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Screenshot via Kitfox Games YouTube

Dwarf Fortress: Steam Edition digs up a shiny new graphical style in release date trailer

Strike the Earth in a new style.

Development on the original Dwarf Fortress began 20 years ago, and the complex game eventually released in 2006 with the ASCII art style it’s known for. It’s about time the game got a refresh, and that’s exactly what’s happening this December with Dwarf Fortress: Steam Edition.

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The new release date trailer shows just how different this version of the game looks. Gone are the symbols and numbers that once represented objects and characters, replaced with a pixel-y graphical style that very much resembles the indie games of today. Dwarf Fortress is one of the indie scene’s greatest success stories, after all. As the name states, this trailer also tells us when Dwarf Fortress: Steam Edition is launching — that would be Tuesday, December 6.

You can wishlist Dwarf Fortress: Steam Edition on Steam right now, and while it probably goes without saying, no, this version of the game is not headed to the Epic Games Store. It is the “Steam Edition” after all. Those who prefer the original game need not worry either: that version will remain free to download on developer Bay12’s website. If you want to give that a go before the new Steam version lands, we have a beginner’s guide to help get you started.

In addition to the new look, Dwarf Fortress: Steam Edition also adds a tutorial, fresh music and sound effects, different menus, and several quality-of-life improvements. Fortress and Legends modes will be available at launch, but Adventure and Arena will not. Bay12 plans to add those later, with community updates to keep players in the loop.

Steam Edition is being published by Kitfox Games, the team that also brought us roguelike dating sim Boyfriend Dungeon and the dog photography game Pupperazzi. Kitfox boss Tanya X. Short is happy to see a more approachable version of Dwarf Fortress come to fruition. “I was always someone who tried to enjoy Dwarf Fortress but found it difficult to wade into before, even with mods,” she says. “But now even my 10-year-old nephew can play it!”

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Tony Wilson
Tony has been covering games for more than a decade. Tony loves platformers, RPGs and puzzle games.