It's been a while since we've heard a good rumbling from the Dwarves at Hammerting - but then, you don't tend to hear from the bearded lot unless they've riled up a dragon or dug into hell. A year on, under newfound stewardship with the mountain lords at publishers Team 17, Hammerting developers Warpzone Studios have finally emerged from the forges with a new trailer for their upcoming mine-maker.
Hammerting puts you in charge of a more vertically-stacked subterranean labyrinth. Your dwarves will, largely, do dwarf things - digging recklessly deeper, mining treasure, smelting ore and bringing the axe down on whatever malignant nasties lurk in the depths as their underground fortress expands. But it's what's happening above ground that's really drawn my interest to the dwarf 'em up.
See, your own personal Ironforge doesn't exist in a vacuum. There's a whole fantasy world up where the sun shines, packed with warring armies of men, vampires, orcs and the like. Gems and gold might help boost the coffers once in a while, but nothing lines royal dwarven pockets as efficiently as, uh, arms dealing. The more axes you can send topside, the better equipped the forces of good will be in the war against evil.
It's no Dwarf Fortress, but it's taken some key notes from the more venerable fortress-builder. While your mines will be smaller, Dwarves still have personalities. They'll hold grudges, fuss over status, and have their own opinions of their beardy brethren. Similarly, Hammerting is gunning for full fluid dynamics for water, magma, beer and whiskey - the four core elements of subterranean life.
As our resident dwarf, section editor Nate gets sent plenty of games that promise procedural pint-sized mischief. Hammerting was one that particularly caught his eye last year, enough that he reckons it has "a fair shot at creating the definitive new-player-friendly answer to Dwarf Fortress."
At current pace, Hammerting is still set to lay the foundations for a spot on Steam Early Access sometime this year.