Hammerting Review – Test of the dwarf clan building strategy game

Hammerting Review with gameplay, video, screenshots, analysis, and rating

Hammerting Review - Test des Zwerge Clan Aufbau Strategie Spiels square
Hammerting Review – Test

My Hammerting Review & Test with gameplay. We build up our own dwarf clan, dig deeper and deeper into the mountain & build our own dwarf city in this building strategy game. Digging deep tunnels, collecting ores, building workshops, finding treasures & beating up nasty monsters, all this can be found in Hammerting.


German Version:

This article is available here as text, but also as a YouTube video (German voice-over, many subtitles). This way you can choose how you would like to enjoy it most.

Hammerting Review Video:

German Voice-Over, many subtitles

Hammerting Review – Test – Intro

Hi there, this is the Zap. In this Hammerting Review, I show you all the important details about this new game in which we will build a dwarf empire and decide a war. So if you like dwarves and build-up games, this is the right place for you.

In Hammerting we build a comfortable home for our bearded diggers and trade with the warring parties on the Overworld. We explore the secrets of the mountain and try to lose as few dwarves as possible to the monsters and dangers of the deep.

In the end, there will be a rating from me, but most of all I want to give you all the information, so you can decide for yourself if the game could be fun for you. I got a free trial sample from the publisher, my thanks for that. But this will not have any influence on my rating, because I create all tests with the thought in mind, how would I feel if I paid the full price.

Hammerting – Review – Background and Early Access

Hammerting Review - Test des Zwerge Clan Aufbau Strategie Spiels 01 Background - Hintergrund
Hammerting Review – Test
Background

The dwarf city simulation Hammerting is built by the Swedish developer Warpzone Studios and published by Team17. Even though Hammerting is the first game of this studio, many of the employees have been working in game development for more than 10 years. And Team17 is very experienced and has been active in the games market since Amiga times.

The first development of Hammerting already started in 2016, but since 2019 a bigger team is working on the game and now Hammerting was released in early access on October 27th, 2020. Early Access means that the game is far from finished and the developers still have many ideas for further development. But at the same time, the team is busy collecting feedback and ideas from players to make Hammerting an even better game together with the community.

Theoretically, everything about Hammerting can still change during this Early Access Phase. But mostly EA titles are mainly extended, it happens rather seldom that existing functions are dropped. So this review can only take a look at the now existing one. And the longer you would watch the game after the EA start, the more the version could differ from this picture.

Hammerting – Game Type

Hammerting Review - Test des Zwerge Clan Aufbau Strategie Spiels 02 Game Type - Spieltyp
Hammerting Review
Game Type

Hammerting shows mainly the underground of the mountain where we want to found a new home for our dwarf people. In the beginning, we see only a very small part of the underground realm surrounding us. The rest is shrouded in fog, and our dwarf diggers have to explore the underground bit by bit.

Similar to the rough model Wiggles from 2001 or in games like Fallout Shelter, we look at a kind of cut surface through the mountain. It reminds a little bit of an ant farm, where you can watch the construction process from the side.

We start with three dwarves, a single stonecutter blueprint, and tools and weapons we inherited from grandpa dwarf. So we start digging the first tunnels and collect stones, ores, and many other materials in the mountain’s corridors and caves.

And this can quickly become dangerous for our inexperienced dwarves because the mountain where we want to build our new settlement is already defended against our invasion by numerous not so nice inhabitants. At first, they are only rats and slime monsters, but the deeper we dig into the mountain, the more dangerous the enemies become that our dwarves would like to eat.

Our task is to enlarge the settlement and dig numerous tunnels to search the underground for resources and treasures. We build ladders, scaffolds, later also elevators and steam trains. Our dwarven people build numerous different types of rooms with different functions. Because we need a lot of different workshops, every dwarf wants to have his own bedroom and of course, a tavern should not be missed.

At the same time, a bitter war is taking place in the overworld. And we intervene by providing the “Good” side allied with us with weapons, material, and other things through numerous orders. In return, we receive some things that do not exist underground and also some trade experience that we invest in much-needed research.

The goal of the game is not only to survive as a clan of dwarves and explore the secrets of the deep but also to help our ally at the top win the war against the ultimate evil.

