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We're Going Underground: KeeperRL

Alpha updated, free to download

If someone has made a game that mixes Dwarf Fortress with The Sims, I haven't played it yet. I really want to play it though. Instead of mountainhomes and goblin raiders, there would be suburbs and plagues of hipsters. The beautifully ugly dive bar on the corner is reconfigured into a barista training school, where the only skill taught is 'nonchalant superiority'. People would still lose their minds if they didn't have enough chairs but instead of sealing themselves in a room and engraving, they'd hit the streets and form vigilante gangs.

KeeperRL is not that game but it is one of my favourite current DF-lites, with a strong Dungeon Keeper vibe as the name suggests. I've written about it before and an updated alpha release and crowdfunding success are reason enough to return to the underground.

Here's the changelog, with two updates since our last coverage.

Friendly and unfriendly vaults with dragons, etc. Found when digging
deep into the mountain.
Day/night cycle.
Dwarf town moved to the top level.
Vampires have night vision.

Three new music tracks.
Graphical decorations of UI.
Barricades and bridges.
Torches and lighting.
More interesting elf behaviours.
Locking doors.
Combat balance improvements.
Improvements on how minions pick equipment and consumables.
Keeper can work in laboratory.
Keeper becomes more powerful when leveling.
Fixed a bunch of crashes and bugs.

"With dragons, etc." really should have been the name of the second Hobbit film.

KeeperRL doesn't have ambitions to be as wildly complex as Dwarf Fortress (nothing in gaming does, surely?) but the most recent update should bring about the need for new building strategies. The interface is one of the best things about the game, which is rare in tile-based indie management sims. I do like a good interface.

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About the Author

Adam Smith

Former Deputy Editor

Adam wrote for Rock Paper Shotgun between 2011-2018, rising through the ranks to become its Deputy Editor. He now works at Larian Studios on Baldur's Gate 3.