21 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.
dark-gnome

Dark Gnome

Dark Gnome gives players the opportunity to help a generation of dwarves throw up their arms and revolt against the oppressive rat kingdom that has prevented them from leaving freely in the valley for countless generations. You’ll recruit your own team of dwarves as you travel across the countryside of various maps hunting for items, gaining experiencing and building our your dwarf settlement with supporting vendors and activities. Opting to present itself through a retro pixel design this...[Read Review]

BrowserFreePC
9.2 User Avg (14 votes)
evil-genius

Evil Genius

Evil Genius mixes simulation, management and real time strategy putting players in charge of their own evil villain lair as they attempt to complete their plans for world domination one country at a time. Originally launched in 2004 Evil Genius still has a strong cult like following of fans with comparison to the popular Dungeon Keeper series of games which launched several years earlier. With age does come some limitations however with graphics and general polish quickly falling behind other mo...[Read Review]

MacPC
9.6 User Avg (22 votes)
factorio

Factorio

Developed as a real time strategy game and released in 2014 through the Steam Early Access Program is Factorio a game all about taking basic parts and building upon them again and again to create a thriving society. The idea behind Factorio revolves around a crash landed man on a far off alien planet who must rely on the resources contained on the planet to build a rocket. The game design promotes open ended gameplay with players able to achieve this goal (or even ignore it) however they wish in...[Read Review]

LinuxMacPC
9.4 User Avg (5 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. Dungeon Keeper sends players on a journey to claim every single land in the game world that is currently in the hands of the goodly heroes or a rival keeper. As players progress the once green covered land...[Read Review]

MacPC
9.3 User Avg (10 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 draws from a number of classics in the genre. Every element of the prison is in your hand and the game is about much more than just throwing up some cells though with a level of depth that ensures you won...[Read Review]

AndroidiOSLinuxMacPCPS4SwitchXbox 360Xbox One
9.3 User Avg (17 votes)
dungeon-keeper-2

Dungeon Keeper 2

Dungeon Keeper 2 might have only been released two years after the original hit game but makes significant leaps in graphics and mechanics to expand on the Dungeon Keeper franchise. Once again you’ll be thrown into the underground to build your dungeon, attract creatures, craft traps and ultimately fight on the side of evil, it’s good to be bad. Despite the vast evolution in mechanics and graphic style this has not come at the cost of the familiar dark style of the Bullfrog franchise...[Read Review]

PC
8.8 User Avg (12 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 Planetbase to master the three game planets that provide different challenges and increasing difficulty. Starting out players will explore the barren desert planet which despite its name is actually one of the ea...[Read Review]

MacPCPS4Xbox One
8.7 User Avg (7 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 to mobile this open source text based role playing game has captured many gamers with its unique minimalist presentation and surprising number of features under the hood. Players start within a dark room w...[Read Review]

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8.7 User Avg (10 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 civilisation. This civilisation of dwarves is highly customisable with the experience focusing on the dungeon simulation and creation elements rather than a robust and deep layer of strategic gameplay. While this means A Game of Dwarves can’t live up to the likes of Dwarf Fortress in terms of challenge it does provide the necessary tools and freedom to create a thriving dwar...[Read Review]

PC
8.6 User Avg (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 similar games such as Theme Hospital so popular. The game takes place in a universe that has been devastated by war with players taking control of one of the few remaining space stations and a beacon of hope in...[Read Review]

PC
8.6 User Avg (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 version adds sandbox, rush, endless, tower defence and dark mode for more variety. These modes can be added individually to your game or bought in a package (Dwarfs!?) allowing plenty of flexibility. Regardless ...[Read Review]

FreeLinuxMacPC
8.4 User Avg (7 votes)
craft-the-world

Craft The World

Craft The World is a sandbox game with strategy elements for PC, Mac and iOS whereby players will be creating their own dwarven colony from humble beginnings. Mixing elements from a range of titles in similar genres Craft The World’s overall experience is a gaming treat and offers replayability at the same time. Craft The World puts you in charge of your own dwarf society that grows from a single dwarf to a thriving community of adventurers (often 12-14 depending on your level completion t...[Read Review]

iOSMacPC
8.3 User Avg (45 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 shaman who wishes to achieve victory over rival tribes and ultimately join the stars as a god herself. There are a total of four tribes in the game (red, green, yellow and blue which the player controls). This ...[Read Review]

PCPS VitaPS3PSP
8.1 User Avg (7 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 starts you off with your own community of outcasts who have come together and decided to start their own settlement. Banished randomly generates a new world each time so it’s always challenging and fresh. With ...[Read Review]

PC
8.1 User Avg (57 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 hatching creatures (known as Norns) and helping them to mature into intelligent life forms. Players achieve this by breeding and teaching their Norns. With careful breeding players can engineer certain trai...[Read Review]

PC
8 User Avg (14 votes)
rise-to-ruins

Rise to Ruins

Rise to Ruins (previously Retro-Pixel Castles) challenges you to survive in a game that blends colony management, god like powers and survival into a single game. With noted inspiration from the likes of Banished and Dwarf Fortress but offering something different at the same time Rise to Ruins has wide audience appeal. The core experience in Rise to Ruins though is the management of your village which is presented in a pixel like design. This core game (survival mode) is also designed for playe...[Read Review]

LinuxMacPC
8 User Avg (18 votes)
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 unnamed planet players step into the role of an alien who belongs the species known as the Wanderers. A species known for their aggressive conquests of other planets they know find themselves losing the war on ...[Read Review]

iOS
7.9 User Avg (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 with a number of sliders available to players to alter the difficultly and type of experience they wish to have. Options include things like map size, flatness, depth of resources, amount of resources, en...[Read Review]

LinuxMacPC
7.4 User Avg (5 votes)
space-colony

Space Colony

Set on the otherside of the galaxy that we know with limited resources a powerful corporation has sent a crew of explorers to survive and eventually turn a profit for themselves. With this base deep in alien territory you’ll have to keep these explorers safe from the hostile alien threat that circles your base. Part simulation game Space Colony requires players to not only expand their base but also keep their colonists happy. With each having a mind of their own and a paycheque that they ...[Read Review]

MacPC
7 User Avg (18 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 environments similar to that found on Earth. Spread across the world are a number of abandoned laboratories that have been left over from a highly advanced race known as the Shee (who have mysteriously left the pl...[Read Review]

PC
6.7 User Avg (15 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 will get to choose which part of the galaxy they want to attempt to settle in. Each location offers different Stellar Density (game currency), warpgate proximity (think of this as galactic foot traffic), ...[Read Review]

LinuxMacPC
5.7 User Avg (16 votes)