Gameplay – World

Hammerting Test
World
Hammerting Test
World

Our dwarf city grows in a mountain full of secrets and dangerous inhabitants. We dig our way through the ground with tunnels and ladder constructions and constantly discover new caves that hide numerous secrets. And very often larger groups of enemies attack our little dwarves, who sometimes dig a new tunnel into the depths of the mountain all by themselves.

The Underground World offers a total of 5 different types of landscapes, besides the normal earth there are also jungle-like areas, ice zones, magma chambers, or dark corners. And depending on the zone we encounter different enemies, ores, and special features.

Characters – RPG and Developement

Hammerting Review
Characters - RPG and Development
Hammerting Review
Characters – RPG and Development

Each dwarf has five basic values. There is dwarf skill, wisdom, knowledge, robustness, and fierceness. These attributes determine fighting strength, life energy, but also chances for critical crafting success and other more complex interrelationships.

Our dwarves gain experience points through all actions they perform and so they also advance in levels. With every level-up, they get attribute points, which we can use to improve their basic values. I haven’t seen a maximum level yet, and my highest dwarves were already level 40.

We currently hire new dwarves with money at the cave entrance. Our potential new inhabitants already come to us with some advantages and disadvantages. There are a lot of different possibilities to make them better and also worse. So we can and must already make a good choice when we hire them.

For example, a Dwarf can have a Midas Hand, this increases his Luck value, and his chance of critical successes by a few percent, but at the same time the chance of critical failures also increases. Or a Dwarf can be ambitious, which increases his robustness and fierceness, but at the same time decreases his energy efficiency. I suspect there are a few dozen different traits that are randomly drawn and so far, at least, remain lifelong.

Then there will be 14 different professions in total, in which all dwarves can become better, depending on what they do in the mountain. Here higher levels also bring faster hacking, crafting, collecting or carrying more, have chances to get better values for built items, and so on.

But also our dwarf clan as a whole can become better. By trading with the Upperworld we get trading experience and by exploring the caves and finding ancient treasures or secrets we get mountain wisdom. Thus we acquire different sciences in the complex research tree, which on the one hand unlock new buildings, but on the other hand, also activate new recipes in the already previously acquired workshops.

Gameplay – Crafting and Gathering

Hammerting Review
Crafting and Gathering
Hammerting Review
Crafting and Gathering

Dwarfs are known for their craftsmanship, and so are our lively friends in Hammerting, who are also very good and versatile craftsmen. So a big part of the game consists of solid craftsmanship.

In the beginning, our first room is a small quarry, where we make simple stone chunks, which are then used to construct the other buildings. This is followed by the smeltery and forge, dormitories, warehouse, farm, kitchen, brewery, tavern, and so on as well as a bunch of other workshops.

To operate these workplaces we need a lot of material that our dwarves have to search, collect in the depths of the mountain and carry to the workshops. There is a lot to do here for our little inhabitants.

They have their own research urge and try to help each other to collect things of their own accord. But the best way to do this is to either position building orders in new areas or to give the dwarves direct instructions with the “Go here” or “Attack” functions.

Gameplay – Game Modes and Story

Hammerting Test
Game Modes and Story
Hammerting Test
Game Modes and Story

So far there is only one big scenario in Hammerting and one weekly challenge. The big mission is all about the war in the upper world. A good and an evil side fight for supremacy.

We support the good side in this war by fulfilling urgent delivery orders for them, or sometimes not. If we don’t deliver the metal bars or weapons needed for the defense of the provinces fast enough, they can also be lost and fall to the enemy.

In addition to the defenses, we also get the possibility to trigger attacks on the enemy through more extensive deliveries and thus conquer provinces. If at some point all 23 provinces belong to the good side, we have won. But if all countries fall to the bad side or if all our dwarves die, we can also lose the game.

Hammerting Review – Tech, Graphics, Sound

Hammerting Review - Test des Zwerge Clan Aufbau Strategie Spiels 07 Tech, Graphics, Sound - Technik, Grafik, Sound, Engine, GFX, SFX
Hammerting Review
Tech, Graphics, Sound, Engine, GFX, SFX

Hammerting uses a graphic engine developed by Warpzone themselves, which is based on the Vulkan API. This very modern technology base provides the game with nice graphics and very efficient hardware usage, which even allows multithreading on all threads of my 12 core CPU. And at the same time, the technology is so mature that it hardly causes any load on my modern PC. Which in other words should mean that it should also work well on weaker computers.

