Digging its way into Steam Early Access tomorrow is Hammerting, a dwarven mining sim from Warpzone Studios that combines colony management, base creation, mountain exploration and the story of a great war for the overworld. Balance will be key as you recruit more dwarves to assist your operations, all while stockpiling your mountain treasure hoard and complete tasks sent from your armies above – all while risking the perils below. While there is seemingly no cap on the market for sim games, it has become quite difficult to distinguish yourself among the myriad other titles available. Will Hammerting forge its way through the competition and brand itself in our hearts? Let’s take a look!
They Call It A Mine – A MINE!?
While it may market itself as a mining sim, in my experience Hammerting has its charm linked much closer to the idea that you are building a new home and a new hope for your dwarf faction. You begin in the midst of a great war between The League of Methis (you) and The Dread Horde (bad guys), and you will receive periodic supply requests from your allies in preparation of various battles. I was unable to find a timer on these missions, but was able to fail one – meaning that if you wait too long to deliver the supplies, the battle will take place without them and consequently your side will lose the battle, removing access to whichever overworld location the battle took place, but more on that later.
The point is that while mining is clearly a significant part of the game, there is much more at play here storywise and I truly hope that some greater development of this aspect takes place as the game evolves through Early Access. The same goes for the city-building side of the game, I would love to see some version of a ‘home zone’ in the mountain, where enough comforts have been added for the dwarves to feel comfortable and at ease while within that zone. Perhaps things like the individual dwellings for your dwarves could only be located within said zone. I can’t wait to see where the devs take this game moving forward!
Made Of Tougher Stuff
The core assets of Hammerting are the dwarves who call it home. You control them indirectly by creating various jobs to be completed. These jobs include mining, building, demolishing, attacking, moving and harvesting. Using these tasks you must create workshops, craft materials and expand deeper into the Mountains of Mara to gather the resources needed to aid your forces in the war above. Each dwarf possesses unique traits that will either help or hinder their progress in some way, so keep an eye out when recruiting!
In its current state, priorities cannot be set to any particular task and dwarves cannot directly be assigned to a task. It does seem that crafting and equipping appropriate equipment (a Chef’s Ladle or Stonemason’s Chisel, for example) will influence which dwarf accepts the task, but it is by no means a perfect system. In addition to crafting profession-specific equipment, dwarves gain skill points as they level up which can be put into 5 different categories. Each category impacts a number of professions, making it a doubly requested feature to include some system that would allow assignment of a dwarf to a specific workshop.
The Bones Are Good
Hammerting enjoys a wonderful concept, intriguing base story and delightful art style. These base structural components being solid leaves us chomping at the bit for the rest of the Quality-of-Life and content implementations to be made. It certainly seems like Warpzone Studios have approached the game from the right mindset, however, as having a good base to build from is key. It is also very clear that the dev team is extremely active in preparation for the Steam Early Access launch.
In fact, there was a major interface overhaul that drastically cleaned up the UI and their ‘Dwarveloper’ Log (love the pun) receives regular updates and outlines many of the features that players can expect in the near future. This has become a regular part of Early Access games, and the best indicators to date of a game that will make it across the finish line of full implementation is a solid core and an active developer – Hammerting has both!
Hammerting In Conclusion
Hammerting is a shining example of why we have the Early Access system. This game is entirely playable in its current state and has concrete plans to move forward on a very positive trajectory. As it stands, the lack of many QOL features and specific dwarf assignments prevent me from scoring it any higher, but know that it truly pains me to do so because I am so excited about the future of this game. If you aren’t ready to give it a shot just yet, and we highly recommend considering doing so, at the very least keep an eye on it and be ready to pounce once a few more updates have been implemented!