Hammerting from Warpzone Studios and Team 17 Digital is a mining colony simulation game. It sounds simple enough but Hammerting has a dastardly learning curve. Does the game succeed though and is it worth your time? Let’s dive into it, shall we!
In Hammerting, players will take on the role of a Dwarven colonist commander. You will dig deep into the mountains to acquire resources for the supply chain of the Overworld. However, as with all things in life, it’s never as simple as it seems. Managing your Dwarven colony is an immense task and one that will either completely absorb you or put you off quite quickly.
Hammerting’s onboarding process is rather lacklustre. Once you’ve selected some basic game options such as the difficulty and mountain size as well as named your colony, you will be thrown straight into the deep end, or deep cave rather. Once in the cave, you will be inundated with an immense amount of tutorial pop-ups and messages which are supposed to get you up to speed with what you have to do. These messages explain the game’s mechanics but unfortunately, this entire process is extremely convoluted and not at all well-paced.
Players will be tasked with building a quarry and then nothing much else is really explained well afterwards. You aren’t guided properly if you don’t spend time reading the walls of text in the tutorials. If you aren’t familiar with games of this genre, chances are you’ll end up losing your dwarves to a monster attack really early on and won’t be able to progress further. If you are familiar with city-builders, colony management games and survival/crafting titles though, you may have some more early success in Hammerting while you get up to speed with the game’s actual gameplay mechanics and tasks.
Players will need to assign tasks to their dwarves to perform. What you essentially have to do is mine ore, amass a tonne of resources, explore the enormous cave world and build your dwarven empire in the mountains. While you explore the depths of the mountain, you will obtain knowledge from discovering new items, enemies, ore types and more. You can then use this knowledge to purchase specific research from set tiers. These tiers of research however are also linked to the Overworld trade mechanic of the game and this is where things become slightly more complicated.
In addition to micro-managing the entirety of your dwarven population within the mountains, you will also need to dedicate yourself to trading in the Overworld with other cities or villages. You can also take on specific trade missions which involve delivering goods or items. Doing this levels up your trading abilities and awards you with trade lore. Therefore acquiring knowledge lore and trade lore are essential to progressing in Hammerting since, without these two things, you won’t be able to purchase further research and won’t be able to progress or keep your colony alive and well.
This process is something that you will have to learn by playing the game and there are going to be times where you’ll often spend several minutes just waiting for items to be produced from one of your “Infrastructure” buildings or waiting for dwarves to harvest mushrooms or mine ore. There’s a lot of waiting around in Hammerting and even with the game speed set to “Fastest”, things still take too long to get done. Impatient gamers might be put off by this and unfortunately, this is a problem that plagues this genre more often than not.
Hammerting’s downfall lies in the fact that there’s far, far too much to micromanage and do in the game at once and it becomes overwhelming. The severe lack of direction and storytelling to push you forward also hampers the game’s success since you’ll be left asking yourself what exactly is the point of doing something quite often. There’s crafting, resource management, trading and creative city-building here but the story glue that ties this all together is seemingly missing in Hammerting.
Graphically, the game looks fine with a cartoony artstyle that’s visually appealing and has some great animations in action. The caves also look really pretty with plenty of vibrant colours showing through via different forms of lighting. The soundtrack of Hammerting isn’t exactly memorable but it does provide enough ambient background music for you to enjoy while you build your underground empire.
Having just come out of Early Access, it honestly feels as if Hammerting is still unfinished. There’s a lot of extra polish that the game could benefit from such as a much better onboarding process and more story driven content to get you going deeper into the caves. The user interface could also do with a little bit more sprucing up and the walls of tutorial text certainly could be a lot more intuitive and less of an information overload.
If you’re a fan of games that have micromanagement, crafting, trading, exploring and building as its core elements, Hammerting will appeal to you. The game gave off some Minecraft and Terraria vibes but unfortunately, it’s nowhere close to the masterpieces that those titles are. Hammerting is a mixed bag and hopefully, the developers will be able to improve upon this a lot more even though it’s already out of early access.
You can purchase Hammerting right here – https://store.steampowered.com/app/760650/Hammerting/
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