Updated at: 10-06-2022 - By: Leo Hall

The UI and ‘losing is fun’ design philosophy of Dwarf Fortress have aged poorly, despite the fact that it is one of the best colony management simulations on the market.

Even though Tarn Adams, the game’s designer, intends to remedy many of the original’s shortcomings in an upcoming improved edition, the project doesn’t appear to be finished for the time being.

It’s a good thing that there are a number of games that draw influence from Dwarf Fortress’s concept while bringing new mechanisms and enhancements, such as more complicated AI and clear objectives for the player to focus on.

The top Dwarf Fortress-like games to play in 2022 will be highlighted here.

As a result, many of these games share some sort of connection to DF. Make sure to keep an eye on this page as new entries are added.

Check out our other lists for more game recommendations while you’re here:


Ludeon Studios is the developer of this game.

The PC is the platform of choice.

The best games like RimWorld and Dwarf Fortress | PCGamesN

As soon as you start a new game and begin building a space colony, the similarities between Rimworld and Dwarf Fortress become clear. After selecting a world, you can send your space explorers into the unknown to gather resources on its surface or send them back to acquire more resources on another world.

Aside from ensuring sure your colonists have everything they need physically and emotionally, you also have to make sure that your settlement grows and thrives.

The intricacy and complexity of the game sets it apart from Dwarf Fortress. A single error won’t bring down your colony like it would in Dwarf Fortress, which is still a very challenging game. DF’s tough gameplay can be intimidating for newcomers to Rimworld, who may not have the experience or motivation to keep up.

Oxygen Not Included

Klei Entertainment is the company behind the game.

The PC is the platform of choice.

Oxygen Not Included, on the other hand, might be a better fit if you prefer the way Dwarf Fortress handles colony management. In this tough game, you’ll manage a space crew as they try to survive on an unknown world beneath the surface.

In order to keep oxygen levels stable, you’ll need to take precautionary actions on a regular basis.

The tough part is that your colony’s surroundings is always at its mercy, which means disaster is always a possibility. Your colonists’ mental states are always shifting, as is the weather, pollution, and pollution levels.

With its hand-drawn 2D aesthetics and side-view gameplay, the game looks and plays very different from the original Donkey Kong.

They Are Billions

Numantian Games is the developer.

PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One

It’s possible to like They Are Billions if you like zombies and steampunk. Part colony management, part tower defense, the game sees you commanding the last few remaining humans as they fight to reclaim civilization from an army of flesh-eating zombies.

More and more zombies will try to infiltrate your community as you gather resources, construct houses, and erect fortifications.

The gaming engine for They Are Billions is very advanced and can handle thousands of opponents on the screen at once. Because of this, zombies might attack your camp with growing ferocity, and if you’re not careful, you may reach the game’s end screen.

It’s possible to take a break mid-action and plan your next move, which helps relieve some of the pressure of the game.

Space Haven

Bugbyte is the company behind this project.

The PC is the platform of choice.

Located in deep space, Space Haven is a highly-detailed colony management simulation. As the head of a motley band on the prowl for a new home for mankind, it’s up to you.

Building your starship tile-by-tile and placing every door, wall, and hull is possible with this game’s extensive customization options.

This entails a great deal of responsibility, as the existence of your crew is entirely dependent on your ability to attend to their requirements and supply them with adequate food, medicine, and air. When compared to Dwarf Fortress, Space Haven has a stronger emphasis on story.

As you travel through space, you’ll face a variety of unexpected events, like alien invasions, abandoned spacecraft, and crew disagreements.

The best games like RimWorld and Dwarf Fortress | PCGamesN

Judgment: Apocalypse Survival Simulation

Initiator and Lead Designer:

The PC is the platform of choice.

For those who prefer a darker backdrop than Dwarf Fortress, Judgment provides the right mix of colony management and satanic rituals. You play as the leader of a group of campers who, by being in the woods, unwittingly avoid a fiery apocalypse.

