18 Games Like Dwarf Fortress

Games Like Dwarf Fortress
Our collection of games like Dwarf Fortress offers other games that combine city building, randomisation and roguelike features together.

Dwarf Fortress is definitely one of the more unique video games available in modern times. Relying on simple graphics (text only) the game promises one of the more difficult experiences in gaming. Dwarf Fortress was originally released in 2006 (after four years in alpha development) and is expected to take several decades before being considered complete.

Dwarf Fortress is a blend of adventure, fantasy and city building that puts players in charge of their own Dwarf settlement as they battle for survival in the harsh and randomly generated game worlds.

The attraction to Dwarf Fortress is the steep difficultly and deep gameplay mechanics that ensure you’ll be losing regularly. Similar to other roguelike games players will only have a single shot at each game with death being permanent.

The games like Dwarf Fortress here focus primarily on other city building games that have unusual, unique or difficult mechanics at the core of their gameplay. Several non-city building games that use permadeath have also been included for fans of roguelike games in general.

Games Like Dwarf Fortress

the-ensign

The Ensign

The Ensign serves as the prequel to the classic text based adventure known as A Dark Room. Using a similar text approach, ASCII characters for map exploration and mystery the game is a fitting prequel although doesn’t quite reach the same level of depth as A Dark Room. Set within an unnam... Read More »

User Score
7.9
(10 votes)
a-dark-room

A Dark Room

A Dark Room is a incremental game based on simplistic design. With only text and some ASCII art to guide your adventure you’ll need to build up a thriving settlement, trade and go adventuring to discover the origins of the dark room you spawn in. Created for the web and eventually ported ... Read More »

User Score
8.7
(10 votes)
gnomoria

Gnomoria

Gnomoria puts you in control of a civilisation of gnomes who need your guidance to grow their settlement, fend off attacks, craft and dig. While a sandbox game at heart there is also plenty of management and strategy to also master. Each game in Gnomoria starts in a procedurally generated world... Read More »

User Score
7.3
(4 votes)
prison-architect

Prison Architect

Maximum security prisons aren’t an easy line of business but one you’ll become expert in by the end of Prison Architect, a game that takes the management simulation genre into the private construction business. Prison Architect takes place in a top-down 2D environment and clearly dr... Read More »

User Score
9.4
(14 votes)
planetbase

Planetbase

Fancy yourself as a colonist? Planetbase challenges you to settle the stars with your own team of space settlers as they try to establish an outpost on a remote planet. It’s a struggle for survival at its best and one of the few games set in the science fiction realm. Your goal in Planetb... Read More »

User Score
8.5
(6 votes)
banished

Banished

Banished is one of the latest additions to the city building genre (launching in early 2014) and takes it into a unique medieval setting. Unlike other games where you have an abundance of resources you’ll find yourself focusing on balancing your scarce supplies to try and thrive. The game start... Read More »

User Score
8.3
(53 votes)
craft-the-world

Craft The World

Craft The World is a sandbox game with strategy elements for PC, Mac and iOS. Borrowing elements from the likes of Terraria and Dwarf Fortress you’re definitely in for a gaming treat. Craft The World puts you in charge of your own dwarf society that grows from a single dwarf to a thriving commu... Read More »

User Score
8.3
(44 votes)
creatures-exodus

Creatures Exodus

Creatures Exodus was released in 2004 as a compilation package of Creatures 3 and Docking Station. Creatures 3 was one of the most advanced and popular games in the evolution simulation series known as Creatures. Creatures 3 offers similar gameplay to previous games in the series with players h... Read More »

User Score
8.0
(14 votes)
creatures-albian-years

Creatures: The Albian Years

Creatures: The Albian Years is a re-released version of Creatures 1 and 2 which also comes with the additional Life Kits and Object Packs which add additional content to the games. The first two games in the Creatures series take place on the planet of Albia which features a variety of environm... Read More »

User Score
6.7
(15 votes)
dungeon-keeper

Dungeon Keeper

The original Dungeon Keeper is often credited as popularising dark humour in games and was released in 1997. Challenging players to manage their own dungeon while defeating various heroes the game was hugely successful and led to an equally satisfying sequel (Dungeon Keeper 2) two years later. ... Read More »

User Score
9.6
(8 votes)
dungeon-keeper-2

Dungeon Keeper 2

Dungeon Keeper 2 was released two years after the original hit game and puts players in control of their own dungeon once again as they fight on the side of evil while managing their own dungeon With many of improvements over the original Dungeon Keeper the game saw really good success that sta... Read More »

User Score
8.8
(12 votes)
dwarfs

Dwarfs!?

Dwarfs!? (and its free to play counterpart Dwarfs!) lets you command your very own team of Dwarfs in a Lemmings meets Dwarf Fortress approach to gameplay. The free version allows players to experience arcade mode (main game mode) in addition to tutorials and challenge mode while the full versio... Read More »

User Score
8.4
(7 votes)
spacebase-df9

Spacebase DF-9

Build and maintain your own space station in Spacebase DF-9 a game of ships, asteroids, aliens and more. You’ll get to assign jobs to the citizens that you attract while you try your best to keep them alive and grow your space station. At the start of your Spacebase DF-9 adventure players... Read More »

User Score
5.7
(16 votes)
populous-the-beginning

Populous: The Beginning

Populous: The Beginning blends strategy and god games together to create an interesting and fun hybrid. The game is the third in the series and was developed by Bullfrog Productions who also developed the highly popular Dungeon Keeper series. In the game players will join their tribe as a shama... Read More »

User Score
8.1
(7 votes)
evil-genius

Evil Genius

Evil Genius mixes simulation and real time strategy putting players in charge of their own evil villain lair (complete with plans for world domination). The game launched in 2004 with development by Elixir Studios. The game is set somewhere in the 1960s or 1970s and offers a humorous and light ... Read More »

User Score
9.6
(19 votes)
a-game-of-dwarves

A Game of Dwarves

A Game of Dwarves puts you at the head of a dwarf settlement and gives you complete control of building a new and thriving dwarf civilisation. The game was released in 2012 by Paradox Interactive and draws inspiration from hits such as the Dungeon Keeper series and the increasingly popularity o... Read More »

User Score
8.6
(5 votes)
startopia

StarTopia

StarTopia was put together by former Bullfrog employees and has you take control of several space stations as you attempt to create a thriving space hub for the galaxy. StarTopia was released back in 2001 and features the same humour filled gameplay that made the Dungeon Keeper series and simil... Read More »

User Score
8.6
(12 votes)
towns

Towns

Towns had the honour of being one of the first games to be released based on the Steam Greenlight program. The game offers an interesting mixture of strategy, city building and role playing which is available on both PC and Mac. In Towns players are in charge of their own settlement which as lu... Read More »

User Score
5.7
(24 votes)