Help the dwarven empire in a war that could decide the fate of your entire race
Developer: Warpzone Studios
Publisher: Team17 Digital
Franchise: Team17 Digital
Release Date: 27 Oct, 2020
Hammerting is a management game where you will have to build and manage a dwarven colony placed under the unexplored mountains of Mara. As the leader of this colony, you will have to manage its dwarves, oversee the mining and buildings projects and eventually transform a little colony in a sprawling dwarven fortress under the mountain. But you won’t have much time, as a war rages in the overworld and your help is needed: you will have to provide the finest craftsmanship to your army or your empire will crumble under the forces of evil.
Rooms Five Dwarves Tall
The first thing that comes to the eye when starting Hammerting for the first time is how much dwarven it is. Rooms, braziers and every block your dwarves place seems like a masterpiece of the dwarven engineering. This creates the right atmosphere from the start: your colony seems the ancient dwarven lair under the Lonely Mountain from The Hobbit, only less ancient… and less filled with treasures. Rooms are meticulously designed, so you’ll have five-dwarves tall roofs in giant foundries, enormous dwellings (well, for a single dwarf at least) and chests. The more you go into the mountain, the more rooms and items you can create: in the end, you’ll find yourself using elevators to reach the darkest depths, or even powerful dragon-powered foundries!
Speaking of rooms, they are unlocked by doing research, and each room serves a different purpose: the foundry, for example, is useful for smelting ores into ingots, that are then used by the smithy in order to craft components and gear. The same is for the underground farm and the kitchen. Rooms are also managed in different ways: some need fuel to be used, other have limited use over time (you can’t spoil the farm’s soil too much), while other simply require a dwarf to craft stuff. The management of these rooms can, at times, be somewhat problematic: the foundry, for example, needs coal to work, but coal isn’t a super-accessible resource, especially in the very early phase of the colony. Not having coal right from the start means that your dwarves will have to dig everywhere in search for it, which slows down the rhythm of the game by a lot.
A War between Dwarf and Evil
While you deal with your underground problems, a war rages on the ground on top of your dwarves’ heads. A war in which you are expected to help. Besides the numerous missions that can be completed in exchange of different rewards (these are more like trades than true missions), sometimes special kinds of tasks appear on the overworld map. These ask you to take part in the war effort, often having you provide ingots of different materials, swords, medicines and so on.
These war missions, unlike the normal ones, have a specific time limit (which you cannot see): fulfilling them in time will mean that the battle is won, failing means that it’s lost. Losing a battle can either mean that you lose a settlement or fail to acquire one, besides losing the mission reward. Right now the overworld system is a little too basic, as settlements don’t have a real use besides them being mission generators. But “Enhanced overworld” is one of the points of the roadmap, so I hope to see some new mechanics make the overworld feel more alive. Proper trading with friendly settlements and maybe the possibility for the enemy to assault your trade routes would be certainly interesting features (I’m looking at you, “Dynamic trade missions”!).
While dwarves aren’t really known for their gracefulness, the commands can sometimes make them really difficult to manage: while they always respond to build and dig commands, they also almost never respond to move and attack ones. This makes it hard to explore new caves and clear enemies off them, unless it is done automatically by the dwarves AI, which isn’t the brightest either: it has happened to me that three of my mountain inhabitants died to a bunch of enemy they automatically attacked. Without even retreating when I issued a move order. At that point I had to reload the game, as losing three dwarves out of five is a really hard blow for the colony.
Another negative point, as of now, is that the dwarves design is a big no-no: they really lack in the graphical department, both in their aspects and their animation. Surely something that will be fixed before the 1.0 release, but they really clash with the otherwise really well designed graphics of the game.
Hammerting, right now, is in a solid state and the core of the game is in place. The numerous features promised by the devs really make me wonder about the game’s future: it could become such a great game with everything implemented correctly that it could be almost unrecognizable from its current state. The current state, however, is “solid but clunky”, which is why I would advise to wait for a few major updates to whoever isn’t completely taken by this take on dwarves management game.