The game runs relatively smoothly when you are considering it has come fresh into early access. I have experienced only 3 crashes in 20 hours of testing time. After I reported them to the developers in their discord, the triggers were found and fixed within a few hours. In general, the team is very close to the community through their discord and collects feedback as well as error messages there.

The graphics of Hammerting are in general quite fancy for a build-up game. Personally, I would like to have more detailed dwarfs and smoother animations, that doesn’t seem to be the great strength of the graphic designers. But the existing motion animations are not bad, reasonably moderate quality and for a small team, it’s okay.

The setting of Hammerting is decent. Some atmospheric piano music in the background, which is hardly noticeable and the sounds are somewhere between okay and quite nice. I like the dripping noises as well as the grumbling and moaning when you take the camera into the deeper, unexplored areas. There is no voice output at all, but that is probably not necessary in a build-up game.

Hammerting offers eight different language versions, besides German and English, you can choose between French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese. The German and English texts are all in good quality, with minimal spelling mistakes, but these are hardly noticeable. What happens more often, however, are placeholder texts where the translators have not yet finished. But since the game is constantly getting new features and functions, this is probably not surprising.

Hammerting Gameplay Screenshots

Click or tap into the image for a larger view.
In the enlarged view, you can scroll right and left on the edges

Hammerting Review – Opinion and Conclusion

Hammerting Review
Opinion and Conclusion
Hammerting Review
Opinion and Conclusion

Hammerting works very well as a game already at the early access release. It has some minor quirks here and there, but most of the time you can play for several hours without problems. And because of the autosave function, you don’t have to be afraid of losing a lot of progress.

You can also save manually, but at the moment it is not possible to name savegames and start several different games in parallel. There are the default 4-5 saves and if you start a new game, the saves of the previous game will be overwritten. What I’m still missing are some comfort functions like certain hotkeys, maybe a minimap, and the options menus and the save system could really use a thorough upgrade.

For the early access state, I can say, the basic functions are mostly all included in the game and you can play through it from front to back without any problems. I have already saved the upper world once, it took about 10 hours. But since the map is randomly generated, you can easily play through the scenario several times without it getting completely boring.

From a graphical point of view, the mountain, its caves, the five different underground biomes offer something for the eye. It’s all very fancy and the many, many different goods, objects, and materials are all easily recognizable and clearly distinguishable. As far as weapons and armor are concerned, the game still lacks a bit of graphical variety.

Changeable armors are not yet available, the dwarves come with a suit of clothes and keep it on forever. This is a real gap, but hopefully, the Devs at Warpzone will be filling this during early access. Here I could also imagine some expansions, like special linen for working, for example, a blacksmith apron that gives a dwarf bonus-points to his blacksmithing profession or a chef’s cap that can increase the cooking value, and so on. So far, the tailor only makes carrying backpacks, which is a bit low.

The upper world is still kept very simple. There are different places where trade missions appear. You may or may not accept them, and sometimes there is a conflict, but the only difference is that instead of an exclamation mark, there are crossed swords above the settlement.

And depending on whether we deliver the goods in time or not, the battle will end in victory or defeat. If the good side suffers too many defeats, the quests become less and less and we eventually lose the game. You could probably make things a bit more interesting here, but for now, the system works already.

An important point in this kind of game is always the pathfinding and the AI of the inhabitants. Here Hammerting is already doing some things right, even if it does not always work perfectly. On the one hand, in a battle, for example, all dwarves come running to fight the threat quickly and injured dwarves often even run out of fights quite cleverly.

On the other hand, however, they also like to fall into deep shafts or dig away the ground under each other’s feet. And so one often finds a dwarf in a deep cave, which has made the way back impossible for himself and has to be rescued by his colleagues by means of ladders or elevator. To manage this perfectly will probably be a task for the programmers for eternity. But exploring and mastering such things as a gamer is often also part of the fun.

