We Are The Dwarves is an action-based, tactical adventure that follows three disparate dwarves: Forcer, Smashfist, and Shadow, astronauts sent on an energy source expedition into the depths of a Stone Universe composed of stars that host a variety of alien life. The dwarves must reunite in order to explore the distant star they’ve crash landed on. Survival is going to be much harder than they expected, however, as the hostile inhabitants of the star are hell-bent on hunting them down.
For all its creativity, this is a classic example of a game featuring an awe-inspiring, imaginative atmosphere but failing to properly follow through in its execution. I was convinced by the setting’s sleight of hand the minute I was dropped into its impressive and authentically alien environment. It’s disappointing when a well-crafted world such as this is pushed to the wayside due to faulty mechanics, unintuitive gameplay and an overall half-finished product.
In-game save points and consistently scattered life replenishment objects, “Stones of Life” operate much like the fountains from Diablo. Constantly backtracking to these save points and health replenishment stones is crucial as each enemy encounter will inevitably lead to multiple deaths until you are lucky enough to survive. Due to the squishiness of the dwarves and the constant jeopardy of losing your in-game progress, the incessant backtracking to save points becomes absurd and time-consuming.
The graphical options are extremely restricted as well. No setting above the 1920x1080p resolution works, and there are only five graphical presets, completely excluding any advanced tweaking. When playing Dwarves on a monitor that supports higher resolutions than 1080p, the game perpetually remains in Windowed mode, occupying only 66% of the screen. Camera zoom, which is found in nearly every similarly styled game, is missing as well. Despite all these mishaps, however, the game tended to run well and looked just as good when set to beautiful.
We Are The Dwarves has unique elements that are interesting, but these hidden gems are either underdeveloped or overshadowed by the overall experience. I can’t help but to believe the game should have remained a concept instead of a reality, or that developers Whale Rock Games delayed it until players would have a smooth, enjoyable experience. Sadly, as of late, an abundance of game companies are committing the sin of launching their wares that simply aren’t ready for prime time.