As Charles Caleb Colton said back in the days of the Commodore 64: “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. But what must also be remembered is that without imitation we wouldn’t have innovation, and without innovation we wouldn’t have variety.
Dwarf Fortress, iconic for its deep, emergent gameplay and ASCII graphics, actually innovated on games like King of Dragon Pass. That older but just as classic text-based clan manager is near unrecognisable to our modern town-builders, but its influence is still felt. Dwarf Fortress has since gone on to inspire its own new generation of city-builders and narrative management games.
While the free version of Dwarf Fortress is great, it’s arcane UI and losing-is-fun design does turn off a lot of would be players. So the design was innovated and along came Rimworld. But now Rimworld has been around for years and it’s time to see what new innovations have come along since. Let us present to you our top picks of games that are like Rimworld and Dwarf Fortress for those who are wanting more, but are struggling to know where to look.