The Last Spell: Dwarves of Runenberg Review

The Last Spell: Dwarves of Runenberg

This is a review for Dwarves of Runenberg, the first major DLC for The Last Spell. If you want to check out our review of the base game, you can find it here (we recommend it).

The Last Spell is a strategy RPG turned roguelite where players defend a central camp against waves of monstrous enemies. The new Dwarves of Runenberg DLC fleshes out the setting some more and adds some much-needed variety to the game’s lore, as well as some really cool weapons.

So who are the Dwarves of Runenberg; and just what kind of features has Ishtar Games decided to add in the game’s first paid DLC.

The Last Spell

The Last Spell: Dwarves of Runenberg
Developer: Ishtar Games
Publisher: The Arcade Crew, Gamera Games, Dangan Entertainment
Platforms: PC (reviewed)
Release Date: April 24, 2024
Players: 1
Price: $7.99

It should go without saying that Dwarves are the centerpiece of this expansion, adding the idea of new recruitable races to your defenses. The addition of a new race is twofold.

  • First, it gives players more options when recruiting heroes since Dwarves will have their own pool of talents and state adjustments.
  • Second, it fleshes out the worldbuilding of The Last Spell even further, it already had an interesting premise but not we can learn more about its people.

If you’re not a big lore nerd like me, that second one might just seem incidental; but for me it helped a lot with making the game’s story feel more alive. Especially since dwarves, elves, and orcs are all mentioned in the opening narration. Like your human heroes, these dwarves can be customized in appearance and look slightly different from humans. The big perk is that they’re tougher and have access to perks that make them even beefier. While humans are more versatile, Dwarves are built to last.

The Last Spell

On the topic of Dwarven tenacity, two of the three new weapons reward more aggressive playstyles. The War Shield is a large 2-handed shield with large attacks that encourage getting up close and personal, the passive trait called Perfect Guard increases your power the more you get hit during the enemy phase of the round.

Meanwhile, the cannon is a short-mid range AoE weapon with some long range skills. With the Rocket Jump ability, it’s a good companion for melee weapons w8ith less maneuverability or range like 2-handed axes. It’s passive ability Overheat stacks when you use the cannon, and at full stacks it will cost health to use additional attacks with it. These Overheat attacks create an explosion around the user, making it a close-range attack at the cost of health.

The last weapon adds a Dwarven flair to magic with the gauntlet. The gauntlet has some cool rock/crystal spells and its passive charges up when hitting enemies. When it’s charged up, the next ability will have drastically increased range.

The Last Spell

The new map adds an exciting new feature in runestones that can be popped during a battle to do damage in an area around it. This damage only hurts enemies and can really help clear later waves.

Lastly there’s a new enemy called Harplings. To put it bluntly: Harplings can go to hell. They spawn near the town of Runenberg at these chasms and they have pretty good movement and defenses. Maybe my hero squad wasn’t built to handle them, but they really ramped up the difficulty of the game.

For a paid DLC, there’s plenty of content to be added to the game, and while some players might balk at paying for a new map and some new tools, at $7.99 USD it’s a pretty nice add-on to what’s already a great game.

The Last Spell

Ultimately, The Last Spell: Dwarves of Runenberg does what any DLC ought to do, adds new content to the game without making it a convoluted mess. All the new toys in Dwarves of Runenberg make the game even more exciting and I don’t expect fans of the base game will feel it trivializes or bloats the game’s existing strategies.

The Last Spell: Dwarves of Runenberg was reviewed on PC using a code provided by The Arcade Crew. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. The Last Spell: Dwarves of Runenberg is available on PC (via Steam).

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The Verdict: 9

The Good

  • Adds new content without trivializing old content
  • Expansion of lore makes the setting feel more alive
  • New weapons are fun to play with, especially the War Shield

The Bad

  • Harplings are the absolute worst
  • I hate them


A basement-dwelling ogre, Brandon's a fan of indie games and slice of life anime. Has too many games and not enough time.

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