But it’s only a matter of time before demonic forces recognize what they’re doing and show there to confront them.

Demons will become more aware of your colony as it grows, which is displayed as a visibility mechanic. For this, you’ll need to learn new methods of concealment and execute rituals.

The wicked powers will come knocking on your door if you flourish too quickly, but if you take too long, you may not last. The addition of real-time tactics-based fighting is where the game diverges from Dwarf Fortress’ design.

Prison Architect

Initiator: Double Eleven (UK)

PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS

As simple as it may appear to design and administer your own prison, Prison Architect demonstrates otherwise. Its correctional facility environment serves as a springboard for the game’s many intertwined gameplay mechanics.

It is up to you to design the layout, hire the personnel, and supervise your convicts’ daily lives as the prison architect.

Every guard and inmate has their own unique set of demands and personality qualities, which have an impact on both their productivity and how they operate as a whole. In addition, running a prison costs a lot of money, especially if you’re hoping to make a profit off of it.

Despite the fact that the game presents a reasonable amount of difficulty, it is far more forgiving than DF, allowing you to try out various layouts and methods.


11 Bit Studios is the company behind this app.

PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One

It’s the nineteenth century in an alternate universe where a new ice age has occurred, and the story of Frostpunk is centered around colony management.

You are the leader of a colony that relies on a steam-powered heat generator in the center of the village to keep it warm. Dwarf Fortress-like base-building systems can be used to expand the town’s infrastructure.

Frostpunk differs from other RPGs in that every choice you make has an effect on the tale and the morale of the villagers. It’s your choice: will you let the sick squander your resources while doing nothing for the community, or will you let them go?

Is it better for the future of humanity if youngsters are allowed to learn and play or are they forced to work in factories? The decisions you make during the game have both advantages and disadvantages.

Surviving Mars

Haemimont Games is the developer.

PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One

Because of the influence of tycoon games like Tropico on the design of Dwarf Fortress, we decided to include a similar game from the series’ creator, Haemimont Games.

It’s a mix of city-building and survival, Your mission is to raise a whole Mars colony from the time it is born until it is old enough to vote. Your people require enough housing, manufacturing facilities, and commercial buildings for the advancement of science and technology. These are all necessities.

However, the planet’s environment is hostile to humanity and will continually present you with fresh challenges. The oxygen levels must be kept constant, and water must be carried through a complex pipe network from the subsurface to the various structures.

Colonists, on the other hand, have their own distinct strengths and flaws that can both benefit and harm civilization.

Colony Survival

Pipliz is the developer

The PC is the platform of choice.

Although the main gameplay loop of Dwarf Fortress is still present, Colony Survival takes a radically different approach to colony management and base-building.

For starters, it’s a first-person game. Two things distinguish this game from others like Minecraft: first, the inclusion of crafting and exploring.

Start small and keep growing until you have a vibrant community of people with different occupations and access to ever-improving technological advancements in your little colony.

However, you must also be ready for attacks from monsters that pose a danger to the existence of your colony. Your colonists will be able to explore new lands in search of fresh resources if they are successful.

Games Like Dwarf Fortress | The best construction and management games in 2019 - GameRevolution

Odd Realm

In this case, Empyrean is the developer.

Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

A lot of colony management sims that perform things like Dwarf Fortress have been discussed on this site before, but none of them have been addressed with similar graphics.

In spite of the fact that Odd Realm isn’t an identical duplicate of DF, its top-down perspective and austere presentation convey the sense that substance is more important than aesthetics. Despite this, the game’s visuals are still quite appealing, and its user interface is considerably easier to understand than in DF.

Take charge of an early colony as they battle robbers, underground monsters, and vengeful deities in this action-adventure.

There are many randomly generated and unique features, such as restricted resources, in the realms of the game. You can also take on the role of a variety of other races, which opens up additional avenues for strategy.


In this case, Empyrean is the developer.

Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Kenshi is the most distinct from Dwarf Fortress among the games on this list, yet it also shares a few commonalities. In the first place, it’s a third-person role-playing game set in an open world sandbox.

