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Militia to the gates, please - the Dwarf Fortress Steam edition's Adventure Mode beta is live

Ware the werebeasts

A screenshot of combat in Dwarf Fortress Adventure Mode on Steam
Image credit: Kitfox Games

“It’s time to venture outside your fortress!” reads Kitfox’s invitation to play the beta for Adventure Mode in Dwarf Fortress on Steam. Sounds like a trap to me. Sounds like the kind of thing a werebadger would say, to lure you out of hiding. Are there werebadgers in Dwarf Fortress? If there aren’t, I have to ask what developers Bay 12 have been doing all these years. Doubtless, the hills and valleys of the hitherto base-construction-only Steam edition are teeming with were-creatures of every flavour. Werefinches! Wereotters! Werebudgerigars! Werepoets!

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No, I think you’ll find that there’s nothing to enjoy outside your fortress. On the other hand, the alternative to going outside your fortress is staying inside your fortress which, in the case of my most recent savegame, consists mostly of magma, miasma and *checks notes* hats that “menace with spikes of pitchblende”. Maybe it’s worth going on an Adventure after all. It worked out for Bilbo Baggins in the end.

Dwarf Fortress’s Adventure Mode basically turns it into a very in-depth and expansive RPG, allowing you to rove around in either a newly generated world or the one you’ve built your fortress in. You can get access to the Steam beta by means of the following sorcerous incantation:

To access the beta, right click Dwarf Fortress in your Steam library -> Properties -> Betas -> dropdown list and select "beta - Public beta branch”. No password needed. Steam should automatically begin downloading the beta!

The beta is still in “active development” and as such, is missing features from Adventure Mode in the original – nowadays “Classic” – edition of the game. Expect updates with hotfixes, new menus, new audio and new art. Also still to come: the new character portraits and demigod mode, which will “add tutorialization and worldbuilding.”

Dwarf Fortress is one of the most interesting games yet made. Adventure Mode makes it more interesting. If you'd rather read about it than play it, you might want to check out Nate's Basement of Curiosity series.

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