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Inverted Astronauts: We Are The Dwarves

Dwarves are fairly predictable. They drink, the fancify their beards, they mine, they sing, they occasionally go stark raving mad. We Are The Dwarves should be a predictable game then, having declared what it is right there in the title. The project, currently on Kickstarter and seeking $120,000, has at least one surprise tucked ‘neath its whiskers though. The dwarves are astronauts. Piloting a drill. Eh? They exist in the Stone Universe, “where stone replaces the void between planets and stars and hollows replace planets”. After playing a million games set in a magical kingdom, this is good to hear.

The game has three player-controlled protagonists, which immediately made me assume some Lost Vikings shenanigans would be going on. You know the sort of thing – one dwarf can lift others above his head, one can pick locks and one can cough out meady farts that knock enemies unconscious.

There will be some unique abilities but they’re for application in tactical combat rather than puzzle solving. Sure, there’s probably puzzle solving as well but the combat seems to be the focus. The player can either handle one dwarf or use a pausable order-queuing system. I like that the Kickstarter video contains plenty of in-game footage and that most of the text on the page isn’t lore. I don’t mind discovering lore while I’m playing but if I’m expected to start panting with excitement because a project has a severe bout of Silmarillion Syndrome, it’s probably not the one for me.

Dwarves in a drill exploring a universe of stone with hollows in place of planets. World sold, backstory sufficiently told. Show me what I’ll be doing there. Whale Rock Games pitch well and they have a wide-ranging pedigree, from Metro: LastLight and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of Pripyat to Elder Scrolls Online, Everquest and…This Is Vegas. If the person who worked on This Is Vegas does happen to read this, I’d love to hear what happened. Someone decided to build a game with blackjack and hookers – and I’m not even going to finish that.

We Are The Dwarves is brimming with potential and I haven’t even mentioned that one of the dwarves may well be an owl disguised as a dwarf. Do take a look.

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Adam Smith

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