For some, this could mean becoming a nomadic wanderer or setting up a community with its own defenses and rules.

Using the colony management features of the game, you can now recruit new members of your party, build a settlement, and engage in conflict with other factions.

As long as you can provide for each of your characters, there are no limits on what you can do or how many you can bring on board. In Kenshi, everyone might be a potential threat, therefore it’s an excellent option for those who like to take on new challenges.


When it comes to this next Steam Early Access title, you can expect a medieval take on Rimworld and Dwarf Fortress, with a focus on city-building and colony survival as the driving forces. After a pandemic decimated the inhabitants, you’re put in charge of rebuilding a shattered Dark Age settlement. To create a better future for your people, you must strengthen your stronghold and extend into the wilderness.

Although you’ll have to wait until June 1 to get your hands on it, it already looks like an interesting twist on the concept. The final beta will be released later this month, and it will be available on Steam as soon as possible.


Amazing Cultivation Simulator would probably have been the result if RimWorld was based on Asian legend. You, too, may embark on a magnificent adventure to restore your sect via training and the cultivation of mind and soul, which is now available on Steam. As well as potent artifacts.

RimWorld-style gameplay, but with a wealth of complex administrative features to explore. In this fantasy realm influenced by Buddhist and Taoist philosophy, you’ll have to deal with opposing sects, recruit new apprentices, and more.


Until recently, First Feudal was the first game Steam recommended on the Rimworld store page, but it has since been removed. There are some resemblances: In order to construct a workshop or a house, you must place walls, doors, and floors. Even the villagers are under your authority, with whom you may assign chores and tools, as well as meet their dietary and resting requirements.

However, First Feudal isn’t merely a copycat of the format. Instead, it’s more like a role-playing game where you build a town from the ground up by leading the villagers rather than being Rimworld’s all-knowing administrator. It’s a good idea, because it puts you right in the middle of the action with the locals. However, at times it can feel more like a tower defense game than a role-playing experience. If you liked Factorio, you might enjoy this one, which has been in early access since late 2017.


The fact that it hasn’t been made available yet makes this one a bit of a wildcard. By December 2020, it will have recently launched its sixth Alpha build after a successful Kickstarter campaign ended in the middle of 2018. However, a Steam early access release date has not yet been set.

Neanderthals and Rimworld’s King Under The Mountain share a common ancestor in Dwarf Fortress. If you’re looking for an experience similar to Rimworld but wrapped in a high fantasy setting, you’ve come to the right place. As a matter of fact, you are dwarfs! Yay!

In its current state, King Under the Mountain resembles more Prison Architect than anything else because the furniture that can be placed in each room is determined by its location within a “zone.” As long as the user interface is maintained basic and straightforward, this isn’t a negative thing.

Best 6 Games like Dwarf Fortress [2020]


An avatar that exists in the real world is analogous to the First Feudal’s omniscient position in Civitatem, but it doesn’t deviate much from Rimworld origins. The art style is practically identical to Rimworld’s, but that’s about where the similarities end.

Civitatem is more like Banished, but with a more focused approach. It also gets a lot of flak for looking like a conventional RPG, but promises of a “exploration mini-game” to uncover additional villages give it a leg up.

Instead of Rimworld or Dwarf Frotress, you may try Medieval Dynasty, an open-world survival/building game that looks more like Life is Feudal than either Rimworld or Dwarf Frotress.


Oxygen Not Included is one of the top alternatives to Rimworld because it is one of the most well-known names in the industry.

Oxygen Not Included puts you in command of a clone-filled asteroid colony and raises the difficulty level to an 11 on the difficulty scale. You’re not just responsible for the mental and physical well-being of the colonists, but also the temperature, water quality, and pollution of the colony. What if the restrooms were located right next to the reservoir? Everyone will get sick, of course.

Oxygen Not Included was initially perceived by me as overly challenging and lacking in content, but Klei has continued to develop it at a breakneck speed, adding new features and improving existing ones nearly every month.

