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Dungeon Keeper

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MobyRank MobyScore
Android
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1.3
iPad
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iPhone
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Description

Dungeon Keeper is an adaptation of the 90s series of real-time strategy games, for mobile devices. The basic concept of the game is identical. The player has to build and design a dungeon to attract and train minions. These are used to defend the dungeon against minions and players that attempt to invade the dungeon and kill all evil minions. The controls are tailored for mobile devices with pinching for zooming, swiping for moving around, and touch and hold to select and move items or structures.

The game is free-to-play and relies heavily on micro-transactions. To design a dungeon the player first has to dig out parts of the game world with imps, manage resource generation, build structures that produce units and construct defenses. The most important room in the game is the dungeon heart that needs to be protected at all costs. The player can determine the dungeon's entrances and then place traps such as retractable spikes, cannons, walls with razor blades to kill the invaders, and spells with bombs and flames. It is possible to turn opponents into chickens and squish them or summon a dragon that breathes fire all over the screen. Spells have a mana cost and a limited duration. Just like in the original game it is possible to build doors to just hold enemies back for a while. Different types of rooms can be constructed and these are needed to attract specific types of dungeons. Once set up, a room like the library offers to research further novelties to expand the dungeon while a hatchery provides food for the minions to raise the unit cap. Once a room has been set up it can still be moved around to another location if there is space available. The same process is used for managing traps. Next to imps familiar minions are skeletons, trolls, bile demons, mistresses and warlocks. Unlike the original game it is not possible to possess a body and watch through the eyes of one of the minions.

Just like in the original game units can be slapped with the hand of evil to motivate them and boost efficiency, but now the player's actual hand is used through swipes. Once a proper dungeon has been set up it can be tested in practice matches or in multiplayer against another human player for a certain amount of gold, similar to Clash of Clans. Players are matched against other keepers with a similar strength. You do not need to be online to defend a dungeon, that is done automatically, but through a push notification you can watch the attack and intervene, or retaliate afterwards when not online. While actively playing a persistent internet connection is required however. There is a single-player campaign where both offensive and defensive scenarios are offered with increasing difficulty. When attacking with just the minions spells tied to characters can still be used and the player can decide which minions to deploy as well as when and where. Once a room has been claimed with a flag it can be used as a new entry point. Raids have a short time limit so players are encouraged to loot and attack aggressively.

Gold, the basic currency, is also gathered through victories of over other players and is also spent on structures and upgrades. It is stored in treasuries that are vulnerable to invaders to steal. The other two in-game currencies are rock and mana, and the three of them are needed for most basic actions. Gems are the premium currency in the game. They are especially used to rush time to speed up the digging, build structures and upgrades and can be bought in large packs. Contrary to the original games the dungeon is meant to be kept over time and not started over with every session. That also implies that a match or a dungeon cannot be lost. When a dungeon is invaded, damaged and looted by another players, the only consequence is a small loss of resources as all other damage is repaired automatically. Players can work together and organize themselves in guilds to share resources and minions.

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The Press Says

Jeuxvideo.com iPhone Feb 07, 2014 6 out of 20 30
Eurogamer.net (UK) iPad Feb 05, 2014 1 out of 10 10
The Escapist Android Feb 02, 2014 0.5 Stars0.5 Stars0.5 Stars0.5 Stars0.5 Stars 10

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Contributed to by Sciere (250799)