hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Dungeon Keeper
 BLOG ABOUT THIS

Review: Dungeon Keeper (Mobile)

1:00 PM on 02.01.2014 // Chris Carter
  @DtoidChris

Keep away

Bullfrog's 1997 strategy game Dungeon Keeper is a bona fide classic. It took the typical simulation conventions of the time and added some attitude, some horns, and a whole lot of charm to warp it into something truly special.

Leave it to EA then to come in and take a demonic dump on the franchise by creating a freemium "re-imagining" with timers and microtransactions.

Dungeon Keeper (Android, iPad, iPhone [reviewed on an iPhone 5])
Developer: Electronic Arts, Mythic Entertainment
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Released: January 31, 2014
MSRP: Free

For the first few minutes, Dungeon Keeper mobile vaguely resembles the original game. You'll slowly craft your own labyrinthine base of operations, hire creatures to defend it, and build a few structures to increase your influence. It's all pretty standard as far as strategy games go, as sending off imps to dig new areas and expanding your keep is still satisfying, at least initially.

You'll also have the ability to go on missions (raids) and attack enemy keeps, as well as defend your own with a host of traps and defensive troops. The main goal here is to go after the dungeon's "heart," which is more or less the lifeblood of the operation. In each raid, you'll have to bypass the AI's defenses and attack the heart. It's a cool concept, but it gets dull when you realize that you have no control over the troops you summon, as you're at the mercy of the game after you drop them in. Still, there's fun to be had on many occasions with raids, as it mixes up the gameplay a bit and there's a lot of them.

Then the freemium elements rushed in, and slapped me with a sack of spoiled potatoes across the face (seriously, look at the above screenshot). It gets really bad really fast, which is almost a record as far as freemium games go. After the tutorial, one of the first areas I attempted to excavate had a four-hour timer attached to it. If I wasn't reviewing the game I would have quit right then and there.



Waiting is the name of the game in Dungeon Keeper -- in fact, it is the game unless you're willing to shell out for more resources and crystals. You'll excavate more areas of your base, then you'll wait. You'll wait to collect gold and stone in your appropriate mines, then tap the ore (it's not automatically collected, so you have to log in periodically). You'll queue up minions to go on a raid, then wait a bit. If you fail, you'll have to wait some more before you get enough resources to launch another attack.

Time may be the ultimate boss of Dungeon Keeper mobile, but there's a whole lot more on the microtransaction front. You can buy every type of resource, buy temporary boosts, buy long-term boosts, and pretty much everything that you could possibly want. The game will constantly remind you if this fact, as you slowly wait for everything to unfold before your eyes. It's like EA saw dollar signs after the success of Clash of Clans, and wanted to clone it in the worst way possible -- by using a respectable IP as its skin.

It's a huge shame, because Dungeon Keeper is such a great franchise. I vividly remember getting hooked on the original for the very first time, and hooking in non-strategy fans with its unique perspective and visual style. But you're getting none of that here, as you're instead presented with a hollow freemium shell of what once was. Do yourself a favor and go to GOG.com and grab the original.



THE VERDICT

4

Dungeon Keeper - Reviewed by Chris Carter
Disappointing - I feel sorry for this one. It came close to being passable, but dropped the ball too many times to prevent itself from being an embarrassment.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Oh neat, Hollow Knight got through the Colosseum of Fools stretch goal while no one was looking. Shame they couldn't get to three characters but the game still looks awesome.
techsupport avatartechsupport
S Rank is so satisfying. Too bad I rarely earn it!
Bardley avatarBardley
My MGSV: The Phantom Pain playthrough has quickly devolved into a journey to fill out Big Boss' 80's synth pop collection. And I couldn't be happier.
Dinosir avatarDinosir
You know what I love? Game tgat force you to connect to their servers even though you only want to play single player. Then the servers are down an the game tries for like 5 minutes, not even giving you a way to cancel the process, you just have to wait
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
In today's Spelunky daily challenge, I was nibbled by a bat that pushed me into a Tiki trap that landed me dead on Kali's alter. Kali was pleased with the bat's sacrifice.
Shinta avatarShinta
It's pretty good guys ... [youtube]https://youtu.be/_98VZT9s7M0[/youtube]
Shinta avatarShinta
FFXV is supposedly 10x as big as The Witcher 3. Wow ... [img]http://i.imgur.com/9tfSuxQ.png[/img] http://www.dualshockers.com/2015/09/01/final-fantasy-xv-map-size-potentially-revealed-its-roughly-an-enormous-780-square-miles/
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
The ending of "Return to Crookback Bog" in TW3 I got was so depressing. Wow. I think I need a break...
Shinta avatarShinta
I'm sitting here play Metal Gear V, absolutely loving it. But in the back of my mind ... all I can think about is Mario Maker. I'm really excited for that game!
Patrick Hancock avatarPatrick Hancock
Sold a digital item on Steam, that came with a physical item, for more than the cost of the physical item. This is the second time I've done this. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Everyone right now is playing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. And here I am, waiting for Super Mario Maker to come out. And also Star Fox Zero.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Patrick Hancock hates babies. Rick and Morty.... I wish I could view thee second season. I need to play MGSV. I spray farted earlier.
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
my wife and i got into Rick and Morty the same time we got into Gravity Falls. Man, some good cartoons out right now.
El Dango avatarEl Dango
Rick and Morty is like reverse Archer. Instead of everyone being insanely quick-witted, everyone stutters, pauses and repeats themselves a lot.
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Drew a preeeeeeety sweet thing for the August edition of Cblog Recaps. Keep an eye out for it!
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
No spoilers or anything, but the MGS V troll is amazing. I went from concerned to laughter in a matter of minutes.
VeryImportantQuestion avatarVeryImportantQuestion
Not saying that the "augment your pre-order" announcement caused me to fall ill, but the timing seems like too much of a coincidence.
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
Costco. 3 pack 18" dolls First order trooper, tie pilot, vader or Kylo for final one, I forget 44.99 September 4th, son.
epmpt avatarepmpt
Contact address: El Paso Manual Physical Therapy, 12135 Esther Lama Dr., Suite 1100, El Paso, TX 79936, Phone: (915) 252-5012, Email: [email protected]
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Stealth in Payday 2 gets infinitely easier once you get the Control Freak perk.
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Dungeon Keeper


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -