Dungeon Keeper
for PC

Alternate Titles: Dungeon Keeper Gold
Company: Bullfrog
Year: 1997
Genre: Strategy
Theme: Fighting / Horror / Humour / Multiplayer / Sword & Sorcery
Language: English, Deutsch
Licence: Commercial
Views: 8563
Review by 1541 (2017-01-26)

In this game, you can be the bad guy for a change and stand up against the good guys. In the admittedly cynical Dungeon Keeper, you become an underground dungeon master whose goal it is to conquer the world above by defeating and destroying the reigning knight. Because this goal cannot be reached all alone, you have to recruit and train as many monsters as possible in your dungeon.

You always start out with a handful of workers (imps) who reinforce the dungeon walls or remove them and on the side also mine gold. The game's concept is based on each level having a “dungeon heart” which has to be protected. If it is attacked by the good faction and successfully destroyed, the game is lost.

To prevent that, the dungeon has to be equipped with many different rooms. You have the choice of the following rooms:

  • a treasure to store the mined gold
  • barracks for your own monsters
  • a chicken farm to feed your monsters
  • a training room to drill the monsters to become stronger
  • a library to learn new magic spells
  • a workshop to build traps
  • a temple to sacrifice monsters (which conjures other monsters)
  • a prison to keep enemies captive
  • a torture chamber to try and “recruit” enemies
  • a graveyard to produce to vampires

Apart from the enemies coming from above, you can also get into confrontations with other dungeon keepers acting in the same area.

Being the evil guy, your own monsters will only work and train for cash. So at payday, they will expect to be paid in gold according to their level. On the other hand, you can try to motivate your monsters to work faster by slapping them. Though if you overdo that or you are close to bancruptcy, your own monsters may rebel or simply leave the dungeon again if they are dissatisfied.

Dungeon Keeper may have aged technically, but the game still motivates to play it even today. The main points still gluing me to the screen are simply the opportunity to just be a bad guy for once and fool around free of the shackles of morality. The list of sadistical “features” is long: tortore, beating, starving, sacrifice, mauling with lightning, infect with diseases and so on and so forth. On top of that, Dungeon Keeper produces an appropriately sinister atmosphere with its candlelight looks and harmonious soundtrack. This way, it invites for a longer stay in the dungeon.

The secret of its success isn't so much the motivating game concept, but rather the fact that fans of different genres will have fun with the game.

Translated by Mr Creosote

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