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The most detailed sandbox game ever hits its lowest price on Steam

A Steam sale for beloved colony sim and sandbox game Dwarf Fortress lets you get it at its lowest price yet and try the new roguelike mode.

Dwarf Fortress Steam sale gives you the iconic colony management sandbox game at its lowest price yet - An elf plays a lute and sings as a goose watches on.

From Minecraft and Terraria to Rimworld and Oxygen Not Included, the creative freedom offered by the best sandbox games is tough to match. While there’s plenty of big names to choose from, perhaps the most important among them is Dwarf Fortress. Its deep, intricate simulation has been spoken about in hushed, reverent tones, and now a big Steam sale lets you snag its updated and polished version, complete with the newly overhauled roguelike adventure game mode, at its lowest price yet.

Dwarf Fortress – or to give it its original name, Slaves to Armok: God of Blood Chapter II: Dwarf Fortress – is one of the most detailed management simulation and sandbox games you can lay your hands on. It puts you in charge of a dwarven colony in a procedurally generated fantasy world, with no specific goals other than to build and explore to your heart’s desire. Indeed, a large part of the joy of Dwarf Fortress is that watching things fall apart can often be as deeply satisfying as seeing everything tick along in perfect rhythm.

Every single action and interaction is modeled in minute detail, allowing you to track the minutiae of everything that happens in its action log. Fights in Dwarf Fortress aren’t just ‘The wolf hits Brian the dwarf,’ but rather a series of moves, each fantastically descriptive: ‘The wolf bites Brian’s right leg with its fangs, tearing the muscle loose.’ And so even should Brian come out on top, it’s unlikely he’ll be walking away easily. Poor Brian.

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First released in 2006 and originally using old-school, text-based ASCII graphics, co-creator Tarn Adams of Bay 12 Games says that Dwarf Fortress, which he works on with brother Zach, is his life’s work, and estimates that development will likely be ongoing for at least another decade as more updates and features are added.

Despite that, there’s more than enough to justify the price of entry, especially with Bay 12 recently making the Dwarf Fortress adventure mode playable in the Steam version with its fancy, updated graphical interface. This alternative way to play transforms the colony sim into a roguelike game where you can create a party of adventurers and explore the very towns and settlements you’ve built, potentially years after they’ve fallen to ruin.

Dwarf Fortress is 20% off on Steam through Monday May 13. That means you can expect to pay just $23.99/£19.99 for your copy if you buy it now, down from its usual price of $29.99/£24.99. Developer Bay 12 Games notes, “We won’t be discounting this low for a while [after this Steam sale], so take advantage of this deal.” It also notes that a patch for the adventure mode is set to land next week.

Alternatively, take a look through more of the best management games on PC to challenge your organizational skills, or immerse yourself in the deepest and best simulation games to play in 2024.

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