Gnomoria: Building a Friendlier (Dwarf) Fortress
Gnomoria, which just entered Alpha on June 8, is pretty clearly an attempt to take all of the things that are awesome about Dwarf Fortress (ie, almost everything) and make the interface something that a normal human could at least figure out. It has decent enough graphics (I find them pretty charming, honestly) and mouse-based controls (you mostly play by right clicking to open your window and select what you want to do) that make it far more accessible than Dwarf Fortress. Which is not to say it is super accessible. In my first go I managed to trap two gnomes on ledges with no escape who subsequently died from thirst. Sometimes I found the 3-D isometric perspective hard to maneuver at the beginning and – for some reason – I couldn’t get zooming to work, resulting in having some difficulty in selecting exactly what I meant to select but I got it sorted out the second time I played. Much like in Dwarf Fortress, you take your small enclave of gnomes and forage, dig, and collect while you attempt to build and expand your town on a randomly generated world. There are already several buildings (26 by my count – each with a nice tool tip that tells you what it does so you can figure out the order that you need to build things to work towards your goal of expansion). If you are interested in playing Gnomoria, I would definitely recommend you watch the video embedded above to get an idea how to play the game. There is a free demo of Gnomoria (which allows you to play six days of game time) available right now and the game is available for pre-order with instant Alpha access for $7.99 as well.