handled with the mouse. The Dwarves has a handy camera perspective control which uses the middle mouse button. What the game doesn’t tell you is you need to click and hold the scroll wheel and then move the mouse to adjust the camera angle, so a quality gaming mouse is key (you’re not still gaming with the Apple Magic Mouse, one would hope). Right clicking will send your character moving to a new location, and left click will interact with elements which have a bearing on the game (those elements get a pop up bubble, a magnifying glass, or a gear).
There are some standard special attacks in the screen corner with your character icon; just left click the attack button then click to select in which direction you would like to unleash dwarven fury.
This game comes with a good level of background story. The intro is about five minutes of quick tutorial, combat, and story elements to set up the heroes and bad guys. As the game begins in earnest, there are still some tips to help you get oriented and an easy set of tasks to perform so you can get your mouse muscles warmed up. Minor spoiler here; you have to go on a journey, and the world map shows you plenty of travel nodes. You will notice NPC markers also travelling on the map—hover your mouse pointer over the marker to find out what they are.
Some will be friendly but some may be hostile, so choose wisely.
There are the obligatory stat increases as you move through the game and gain experience, including one which indicates the strength of relationships with the NPCs. You can collect weapons, armor, amulets, and so on.
There is a good amount of story and background info the game will relate to you (text and spoken). One word of caution when it comes to dialogue—be careful with your mouse. Once you click, the dialogue disappears and you can’t rewind. This can be particularly touchy if you are using a Mac with the touch track pad (not a good idea with this game, anyway). I had one or two “oops” touches on the pad and it was sensitive enough to register more than one touch, and I lost half a conversation.
Another odd issue; in the first part of the game the main character got stuck in his room and didn’t want to acknowledge any of the “go here” commands I gave until I restarted the game.
So Here It Is
The Dwarves unfolds in a natural way with some interesting twists to keep you guessing, and the narrative is easy on the ears. The graphics look very nice in the stock shots and just as nice for the rest of the player controlled action. Controls are good, and moving around and doing things is relatively easy and smooth. All the elements are here to make a good game, and they have been blended in a very pleasing manner. One last tip: watch the credits. These are some of the coolest credits I have seen. These aren’t your standard scroll – no spoilers, just watch them.
Developer: King Art Games
Publisher: THQ Nordic
Minimum Requirements: OS X v10.8, Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GB RAM, 1 GB disk space
Price: $39.99 (Digital Deluxe Edition: $49.99)
Availability: Now on Steam, GOG.com, and King Art Games