If you saw the New York Times' recent profile on Dwarf Fortress' creators, and want to try out the super complex game but don't know where to start, Press X or Die has a useful guide for easing you into the notoriously unapproachable city-building sim.

The site starts off by explaining why playing Dwarf Fortress is worth the hours you'll invest trying to just understand all the ASCII that fills your screen:

"Dwarf Fortress is a great storytelling game, comparable to EVE. It’s a game with so many variables, interactions and possibilities that almost anything can happen. Nothing is scripted. And this is why I like it. No playthrough will be the same. So you played your average game and you got the good ending? So did half the people who played.

In Dwarf Fortress, your cook held off a goblin hoard using a silver axe adorned with shells depicting the founding of your fort while he’s missing half his arm? Yeah that’s probably only going to happen for you. It’s a game that lets your imagination run wild. Something that may have gotten rusty lately with all these newfangled “photo-realistic” games."

It goes on to offer links to tilesets for those of you put off by ASCII graphics, and to invaluable resources that will help you get started once you've downloaded the free game. Don't forget to also refer to the Dwarf Fortress Wiki "Quickstart Guide" and "Adventure Mode Quick Start".

[Via Deanbmmv]