Hammerting – Review
Follow Genre: Colony sim
Developer: Warpzone Studios
Publisher: Team17 Digital
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Hammerting – Review

Site Score
Good: In-depth construction of a cave system
Bad: Changing the order of chores is tedious if it works at all
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Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Hammerting is a dwarf colony simulator, made by Warpzone Studios and published by Team17 Digital, where you start with three dwarves and a single cave. Then you need to build, craft, trade, and fight your way to prosperity, hoping to end up with a huge colony that can rival whatever the world will throw at it. Rest assured, there’s plenty to deal with when there are wars brewing up top, not to mention the nasty creatures living underground too.


The game starts with a short text that outlines your current circumstances as a group of dwarves that found themselves a brand-new mountain to make a home out of. There’s not a lot there to begin with, but throughout the game, you explore the deep caverns and mine yourself a crafty underground town. Meanwhile, you’ll travel above ground when you need to and since there are several factions and conflicts going on, you’ll inadvertently have to pick a side. As is often the case for this genre of games, the rest of the story is up to you. Whether you play as a trading utopia that tries to befriend every village near their mountain or a group of hostile jerks who only partake in wars for their own benefit: it’s all up to you to decide.


When you first start playing Hammerting, the camera is probably something you need to get used to. The game has a vertical, almost side-scrolling pov, and you’d best imagine it as if you’re looking at a cross-section of the mountain. It can be a bit hard to get an overview of your colony this way, but once you get used to it, it does make for a unique angle. The buildings which you construct into the cave walls all have very nice, distinct aesthetics and overall the game looks great both underground and in the overworld, as long as you’re looking at it from a distance. When you zoom in too far, the details on your dwarf characters aren’t the prettiest, making the models look unrefined and blocky. Maybe stick with looking at the much nicer hand-drawn portraits you get on their profiles.


Hammerting has a decent soundtrack. None of the songs stood out as being especially memorable, but as background noise to a pretty casual game, it works. There are a ton of sound effects to enjoy, which add depth to your colony experience, especially the rhythmic noises produced by certain buildings that ended up being oddly soothing to listen to. You’ll be spending a lot of time waiting for your dwarves to finish their tasks before you can order them to do new jobs, so prepare to get used to that repetitive smithy noise. The game doesn’t have any voice acting.


Hammerting is a vertical dwarven mining colony sim that gives us a nice blend of gameplay to mess around with, while we were able to tailor the experience to our own preferences. In the beginning, you can set not only the difficulty but also the size of the mountain you’re playing with (this changes the available building space), and if you’d like to up the challenge you can opt to get periodic waves of enemies. After this, you’re dropped into the game, and after a short tutorial that doesn’t explain as much as it should, you start building your colony. The basic thing you’ll be doing is issuing orders for your dwarves. This starts off with simple ones, like where to move or what to mine, before moving onto more complicated matters such as constructing buildings and crafting.

In the beginning, not that much is available to you either in terms of building or crafting, but as you explore the caves, you can stumble upon treasure and earn lore points. These points can be spent on research and unlocking new things. Before long, you’ll be making houses for your dwarfs, farming underground, and doing all sorts of crafts, which is good since your dwarfs aren’t going to want to keep working and expanding the colony if you’re not meeting their basic needs for food and housing. Each individual dwarf also has their own skill tree that they can advance by leveling up, meaning you can specialize them to perform a specific task, such as scouting or metalwork.

Another major part of the game is leaving the mountain. The goal is to set up some reliable trading partners by going to nearby villages. There you can sell dwarven goods for money while buying anything you can’t get your hands on underground. Factions might also have specific missions for you to accept if you want. Money makes the world go round and also allows you to hire more dwarfs for your colony. If you trade with somebody often, your relationship will improve, and in time this will make them your allies. This is important since there are wars going on, and you’ll need to help your allies out.

All of this sounds great, and it’s true that Hammerting is fun to play. Sadly, a lot of the game’s annoying little faults are in the details. Managing your dwarfs’ tasks is tedious at best, and you often can’t set a single dwarf to do a specific chore. All you can do is make it a ‘priority’, but the game’s buggy AI still often ends up doing whatever it wants in the order it wants to do it, leaving you to wait forever for the job you wanted to get done first. This, combined with the game’s perspective, makes the building of your colony much harder than it needs to be. This also ended up with our dwarves often getting stuck too, which takes a lot of joy out of the game.


Hammerting feels like a lot of lost potential packed into one game. What is offered here is not necessarily bad, if you’re into colony simulators and want to try something new, but you’ll have to be patient with how frustrating this game can get at times. This is mainly due to the forced perspective and the fact that you’re never truly in control over the work that gets done. The foundation of the game is certainly great, but the overall execution feels somewhat bland and at times even buggy. Hopefully, future updates might fix this!

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