Ok so the only reason I ever played this game to start with was to get an item in Killing Floor lol. But as it just so happens to be, this isn't a bad little game. It's simple enough in design but can yield a nice challenge.
Between the lava rushes and floods, mother nature can be one hateful ♥♥♥♥♥ in this game. You may think having only two environmental hazards would quickly become stale, but I didn't find that to be the case. They can be unforgiving.
There are several modes in Dwarfs?! but for the most part your goal is to mine as much of the map as you can, without your base being overcome before the time runs out.
In each game you'll have ups and downs contained within caves of unknown content until entrance that could either hold Gold, a Boss, mini-hoard, lava, or water.
You can spend in game currency to use blocks that block off cave systems and prevent your workers from breaching the containment area but be warned, if you block off the entire system without first discovering it's contents there will be a penalty in the form of a deduction from your gold... an important item I may add. One tactic you may want to try is blocking off all but 1 square then send in 2 workers with dynamite equipped in case it's lava or water. In that event it's best to sacrifice a worker to make a drainage hole in the earth and completely sealing that hazard, which will give you a bonus.
Along the way you may construct outposts with your gold and train warriors and workers. Good thing they put this in because the map is rather large and this will cut down on travel time during combat or intervention.
In the harder modes controlling your workers becomes extremely important. There are more hazards to be found and they flow faster so having 2 or 3 workers tap into separate conduits will be a quick death for you.
So that's the general idea, I'll let you explore the rest of the game for yourself :)
Oh yeah, don't forget about the Killing Floor award, whatever it was. Happy gaming!