Oh, god. You guys know that article from a few months ago about why devs shouldn't have to put any effort into graphics? Yeah, this one:
Well, turns out I'm still cycling between the same 3 or 4 games ad infinitum. I love, love digging my teeth into something with insane levels of depth, because the reward of figuring it out? The moment when it all just clicks? It's why I game.
There's not much to say about it that you haven't already heard. They're doing a Steam release soon to pay for medical expenses, and I'm encouraging everyone I know to jump into it if they've ever been even slightly interested. It's spawned an entirely different type of management game, and I think DF gets to take partial credit for wildly successful indie titles like Rimworld.
If you've never been interested in playing but want to see how it can be fully used as a storytelling engine, I'd highly recommend you check out Kruggsmash's YouTube channel. He gives the highlights of each playthrough, has elaborate drawings, a focus on character and storytelling, and is just fantastic. If you've ever been interested in the concept that Dwarf Fortress puts forward as a game, please watch this:
Caves of Qud
Caves of Qud is one of the best roguelikes in years, packed with evocative prose and featuring a captivating world of arcane secrets to explore. Roguelikes are often hard to parse. They have a ton of rules and interactions to keep track of. That level of intricacy can make for memorable moments but also turns a lot of people away from exciting exploration and dungeon delving.
-Some dude on Kotaku
Qud is a remarkable and underrated gem. It oozes with atmosphere, and thousands of hours have gone into blending procedural generation with a static world that feels all at once familiar as a fantasy/sci-fi backdrop, and yet remains astoundingly refreshing in its ideas.
If you want to get absorbed into a world, I guarantee Qud will satisfy you. The writing is fantastic, and quite unique. The gameplay is very expressive, especially when the medium of "turn-based roguelike on a grid" is considered. The world is very cool.
Seriously, try it.
Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead
'An open-source apocalyptic roguelike run by an egotistical megalomaniac' might not grab you, but the product is Unreal World set in a near future state that just happens to have undergone some terrible catastrophe. It’s a curiously intuitive game for one so complex, and the degree of simulation versus abstraction is impressively balanced. It’s also tied very closely to a given character, so that even if you know how to make something, your character might be out of luck. Recipes for crafting are found in books and there heaps of them.
The mutation system alone is uhh...
The bread and butter of this game, to me, is the vehicle building system. Once you've trained your mechanics skill to a reasonable degree and found a welding rig, you can create behemoths of spikes with tank treads that will mow through entire towns. It's open-ended, satisfying, and has a lot to chew on!