The developers’ roadmap has some interesting points on the list. Some new things are planned for the near future, like more caves and enemies or a fluid system. I suppose the second one means that there will be ponds in the caves and the dwarves might learn to dive and swim.

Later machines should follow, with which things are produced automatically, the upper world should be extended, fishing and farming should come, more decorations and embellishments, relations between the dwarves and maybe also reproduction, dynamic missions and much more.

The state of the game is even at the early access release in a condition that you don’t have to worry that it will never be finished. Because Hammerting is already in its current form a useable game that can be really fun. Because of the randomly generated underworld, there is also a replay value, although I hope that there will be different scenarios in time or at least settings for victory conditions, etc., or even a campaign.

Altogether Hammerting already offers a very beautiful play experience for structure and strategy fans. And if you like dwarves, you are in the right place here anyway. For 24.99 € one gets here also in the Early Access a good offer and that with a prospect on still so some more in the future, without further surcharge. Of course, it is possible that there will be DLCs sometime, but at least in the near future, once you buy the game, it will be provided with more content for free.

Hammerting Test – Rating

Hammerting Review
Rating - Scoring
Hammerting Review
Rating – Scoring

Let’s summarize, Hammerting already shows a positive impression. The game runs stable, offers a coherent gaming experience, and is, therefore, worth its price. And this with the prospect of improvement and expansion through further development by a capable team.

For this, I would like to award a base score of 85%. The very rare crashes, small deficiencies in handling and menus, and the expected gaps in the game content in an early access title let me deduct 3% here. So I now have a very good 82 % rating for Hammerting for the Early Access Release.

But since Warpzone will surely continue to work on the game for some more time, I see a lot of potential for Hammerting. Depending on the amount and quality of the upcoming patches, the rating for the game could rise up to 90%.

Hammerting Review - Test des Zwerge Clan Aufbau Strategie Spiels 09a Rating - Scoring with numbers - Wertung - Bewertung mit zahlen
Hammerting Review
Rating – Scoring with numbers

Hammerting

Zap from ZapZockt.de

Hammerting Review - Test des Zwerge Clan Aufbau Strategie Spiels square
Hammerting Review with gameplay, video, screenshots, analysis, and rating
My Hammerting Review & Test with gameplay. We build up our own dwarf clan, dig deeper and deeper into the mountain & build our own dwarf city in this building strategy game. Digging deep tunnels, collecting ores, building workshops, finding treasures & beating up nasty monsters, all this can be found in Hammerting.
Strategy
Dwarf-Setting Hype
Graphics
Sound
Scope
Technology
Price – Performance
Early Access State

Rating

Let’s summarize, Hammerting already shows a positive impression. The game runs stable, offers a coherent gaming experience, and is, therefore, worth its price. And this with the prospect of improvement and expansion through further development by a capable team.
For this, I would like to award a base score of 85%. The very rare crashes, small deficiencies in handling and menus, and the expected gaps in the game content in an early access title let me deduct 3% here. So I now have a very good 82 % rating for Hammerting for the Early Access Release.
But since Warpzone will surely continue to work on the game for some more time, I see a lot of potential for Hammerting. Depending on the amount and quality of the upcoming patches, the rating for the game could rise up to 90%.

4.1

Outro

Are you a dwarf fan and want to start digging into the unknown depths right away, or does the Early Access Game not offer you enough fun yet? Please write to me with your opinion, let’s talk about it. I also find feedback, opinions, and suggestions for my reviews always interesting.

By the way, the game is available for Steam and Epic Games, and below you can also find links where you can buy it. If you would like to use these links, I get a small commission and you support my work. At Gamesplanet there is even a 10 % discount for the Steam version, so if you use my link, you can save a little bit at the same time.

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Zap

Dirk "Zap" von ZapZockt.de, 40+ Gamer, zockt seit 1980 vor allem Strategie Titel, MMOs und Rollenspiele. Schreibt Game Reviews, Gaming News und auch mal über Technik, Hardware und YouTube. Mehr Infos findest Du unter Mehr über Zap lesen ◄----------► Dirk "Zap" from ZapZockt.de, 40+ gamer, has been gaming since 1980, mainly strategy titles, MMOs and RPGs. Writes game reviews, gaming news and also sometimes about technology, hardware and YouTube. Click here, if you want to read more about Zap.

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