This New Yorker article is a pleasant contrast between SimCity and Dwarf Fortress, using a classic version of SimCity rather than the recent debacle. (Fun note: “SimCity debacle” gets 36,000 hits on Google and 126,000 if you remove the quotes.) Representative quote about Dwarf Fortress:
(For a while, the melting point for the fat layer of the dwarves’ skin was set too low, resulting in instant death for any creature that got damp and then entered a warm room—baroque and violent bugs like this are very much in the spirit of the game).
I was once interested in trying Dwarf Fortress but the learning curve was more than I was willing to invest to overcome.