Dwarf Fortress Diary: The Basement Of Curiosity (Episodes One to Seventeen) by Nate Crowley Review


A web diary based on the legendary video game ‘Dwarf Fortress’ about a bunch of dwarves trying to survive and (hopefully) make a zoo. I really enjoyed the first several episodes of this web diary. Nate is an incredibly thoughtful and interesting writer that adds a ton of nuance and detail to his writings. Combine that with the nature of ‘Dwarf Fortress’ as a video game and you have yourself a formula for success.

For me, the web diary climaxed around episode ten. In episode ten there was a massive goblin invasion resulting in numerous deaths (I don’t want to spoil much but there were deaths on both sides). Episode ten had me on the edge of my seat more than just about anything else this year. A crazy battle with a ton of crazy moments.

After episode ten though, every other episode felt a lot more dull. Gone was the gradual build up of tension from the first ten episodes. Things felt like they had already climaxed and fell off. The last episode I read was episode seventeen and while it wasn’t bad, I definitely had to push myself to get through it. Episode eighteen was posted almost a month ago and I still haven’t motivated myself to care enough to read it.

That being said, Nate did an amazing job with describing and building up the first ten episodes. Episode ten was amazing not because of what happened in the game, but because of how Nate chose to tell the story along with the many details he injected into the story. An entertaining read but I can’t find it in myself to keep reading until the series ends.

7/10 – Good

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