Whale Rock Games is a tiny indie studio from Ukraine working on their first project: We are the Dwarves. The Kickstarter failed but the Steam Greenlight succeeded. This promising new indie game will be released soon, so I thought it was time to talk about it.
We are the Dwarves does a few interesting things with what gamers and fantasy fans alike have come to expect from dwarven lore. The Stone Universe, where the game’s three protagonists reside, flips what we know about our own universe on its head. Instead of space being an empty void, it’s composed of nothing but the Eternal stone. The only inhabitable places in this strange universe are large cavities in the stone that contain stars. These stars provide the light and warmth necessary for life, as well as the power to alter or defy physics in unique ways.
Our intrepid, dwarven astronauts are on a quest to locate new stars to ensure the continued survival of their species. When their drill-like starship experiences a serious mishap, they find themselves stuck in uncharted territory. Now the only survivors, these three dwarves from three different clans must find a way to work together and complete their critical mission.
The whole thing sounds ridiculous, but in only the best way possible.
So, what type of game is this? It’s a relatively straightforward action-RPG, but one that Whale Rock Games says leans heavily on the usage of tactics. In fact, the developers bill it as “a brave mix of Commandos and The Lost Vikings” in an interview with 80 level. Those are two games I never once imagined going together, but the result should have a mix of stealth, ranged combat and melee (hint: look at the three characters). Players can command one dwarf at a time, or all three, with seamless transitioning, allowing for greater use of each hero’s individual abilities.
Unfortunately, there’s no information on looting or leveling. However, it has been said that the spacesuits worn by each character will be customizable. “The integrity of the Suit will affect not only armor quality but also functionality of many built-in systems – some of them will shut down if the Suit is heavily damaged,” according to the same interview with 80 level.
On the surface, We are the Dwarves might seem a bit rough around the edges, but I’m excited for it nonetheless. Indie studios like Whale Rock Games often take risks that bigger companies wouldn’t dare attempt. Often they show a special passion for their work, and sometimes with startlingly good results.
We are the Dwarves launches via Steam (PC, Mac and Linux) in February 2016.