We Are The Dwarves – An Indie Game Review

dwarves gameplay
We Are The Dwarves – An Indie Game Review

Platforms: Windows PC, Mac, Linux, Steam

Game Name: We Are the Dwarves

Publisher: Whale Rock Games

Developer: Whale Rock Games

Genre: Action, Adventure

Release Date: February 26th, 2016

We Are the Dwarves – What We Think:

We Are the Dwarves, developed by Whale Rock Games, involves three diverse dwarven astronauts that are searching for new energy sources within the depths of their crumbling universe. Skill is essential, for dangers lurk around every corner for these heroic space dwarves. The brute dwarves I had the luxury of getting to know are Forcer, Smasher and Shadow, each acquiring their own distinctive set of abilities.

The trio and myself were in for quite the troublesome adventure, and I recognized this instantly – mainly because I was obliterated in the first five minutes in the beginning stage. Two points for trying, anyway.

dwarves upclose

I began venturing through the dwarven universe in a peculiar forest, scoping out the region to achieve a better understanding of my surroundings. The controls were a bit of a head-scratcher at first, but I discovered that combat revolved around casting unique abilities against nearby enemies.

Using the “active pause,” which involved putting the game in a severe slow-down, became second nature. As one can conceive, this feature is undeniably beneficial when executing a series of attacks on a singular or a cluster of enemies.

Short Changed

I must confess my “planning” wasn’t exactly up to par at first, for the “You Are Dead” message tyrannized my screen more than I am proud to admit. To defend my pride, though, We Are the Dwarves is all about trial and error. Your plan either works or it doesn’t, and if it doesn’t, then follows the attempt at your next course of action.

Guidance can be absent at times, though, which can be quite frustrating. In addition, there have been noticeable defects where enemies were able to shoot through walls just as I was finally on the path to success.

dwarves smash

Eventually, I began familiarizing myself with the mechanics of combat, beads of sweat dribbling down my face as I prepared my space dwarves’ next moves. The skill of keen decision-making is constantly prioritized. There is no relying on pure luck when charging through mobs of diverse creatures, for it is vital to strategize an attack or a stealthy maneuver to avoid combat altogether.

Death Becomes Her

Truthfully, evading combat is encouraged at times. That is, until a swarm of arthropods notice my effort to elude them and frenzy toward me at full force. Oh, what’s that? The “You Are Dead” screen again? So weird.

Every breath the dwarf takes, every move he makes, foes will be watching him…or all of them, if you’re traveling with the dynamic trio. Behavior icons actually appear above the enemy’s head, indicating whether it has picked up on any movements or scents. For example, if an enemy becomes suspicious but hasn’t quite spotted your space dwarf yet, an exclamation mark appears above its head, warning you to take a step back and reevaluate the situation. Becoming accustomed to these tactics and indicators is incredibly helpful, especially as more enemies are introduced.

dwarves enemy

It is also incredibly handy to look back on the various journal entries that are acquired throughout gameplay. They entail a series of basic information, including environments, gems and encountered enemies. You can view the journal anytime during gameplay. I found it helpful to look over when I found myself in a rut, not realizing simple-minded hints to dispose of a group of pesky swamp creatures.

It is especially vital to look over this material at least once when you’re fairly new to the general mechanics of gameplay, even if the only knowledge recovered is some background information regarding the dwarven universe – the setting is just as fascinating as the game hints that journal entries can provide.

Dig a Little Deeper

Sure, We Are the Dwarves has its kinks and is still a little rough around the edges, but its originality overpowers the petty blemishes. Its innovative combat system brings to life new possibilities in an already compelling setting; it’s almost like a breath of fresh air.

Though there are periodic moments where rage-quitting seems like the right thing to do, the majority of the time you just have to sit back, take a deep breath, and put on your thinking cap. Patience is a virtue, folks, and it’s so rewarding to overcome that obstacle.

We Are The Dwarves is available via Steam.

[xrr rating=”4/5″]

Watch the trailer for We Are The Dwarves below: