The Dwarves is inspired by the successful novel by Markus Heitz with the same title. In that, it follows the story nearly 1:1 with a few deviations. You play Tungil Goldhand, a dwarf who has been raised at his master’s place Lot-Ionan, one of the wizards of these lands. You have been called to make an errant to a once former student of the wizard. Along the journey, you find the lands overrun by Orcs and Albe and soon a “road movie”-like trip unfolds in which you plea to become the high king of the dwarves to fight the great evil Nod’onn. You are joined by a host of different characters from which you can pick three to join you in battles. You gain experience and new skills.
King Art made here a decent game. The story has some turns, the game design is great, and the animations are smooth and these are the great pros of this game.
However, the gameplay is a bit lacking. There are 3 setups: a travel map on which you have sometimes some encounters you solve with multiple choice answers. This is where the story proceeds. Then there is some “discover” mode in which you walk around a closed area and interact with items, and finally, there is the battle mode in which you and up to three companions are fighting waves of orcs and sometimes bigger or more dangerous foes.
It is this battle map mode which the weakest, but you play the most. In essence, normal attacks do marginal damage. You have to deal with special skill attacks, which do cost several action points. These action points do regenerate over time and when you have some success on the battlefield. Basically, you just stop, issue special attacks to everyone, and wait until you have enough action points again. That’s it. And this is repeated ad nausea.
Plus a good collection of bugs. E.g. I could not get Tungil to equip any health potion. The game started I had, but when the battle started Tungil had no potion at all. I tried this several times. Tungil always missed the potion. At some times I could not convince any of my characters to move. Path finding is abysmal. My characters always tend to block each other. All no real blockers, but painting a weak image. One particular thing is: when you want to load an old save game, the button to load is placed right. However, the game asks me “Do you really… ?” and places the commit button now left! It’s not a bummer but hints that quite some issues are a bit amateurish.
7 out of 10.