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Dungeon Keeper loses its dark soul

Formerly dark game now bright as heaven

Whilst walking around on Gamescom, it was only in the business area of EA where some of it mobile titles where displayed. Lots of iPads where running Plants vs. Zombies 2, but as you might imagine millions of users all over the world already got their hands on a copy. More interesting was the presentation of a Dungeon Keeper reboot for iPad. Does it honor the classic game (1997) or steer away from its premise in order to please casual gamers?

Unfortunately, we have bad news for fans of the Bullfrog classic: the game seems dumbed down so much that little is left of the strategic construction of rooms and clever usage of traps and magic. In the iPad version of Dungeon Keeper, the whole game revolves around traps & spells (both ´just´ elements of the experience in the classic version) and killing waves of enemies…essentially taking all strategic elements out and reducing the game to simple tower defense. The original Dungeon Keeper was much more than that, as you could build rooms entirely in your own style. The new version has fixed sizes for rooms, disabling the need or possibility to construct in certain shapes.

Where the original game gave you full control over your monsters, Dungeon Keeper for iPad lets you build a room and consequently wait for it to work its magic. This may appeal to younger or more casual players, but hardcore DK-fans will have little to enjoy in this version. The dark tone is also gone and replaced by bright (primary) colors. Gameplay now includes a dollop of building (more like simple placement of rooms) and some frantic tapping to use spells. Compare it with other games in this particular genre and you´re left with a very distilled game (NOT a reboot of the 1997 classic). In order to get an idea, try out Towers N´ Trolls.

In a nutshell, Dungeon Keeper for iPad is not connected to the original in any way but the name.  The shift towards tower defense is too large to speak of an RTS or strategy video game, so come winter darkness will make place for a bright and casual experience on your iPad. We´ll keep an eye on the game and will treat it as brand new game instead (Dungeon Defender maybe?) to give it an honest go. Are you looking forward to it?

Dungeon Keeper for iPad comes out this winter and is developed by Mythic Entertainment

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  • jeffyg3

    I remember playing this as a little kid a loving every aspect of it. DK being dumbed down is really sad news…the thought of the classic being ruined to fit casuals or being free-to-play (& knowing this is also from EA it probably will be) crushes a part of my gaming memories. Getting tired of EA ruining their core games.

  • jeffyg3

    I remember playing this as a little kid a loving every aspect of it. DK being dumbed down is really sad news…the thought of the classic being ruined to fit casuals or being free-to-play (& knowing this is also from EA it probably will be) crushes a part of my gaming memories. Getting tired of EA ruining their core games.

  • or30n

    Wow this preview makes Dungeons on Steam seem decent…

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