Craft The World is a 2D sandbox strategy game, combining the gameplay elements of Terraria and Dwarf Fortress into its own fantasy world, where a group of dwarves attempts to survive against onslaughts of monsters while collecting resources and exploring the hidden depths beneath the surface.
The player controls a group of dwarves and guides them to complete assigned missions as well as recipes to craft items. Controlling the dwarves consists of giving an order to the dwarf (e.g. mine at an intended location) by indicating a blueprint of what items or locations the dwarves should interact with. The player may also opt to manually control a single dwarf.
At the start of the game, the player is only assigned with one dwarf. As the experience level of the player rises, additional dwarves will join. Each dwarf starts with a single profession, ranging from resource gather skills such as a miner, combat skills such as an archer, or other abilities such as climbing. Later in the game, dwarves may acquire additional skills from books while exploring. These books may also be used to further increase a skill a dwarf already has. Each dwarf may attain up to three different skills. The dwarves also require food, where raw food materials must first be cooked to be consumed. They also require lodging to sleep as well as various items to help them in combat, exploration, and resource gathering.
Each world is randomly generated, consisting of two major areas: the surface and below the surface. Both areas contain valuable resources that the dwarves need to complete missions or to create items. The surface for example supplies wood from cutting trees and animals to hunt for food and other ingredients. Mining down will allow access to minerals, crystals, and various fungi.
Crafting consists of a technological tree of recipes, each of which may be unlocked by successfully creating a previous item on the tree. Each recipe requires a specified amount of resources which the dwarves must collect to complete. These recipies may allow the player to create weapons, armor, furniture, traps, and several other objects and items to help the dwarves survive. Some also include objects only for decorative purposes.
Combat occurs when a monster or animal (if hunted) comes into contact with a dwarf. They will fight with whatever weapon is assigned to them, ranging from bare fists (none), to using resource tools, to actual weapons. Exploring deep beneath the surface may uncover these monsters. The majority of monsters, however, will appear on the surface and actively attack the dwarves in a tower defense style game. The surface monsters consist of the undead and goblins, each with their own unique strategy of attack. A large monster wave is also a permanent feature, with a clock indicating how much time is left until the next wave. To protect the dwarves, the player must guide them to construct defenses such as walls and traps or even use magic spells.