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Dungeons 2 review: Almost the Dungeon Keeper 3 you've been waiting for

Hayden Dingman | April 27, 2015
I don't really want to spend most of my Dungeons 2 review discussing the mobile "game"/extortion attempt/mockery that EA put out a few years back and slapped with the name Dungeon Keeper in order to prey on people's nostalgia for the classic PC game. Mainly because I never want to think about that piece of garbage ever again.

I don't really want to spend most of my Dungeons 2 review discussing the mobile "game"/extortion attempt/mockery that EA put out a few years back and slapped with the name Dungeon Keeper in order to prey on people's nostalgia for the classic PC game. Mainly because I never want to think about that piece of garbage ever again.

So I won't. Suffice it to say, Dungeons 2 is better than that pseudo-Dungeon Keeper racket.

But that bar couldn't be lower if the person holding the bar got stabbed in the gut by EA, fell down a conveniently placed flight of stairs into a basement, and then carried the bar six feet further down into a freshly-dug grave.

Is Dungeons 2 any good not just in comparison, but on its own? Ah, now that's the real question.

Pat head, rub stomach

Dungeons 2 is interesting because it's not solely a Dungeon Keeper imitator.

There is a Dungeon Keeper element, and inevitably that's the part that'll draw people to the game. Playing the part of the disembodied Ultimate Evil, you're charged with building out an underground lair to help plot your revenge. With the help of a trusty portal-straight-to-hell you'll hire minions to do all the work your ghostly self cannot do — dig out rooms for treasure, rooms for brewing beer, rooms for researching traps, and et cetera.

But this underground element is merely your base of operations. Bring your minions aboveground and the indirect god-game control that comes with any Dungeon Keeper-esque title is replaced by direct, RTS-style controls and combat.

You know that old "spinning plates" carnival trick? The one where there are a bunch of plates balanced on thin wooden rods and it's all some poor guy can do to run up and down the line of them, tapping each one in turn to keep the whole group spinning?

That's sort of how Dungeons 2 feels.

It's like twelve different systems, all running in real-time, all equally important, all of which need your attention simultaneously. Maybe you're busy managing your troops aboveground. That's fine — except that underground you've forgotten to zone more rooms for excavation, your research room is backed up and its crew bored, your treasury is empty, and while you've researched how to build hospitals you still haven't built one.

You flip to the underground view to try and rectify some of these issues, and you succeed — except now two of your aboveground units were killed off while you were busy. And to top it all off, now a group of enemies are infiltrating your dungeon and you don't have any troops belowground to kill them off with. Hopefully your traps hold...

 

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