The largest issue is managing increasing or dropping temperatures, transporting gasses, and dealing with dirty liquids from the little bladdered colonist. Every aspect of it is infused with personality, from the sighs of the saddened replicants to the way they snuggle up like cats in their beds.


For the same reasons as with Judgement, we’ve included this one as well. As opposed to Rimworld, Surviving the Aftermath focuses on colonization and survival in a harsh environment rather than a frontier scenario. Survivalists from an apocalypse are your primary objective in this game.

You get to choose what kind of apocalypse you get, how horrible the apocalypse was, how frequently disasters occur, and so on before you start each game. This is one of the strengths of the game. Other advantages include a strategic layer that allows you to travel out, explore, meet other colonies, and even battle bandits. Though still in early access, substantial improvements are being released every few months and the game is looking good.


Dwarf Fortress is the only game greater than Dwarf Fortress itself! Even though this is a cheeky post, it’s important to keep in mind that the imminent Steam version of Dwarf Fortress is not the exact same game as that described in the legends. For certain players, the official skin pack from Bay 12 will provide aesthetics that are on par with any of its modern successors, formalizing their habits.

Dwarf Fortress’ developers are also considering adding extra premium features aimed at generating a more mainstream version of the game, however it will be updated in sync with the free/classic edition and play the same as the original.

Dwarf Fortress on Steam will feature both the original game and skinned versions like as ‘Fortress’ and ‘Adventure,’ all in their classic splendour. Official interaction with Steam Workshop is also included. Unfortunately, there is no release date for this at this time, so we’ll have to wait patiently.

Apocalypse Survival Simulation

In this game, you’ll be in charge of a small group of survivors amid a terrifying post-apocalyptic scenario.
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Surely this is a novel idea? That’s right. Three campers who were in the woods at the time of the apocalypse are the focus of the film.

Their mission is to establish a new colony while minimizing the amount of disturbance.

Camouflage, real-time research into the best potential technique for avoiding trouble—this game has it all! You can even use weird rituals to help you stay hidden!

So in terms of gameplay and features, this game has you covered.

Starship Theory

You and four other survivors are thrown into an unknown space region and must build a ship to survive.

The crew of the ship is in charge of a variety of consoles. For example, to facilitate ship-to-ship trade, research, and improved jump navigation.

At first glance, the aesthetics and gameplay may appear bizarre and bewildering, but this isn’t the case.

This game’s producers and active community are constantly adding new content, so fresh and exciting features can be expected in future updates.

Dungeon Keeper 2

If you recall, we were talking about Dungeon Keeper before. Yes, this is the follow-up to the excellent original. Improved graphics and gameplay features have been implemented this time around.

You’ll descend into the depths of the earth, where you’ll construct a dungeon, attract monsters, create traps, and engage in combat with the forces of evil.

Players who appreciate games with a dark humor will get a kick out of this one. In spite of the fact that the game has been updated numerous times, there is still an active community.

Best Games Similar to Rimworld and Dwarf Fortress - AptGadget.com


Is Dwarf Fortress the most complex game?

In terms of complexity, Dwarf Fortress is the most difficult game ever created. There isn’t even a speck of justice done by what I’ve said here. However, this complexity comes with a level of difficulty that few others can match. Even the most basic tasks will require assistance at first.

Is RimWorld as good as Dwarf Fortress?

That is not the case. To begin with, Rimworld is more stable and has better graphics than Diablo III. Just a little less esoteric are the controls. Without a graphics pack, you’ll have to get used to Dwarf Fortress’ use of ASCII characters.

Is Kenshi like Dwarf Fortress?

Even though Kenshi doesn’t look anything like RimWorld or Dwarf Fortress, if emergent storylines are what you’re seeking for, Kenshi provides.


That concludes our selection of the greatest games like dwarf fortress. Fortress fans looking for something new? These games have been specifically selected due of their resemblances to the original. These games will make your fingertips squeal with delight.