Hammerting first impressions
Hammerting is a simulation game at its core with some RPG elements sprinkled on top. Your goal is to start a new dwarven civilisation in a mountain while managing their needs and expanding their home. If you love dwarfs, exploring, and trading, then Hammerting is for you!
First impressions – what we loved
Hammerting puts you into a world that has endless exploring options, and you can really go as deep as your resources can take you. What we loved about the exploration in Hammerting was the freedom you had. If you want to dig one incredibly long mining shaft down, you can do just that. If you want to explore horizontally, you can do that too. We did not mention the explorations just because of the terrain destruction options you have; we mentioned it because it felt truly dynamic on every play through. You might dig down, finding new pathways or landmarks leading you to great peril or great treasure. If you are not careful, you can find yourself in a den of spiders or even a graveyard filled with Skeletons.
We absolutely adore the graphic direction they took when creating Hammerting. From the building construction animations to the building being in an active state, it is absolute eye candy. We really appreciate the detail that went into every inside of every building, it truly made the game feel alive. When buildings were being used, you could truly feel your civilization come to life.
For a game with some pretty complex concept to comprehend, Hammerting did an outstanding job in terms of the UI. The UI is simple and clear and never prevents the player from achieving a desired action.
Never a dull moment
From when you hit the ground running up until you have maxed out your building tier, you always have something to do. There really is never a dull moment in Hammerting. To give you an example, at the start of the game you will try to fulfill your dwarf’s basic needs and as you move towards more advanced phases of your civilisation, you need to focus your efforts on your economy. Although you have to advance your civilisation, you still need to play close attention to your dwarf’s needs otherwise your civilisation will fall. This creates an engaging and difficult micro management challenge.
The micro management can be split between the inside of your cave and your daily opportunities and the overworld. The overworld is where other dwarfs fight each other and trade goods. Inevitably, you become part of that dynamic. You will get requests where you need to assist your neighbouring dwarfs to even the odds in battle by supplying them with some iron spears or you might need to trade some valuables for lumber to expand your civilisation
Fast forwarding time
This is a great tool that gives you the ability to control the game’s pace as you see fit. We played at normal speeds when we do not want an important event to pass by, like fighting off a horde of skeletons to see if we lose a dwarf. We sped up the gameplay when we queued multiple tasks that just needed to be completed without our input.
First impressions – what we would have loved
More individual control over the dwarf’s actions
We would have loved to see dwarfs immediately react when you select them individually and issue a new task. What happened in our case was we dug a hole all the way down while completing some work orders for the overworld. As you can imagine dwarfs switched between digging and fulfilling the order. What happened next is where we would have loved control. We got to the bottom and the one dwarf that was busy digging (RIP Olaf) and fell into a graveyard full of skeletons when we removed the last block at his feet. He put up a show for sure, but he unfortunately did not make it out alive. Now at first we thought he was dead, but then we remember that dwarfs can revive each other if there are healing items available. You can have a look at our beginner’s guide for some Hammerting tips here. We tried cancelling our other tasks to attend to our fallen dwarf, but they continued fulfilling the work orders and did not get to Olaf in time.
How useful is the attributes?
In Hammerting your dwarfs gain experience from every single task they do, and this experience is used to level up their attributes. They have five unique attributes; deftness, wisdom, awareness, robustness and, fervor. With so many things to micro manage, we equally distributed their attributes, and it really did not feel like it made any significant difference on how they performed. We feel with so many dwarfs and things to manage, making granular choices such as assigning attribute points is maybe unnecessary. Maybe it plays out to have a big role in future updates, but in the version we played, it felt somewhat pointless.
Hammerting first impressions conclusion
For an early access game, Hammerting definitely has enough to keep you busy for a while. The mechanics felt smooth; we did not encounter any game breaking bugs either. It was a pleasant early access experience. We cannot wait to see how Hammerting’s roadmap unfolds.