Preview : Dwerve

I am a complete sucker for tower defense games, so it is no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Half Human’s upcoming game, Dwerve. Centered around a dwarf, armed with defensive traps, offensive turrets, a boomerang, and a slew of other tools, Dwerve reimagines the classic dungeon crawling experience while taking inspiration from titles such as Orcs Must Die; delivering a fun experience that is easily worth your while.

My time with Dwerve had me running around, dropping turrets, comfortably setting myself up to drink pina coladas and watch my enemies walked into my weapons. Dwerve is simply not that easy though. Turrets are constantly breaking down and my job is to rebuild them up so I can keep this cycle of survival going.

Enemies homed in on me, doing their best to destroy me. This is where I realized that I am the pied-piper. Wandering around my traps, sending my enemies to their death!  There are a ton of turrets to choose from but in the PAX East demo, I only had a few available at my disposal. I was also equipped with a boomerang, but it isn’t as effective as the spinning blades or an arrow launcher. Luckily, the boomerang is a passive weapon, attacking automatically so I could focus on what was going.

My main resource in Dwerve is green emeralds which I would use to spend to build my turrets. If the turret is destroyed, or if I deconstructed the turret, I would get those resources back. They will drop to the floor but after a few seconds the emeralds would eventually find their way to me, so I had to think about how I wanted my defenses to look because if I got too far and I ran out, I could get killed very quickly.

I got to play around with the melee-focused spinning blade turret, an arrow launcher ranged turret, and a trap, which all had their own tactical use. Set the poison trap down to lure enemies into a trap that would cause damage over time. The arrow launcher would take enemies out from afar, leaving my spinning blades to act as my final line of defense.

While you progress through the full version of Dwerve, you’ll be able to upgrade your turrets so they can do more damage, attack quicker, and gain a wide range of effects. There are an upwards of 15 different turrets each with their own upgrades. If you play it right, you can set up what I like to call “trap synergy” to perform combinations to keep enemies at bay.

As I said before, I am a huge fan of tower defense games, so this fits right into that enjoyable niche for me. I thought the controls were smooth and having shortcuts for my most used turrets was a godsend. The graphics embraced the old-school retro style that leans into Dwerve’s presentation. It is colorful while also making enemy models incredibly distinct. You’ll never confuse one model for another, and enemy variety is incredibly vast, even in my brief demo.

One interesting aspect about Dwerve is how the community rallied around this game. Dwerve is a Kickstarter success, enabling the developers to dedicate their time to fully imagining the game that plays homage to their favorite experiences. I was told that one of the bosses of the game was designed by a fan, one that I really cannot wait to see in my playthrough (I’ll keep that a secret).

I cannot wait to see where Half Human Games takes Dwerve, because what I played was outstanding. Dwerve hits PC and the Nintendo Switch on May 31st of this year. If you want a taste of what Half Human has cooking up, a prologue demo available on Steam right now.

Keep your eyes on Seasoned Gaming for a full review soon.

By Steve Esposito

Steve Esposito is a dedicated content creator with a focus on his love for technology, video games, and the very industry that oversees it all. He also takes part in organizing the Long Island Retro and Tabletop Gaming Expo as well as a Dungeons and Dragons podcast: Copper Piece. You can find him on twitter @AgitatedStove

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