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Dwarf Fortress burrows onto Steam with its fancy new graphics in December

The original ASCII version will also remain as a free download

The reworked version of fantasy world sim Dwarf Fortress finally arrives on Steam on December 6th, devs Bay 12 and publisher Kitfox Games have announced. The game’s also coming to Itch.io too. It will introduce pixel art graphics, tutorials, and new music and sound effects into the previously ASCII-only world of dwarven delving. You can watch the release date trailer below to see just how different this version actually is.

Cover image for YouTube videoDwarf Fortress Steam Edition - Release Date Trailer
The paid, pixel art version of Dwarf Fortress arrives on Steam and itch.io in December.

One of the immediately obvious changes in this version of Dwarf Fortress is the graphical overhaul that helps you, well, see what you’re doing more clearly. The devs have been beavering away like a bunch of dwarves in a mine full of gemstones to pop in a new UI and menus, onboarding tutorials for new players, and a new soundtrack and sound effects, too. While the new version of Dwarf Fortress is meant to be more accessible than its ASCII relative, the original will still be kicking about for free if you fancy sticking with that instead.

Bay 12 will continue to support the free original alongside this paid version of the Dwarf Fortress, too. It’s been decades since the management game first reared its compelling but befuddling head on PC, with Bay 12 teaming up with Kitfox to revamp the game only in the past few years. Although not every feature of the original will make it into the paid version at launch, such as Adventure and Arena modes, Bay 12 are planning to add these at a later date. Its procedurally-generated myth and magic systems are also in the "Eventually" section of its wider roadmap, too.

Dwarf Fortress hunkers down on Steam and Itch.io on December 6th for £26/$30/€30. The free version is also grabbable here, and while you wait, why not delve into Nate's (RPS in peace) Dwarf Fortress diary series, The Basement Of Curiosity, "an epic tale of obsession, hubris and eagle intestines" spread across 23 episodes? We guarantee it will be the interesting thing you'll read all year.

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About the Author
CJ Wheeler avatar

CJ Wheeler

Former News Reporter

CJ used to write about steam locomotives but now covers Steam instead. Likes visual novels, most things with dungeons and/or crawling, and any shooter with a suitably chunky shotgun. He’s from Yorkshire, which means he’s legally obliged to enjoy a cup of tea and a nice sit down.