There are those of us who, when told, "You'll really like this game once you sit down with the 200-page how-to book," might say, "no, thank you." I am one of those likely to balk and walk away.
Dwarf Fortress is one of those games where every PC gamer knows someone who plays it, and who enthuses about it, and yet not too many of us have actually played it ourselves. In my case, the friend who spent many months enjoying delving beneath the earth told me outright, "Well, yes, it is totally impenetrable, but that's half the fun!"
I explained to him that I didn't have twenty hours a day to spend learning how the game worked and that, regretfully, I'd have to pass on the experience. Naturally, he scoffed.
It's too late for my friend. But should I ever feel his scoffing getting to me and need to mend my ways, PC Gamer reports that there's now an illustrated guide to Dwarf Fortress out there. Getting Started with Dwarf Fortress features the subtitle "Learn to play the most complex video game ever made," and it may well be accurate.
If every other simulation and strategy guide out there has proven to be too simple for you, Dwarf Fortress may be right up your alley. But do yourself a favor and look into the book before you get started. Even if you do manage to learn the game on your own, it has cute dwarf cartoons. And those are always fun.