This game is a simplified version of Dwarf Fortress. As a DF fan, I decided to give it a try, and I was not disappointed. It's far more streamlined than DF, such as having fewer animals to herd, fewer types of soil, fewer types of stone, etc, yet there is beauty in this simplification, as it significantly decreases the learning curve. Gnomes are also much easier to manage, and can be done without a third party application (i.e. Dwarf Therapist). Some skills have been combined into one skill (such as masonry and stone crafting), which helps to make the game easier to play. No longer does every aspect of a job need be managed (such as which particular type of material does the dwarf haul), but with Gnomoria gnomes can simply be told to haul. You are also given several professions to start with, which work well. The game also relies far less on the keyboard, and more on a mouse, which is a great feature. It's also easier to decide which material is used to create an item.
The simplification, however, does go a bit too far sometimes. Many skills are simply taken out, such as fishing and hunting. This makes it so that meat must be acquired through ranching, by killing the occasional animal that appears with military troops, or by butchering goblins. Also pets have been taken out of the game. Apart from animals, trading has also been too simplified. Gnomes may now only trade with other gnomes, and the player is initially only able to trade with one other settlement. Others may be unlocked, but it takes years to do so. The other gnome settlements are given types, such as agricultural, which makes some variety, but it still feels lackluster in comparison to the difference between dwarves, humans, and elves in DF. Also, biomes are gone. Instead of being able to choose which type of area you settle in (which can lead to big differences in DF playthroughs), gnomoria has the player settle in the same type of area every time, which has the exact same plant and animal life. Water also needs serious overhaul, and the developers need to decide to make its physics easier to manipulate and give it more purpose, or be simply used as a potential hazard. Lastly, there is still a learning curve in this game, as the developers give no form of tutorial. Players must instead watch Let's Play videos to learn how to play the game.
While the game does have drawbacks (most notably DF is free to play while this isn't) it is still a great game. The game is still not in it's final version, and some problems may be addressed before it's released. The difficulty is still here, a player should expect to fail totally several times before they begin to understand what they're doing, but it's a much, much easier game to learn to play than DF, while still offering the enjoyment. Anybody who likes city builders, particularly the Dwarf Fortress-like sub-genre, should add this game to their library.