Today I thought we would look at one of my favourite PC games that I’ve been playing since 1999. Straight off the bat the images used are from google images.
Dungeon Keeper is a real-time strategy game that turns the entire fantasy genre on its head. The world of Dungeon Keeper is tongue-in-cheek and cartoony, but engrossing, substantial and not cuddly. In most games you are the hero, exploring the dungeon, slaying evil creatures and collecting treasure. This time you get to be the evil Dungeon Keeper, designing your dungeon and stock it with vicious creatures. You are given minimal information about the world other than you're evil, you have a dungeon, you want to take over the world, and Heroes will try to enter your dungeon to kill your lovely, creatures and steal your gold. If your dungeon is well designed, those heroes will end up as hero-meat.
In my opinion Dungeon Keeper is timeless and endlessly addictive, completely original, and full of charming and fascinating detail and depth. It might not be the prettiest game, but it made up for it with its soundscape and attention to detail. At the beginning each level you start with a ‘dungeon heart’, which is the source of your power and must be protected at all costs and a bare chamber, you, must command your hellish workforce to construct a dungeon to be proud of, unleashing it on witless heroes or enemy Keepers once you feel ready
You have to mine some gold, build a lair so your creatures will have a place to rest after a hard day of monstering. You need to capture portals so that said creatures can enter your dungeon a total of 18 different creatures. You can also create Libraries, Training rooms, Workshops, torture chambers, guard posts, temples, and other nifty evilness. Altogether there are 14 different kinds of rooms. Your creatures must train, sleep, be paid, eat, and worship, but most importantly, they must kill! You must also keep your creatures fed and paid or they become unhappy and can desert or vandalise your dungeon. Oh, best not forget to mention certain creatures don’t get on for example Vampires and Warlocks or Skeletons and Bile Demons.
I feel the nature of the game bestows itself to the patient gamer whilst battles can be frantic and intense, there are often long periods of 'training' creatures, micro-managing your economy, building new additions to your dungeon and so on. Even the small battles are carnage and quick decision-making. You're not a helpless observer in this game but an active participant, anxiously casting spells and praying your imps are mining enough gold to pay for all this.
I was honestly devastated when it stopped working back in the late 2000s. However, while I was at university, I found the game available on GOG and Origin that worked and even now 22 years after the game's release, I’m still playing it and its sequel Dungeon Keeper Two. If you get the opportunity to play it, you're in for quite the treat.
PS: Can we have 3 now please?