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Review RPG Codex Review: The Dwarf Run

Crooked Bee

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Tags: Alexander Mirdzveli; The Dwarf Run

I must confess that, until now, I haven't even heard much about the indie tactical RPG The Dwarf Run and it slipped completely under my radar. I bet few of you have played it, or even heard about it, either. The dedicated thread in our General RPG Discussion forum can also hardly be described as particularly active.

Still, the Codex is the kind of site to review an obscure super-low-budget Russian indie RPG - and it looks like this time there may be a gem behind the rough facade. Good thing esteemed community member Bubbles actually played the game, liked it, and wrote this review almost literally overnight. Here's his conclusion:

The Dwarf Run is primarily a combat game, and a surprisingly good one at that. Sure, it has a number of flaws (most obviously the opaque movement system, the janky camera, and the mediocre AI), but it also offers enough complexity and variety to keep a seasoned RPG player fully engaged from start to finish. For a tiny indie operation from Russia, this is already a great feat; but even in comparison with other modern combat-heavy games, TDR looks pretty good. Pillars of Eternity is certainly a much bigger and grander game, but it's also insidiously buggy, vulnerable to overleveling and rest spam, and stuffed full of trash mobs, which are completely absent from TDR. Blackguards 1 features higher production values and a slightly larger array of spells and abilities, but its balance and difficulty curve are badly out of whack, and the writing is generally snoozy; meanwhile, TDR (on the hardest difficulty setting) offers a continuously challenging, well-tuned experience. And say what you want about TDR's writing, but it's certainly never boring or predictable.

Over the course of this review, I've compared The Dwarf Run to Blackguards 1, Anachronox, and Frayed Knights; I find all three of those games to be highly enjoyable, and putting The Dwarf Run in the same category is high praise indeed. However, I'm not blind to the fact that all of these titles only have niche appeal, even by Codex standards. Perhaps The Dwarf Run is one those games that can only be successful on an extremely low budget; Steamspy claims that it's currently sold about 1,000 copies at “full price” (meaning €8.99) and another 9,000 in a super cheap bundle sale. Fortunately, that seems to have been good enough: TDR's developer Alexander Mirdzveli has already started development on a prequel, and the franchise's future seems assured. I'm quite happy about that.​

Read the full review to learn about the game in more detail: RPG Codex Review: The Dwarf Run

Purely coincidentally, the game is 60% off on Steam this week.
 

Infinitron

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This game is so obscure that our review might actually noticeably boost its sales. Not a position the Codex is often in.
 

CryptRat

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Good job, it's always cool to get a review of a game from this recent wave of alternative RPGs which are not dialog-action BG/TES/Diablo clone garbage.
 

MRY

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I like that the first bullet point on its list of Game Features on Steam is "Linear story line."

That said, the list of lacking features appears to have been written with the Codex in mind:
And there is no
  • Cutting edge bloomy graphics
  • Scaling of enemy levels
 

Ninjerk

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:hmmm:
To everything.
 

Mark Richard

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Huh. Why not, it's 60% off on Steam right now. I was only going to waste my money buying all the Star Wars on GoG anyway.
 

ColCol

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Huh. Why not, it's 60% off on Steam right now. I was only going to waste my money buying all the Star Wars on GoG anyway.

My thoughts too. If I am mislead by the codex again I'll just mope around and write sucide comments in my journal for a day or so.
 

Bumvelcrow

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The dev has a Codex account (ZeebaEata) but never posted. Maybe he'll show up now.

He's watching this thread. Come and talk to us! :shittydog:

The game's name sounds like some kind of fetish, but that's not going to put me off buying it.

P.S. Good review, Bubbles.
 

ZeebaEata

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Lots of kindest thanks to Bubbles and the RPG Codex team! I'm very delighted and very flattered that my little brick has been awarded a place in the wall.
TDR never was a commercial project. I got the idea to create it when playing the marvelous World's End flash RPG on Kongregate. I was not able to resist the urge to make another World's End. Soon enough, the project was out of control, conquering my spare time, mind, nighttime, daytime and soul (in that order). It had been quite a year!
Once again, thank you for your interest! I'll be around.
 
Last edited:

HiddenX

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I can only agree with Bubbles - everyone from RPGWatch who played the game liked it. It has no high production values, but good game and combat mechanics and a fun story.
Like the Codex I have put the game on the Steam curation list. I hope that helps a bit to give the game more publicity.
 

MicoSelva

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I must confess that, until now, I haven't even heard much about the indie tactical RPG The Dwarf Run and it slipped completely under my radar.

inconceivable.jpg


Since it was reviewed on Matt Chat, which should be a must watch for every RPG and old school game enthusiast out there.

:decline: of Crooked Bee.
 

Gregz

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Thanks for the heads up and the Matt Chat link.

Just bought it. It's on sale for $3.59 this week.
 

thesheeep

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At least the arena part seems to be a game for people who like to game a system more than playing a game.
I mean, even if you like combat... 50 in a row in the same environment? Wat? :retarded:
 

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