Dungeons Impressions

Take on the role of the villain in this Dungeon Keeper-inspired strategy game.

To describe Dungeons in its simplest terms--it’s a game heavily inspired by the Bullfrog classic strategy game Dungeon Keeper. From top to bottom, you’re in complete control of your very own dungeon, playing as the dungeon lord who acts as your dungeon’s main guardian. You can maneuver him through the dungeon using the standard WASD keyboard control format and give orders to minions using the mouse. In the first part of the demo we saw, the dungeon lord is venturing back to his part of the underworld when he stumbles across some heroes.

Confrontations with heroes are at the heart of the entire Dungeons experience. But before we get into the details, you should know that battles happen automatically, and you don’t have any direct control over specific actions. However, the outcome of these battles is heavily influenced by the dungeon lord’s individual attributes, which in turn, are augmented by the prestige of your dungeon. Dungeon prestige is affected directly by how well you’ve adorned and designed your dungeon--adding even one of the numerous decorative objects (called gimmicks), like lamps, affects your prestige level.

But back to the heroes... There’s an interesting dynamic at work when it comes to the noble people who infiltrate your abode. When a hero comes into your dungeon, you’ll see icons over his head that indicate what he’s interested in doing while venturing through your dark lair. The sword icon means that he’s thirsty for battle, while the treasure-chest icon means he has a hankering to pilfer some gold. In fact, the very first hero who entered the dungeon through the hero gates went directly for the treasure room built by the dungeon lord for this demo. As you watch him collect gold, you’ll see that his interest level in performing that activity diminishes since he’s getting his fill. This creates another problem, because you need to keep him occupied with something else in its place. In this case, since he wants to do battle, a good idea would be to create some monster spawn points so he has something to fight. If the hero becomes too bored, he’ll start venturing deeper into the dungeon, and he'll eventually reach the dungeon heart. If the dungeon heart is destroyed, the game ends. But you can also counter such an attack by attacking the heroes yourself, but it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the heroes’ skill level--in some cases a high-level hero (they can reach level 20) may venture into your dungeon.

At some point, you’re going to have to confront heroes to harvest soul energy, which functions as the second resource in the game behind gold. When you defeat a hero, you capture some of his soul energy, but in some cases, you won’t be able to capture all of it--that is, unless, you build a prison cell area inside the dungeon where you can squeeze the extra bit of soul energy from him. We watched the dungeon lord construct a prison area with the help of his little goblin minions (that typically run for their lives when a hero is nearby) and then click on the fallen body of the hero, and then we saw him appear in one of the cells. The dungeon lord then took his souls and used them to add a few more nice-looking lamps to the dungeon walls.

The next portion of the demo took us into dungeon-versus-dungeon combat. The dungeon lord’s goblins had been digging a path to the east, and they opened up a passageway to another dungeon controlled by the zombie lord--as indicated by the circle of influence surrounding his dungeon. As soon as the wall broke, the zombie lord charged in with his skeleton minions and began attacking the dungeon lord. Fortunately, the dungeon lord won the fight, but if he had been killed, he still would have had time to respawn at the dungeon heart and protect it--though doing so risks serious damage to the heart.

The demo ended as we saw the dungeon lord control not only his original dungeon, but the zombie lord’s dungeon as well. Dungeons will feature around 20 campaign missions in three varied environments, ranging from the one we saw to a Mayan-ruins-styled area and finally hell. Unfortunately, the game won’t ship with any sort of multiplayer component, but the development team hopes it can add such functionality via a patch or possibly even an expansion somewhere down the line. Dungeons is currently scheduled for release early next year, and we’ll be sure to bring you more details.

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Discussion

16 comments
DarkMellie
DarkMellie

Loved the original Dungeon Keepers which were much more around base-building than they were anything else. This one looks too objective oriented but I'll await reviews.

fatasi_rpg_pl
fatasi_rpg_pl

Bah...i don't know...It is like an Dungeon Keeper...but it seems they changed the idea...you have to make a dungeon to atract heroes ? I wished it would of bee more like an Dungeon Keeper 3 (as seen on the Dungeons Keeper 2 bonus trailer for its sequel). What I was really hoping to be, I think i can describe as an Dungeon Keeper 2 with improved graphics, new characters, a new faction, new maps eventually, and a new story :D . In other words I was hoping for the Dungeon Keeper 3 as seen on it's trailer b4 that the company separated.

Dragonlord713
Dragonlord713

Looks a lot like playing as the Dungeon Master back in good old D&D, nothing beats outwitting your friends at every turn. It'd be cool, if to incorparate multiplayer, they made an add-on for the game so your friends good go into your dungeon as a hero.

dcarver
dcarver

Can't wait! Agree that the Dungeon Keeper games were the best. (Loved all bullfrog games). Here's hoping they create something as enjoyable. Adding this to my tracked games.

Omegakill0
Omegakill0

This might as well be called Dungeon Keeper 3, although it wont be half as good as the first two..

Hellbishop
Hellbishop

Time to show some "heroes" its time to get real and repent of their higher then thou too good ways. To bad the only way to show them is by killing them. Would be cool if they could be tempted to the...dark side.

bodylotion
bodylotion

When i saw the title of the game i thought this was going to be some kind of diablo clone with a very VERY standard name; Dungeons. Right now i know must admit it sounds pretty cool since i loved Dungeon Keeper back in the days and liked overlord too.

Seifer24
Seifer24

Dungeon keeper was just awesome ip

AradianEye
AradianEye

Interesting... so you actually control the dungeon lord with the keyboard? its as if Overlord and DK had an illegitimate baby that neither can admit to for fear of invoking copyright laws! In the same way that most fantasy work can trace its histroy back to the likes of Tolkein's middle earth and D&D, is it now fair to say that comedic "Dark lord" games owe their history to Dungeon keeper? it certainly seems that way after seeing this!

Jaga_Telesin
Jaga_Telesin

Two things above all made Dungeon Keeper II a golden classic: superb voice acting, and devilishly good humor. While this isn't a direct sequel, hopefully it can capture and bring those two along with it when it debuts.

yeIIow_skittle7
yeIIow_skittle7

@Darkreaper_1 I think that EA owns the dungeon keeper series now, and are too ignorant to put up a sequel. :l

Darkreaper_1
Darkreaper_1

They should remake "Dungeon Keeper" and not bother with crappy spin-offs!

Xizle
Xizle

I hope they add the multiplayer component soon after release!

lazycomplife
lazycomplife

Dungeon keeper was amazing. Overlord was great too. I must have this game.

bennae66
bennae66

im a console gamer but sttarcraft and dungeon keeper 1 and 2 are 3 of my favorite games of all time. id happily pick this up for my pc as i have starcraft 2 if its close to bullfrogs classic. (which i miss dearly) to be honest tho, i cant imagine it to be as good. even today, dungeon keeper 2 is one of the most refreshing, original games out there. still looks alright to this day, and came out a dogs age ago. ahhh nostalgia.