Posts Tagged ‘Dungeon Keeper’

The Darkest Dungeon Of No Pineapple Left Behind

I’m extremely intrigued bySubaltern’s magic school management game No Pineapple Left Behind [official site]. The more I look, the more it seems like its superficially wwwwwacky and zzzzzany concept of ‘what if you could turn kids into pineapples to make them easier students?’ is there to guide people into what might be both a biting and deep management game about the education system. There is fantasy, there are spells and there is the tyrannical oppression of a rebellious population, but it all relates to the minds and identities of children – are we looking at Dungeon Keeper with actual satire?
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Wot I Think: Dungeons 2

someone tell Cara

Dungeons 2 [official site] is a strategy-management game which borrows heavily from Dungeon Keeper – to whit, you’re an evil overlord building a vast underground lair then training up a bestial army within it. After a series of disappointments, might this be the much-needed heir to Bullfrog’s classic? It’s out tomorrow, and here’s what I think.

There’s a room type in Dungeons 2 called The Tinkerer’s Cave. I don’t know if this is a deliberate statement of intent, but a tinkerer’s cave is how I always saw Dungeon Keeper. It wasn’t a manic strategy game and it wasn’t about balancing the books, even though both those aspects were very much a part of it. It was a tinkerer’s cave, a big underground space to muck around in, to carve into shapes which pleased me and to fight minor fires in with a mixture of ingenuity and panic. That’s what I’ve missed in the long years since Dungeon Keeper 2. And that’s what, against many odds, Dungeons 2 has.

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Wot I Think: War For The Overworld

Let's give 'em a big hand

Dungeon Keeper has always felt important to me, and I’ve rarely analysed why, for the same reason I don’t question why I like cheddar cheese or very tall buildings. For my young sensibilities, it was the right game the right time, and as such it feels like it’s almost always been there: “I like Dungeon Keeper” is simply something I’ve always been able to say. Unfortunately, this also means I recognise when a game isn’t Dungeon Keeper, and it’s very hard to draw a distinct dividing line between adroitly noticing that something feels off and a deep-set resistance to any aspect of it changing even slightly.

That was my disclaimer of sorts: please keep it in mind for the rest of this piece. War For The Overworld is an unofficial sequel to the late-90s Dungeon Keeper games, although perhaps that’s going too far. It might be more accurate to say it’s a remake of Dungeon Keeper II, tweaked to have a less rigid structure, a mild graphics boost and with every unit and building replaced with a close analogue that should keep Dungeon Keeper keepers EA at bay.
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How To Remake Dungeon Keeper

War for the Overworld [official site] creative director Josh Bishop uses the word ‘ridiculous’ quite a bit. It’s understandable. The 22-year-old is on the verge of releasing what is intended to be the first faithful follow-up to beloved strategy/management/Imp-slapping title Dungeon Keeper in 16 years. He leads a studio which has reached as many as 20 members, he’s received £200,000 in Kickstarter pledges, he’s had Peter Molyneux’s blessing and an implicit agreement that rightsholder EA would look the other way, he’s got original narrator Richard Ridings onboard and tomorrow, all being well, it all comes to fruition. “It’s ridiculous.”
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Have You Played… Dungeon Keeper 2?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I’d all but fallen out of PC gaming by the time Dungeon Keeper 2 arrived, but a combination of my student house increasingly preferring electronic entertainment (primarily Tekken) over nightclubs and the news that one of my most beloved games was getting a sequel prompted me to request a graphics card for my birthday. And lo, I got to play DK2 with rudimentary 3D acceleration. I believed it to be beautiful.
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Have You Played… Dungeon Keeper?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Yes, of course you have. Wait: unless you think I mean that abomination on smartphones a little while back? No. Nooooo. Ack, between that nasty little thing and the depressing stuff Molyneux’s up to these days, it’s easy to forget just how good at management/strategy games Bullfrog could be. I will love Dungeon Keeper – the original Dungeon Keeper – forever.
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Apologies With A Capital EA: Dungeon Keeper Free On GOG

I can squish so many people's heads right now.

There’s a mobile version of Dungeon Keeper now. Excited about the prospect of playing Bullfrog’s legendary evildoing opus anywhere you please? Well, don’t be! It’s a terrible, slow-churning “social” experience that subsists on grimy mouthfuls of your time and money. Even Peter Molyneux himself thinks it’s “ridiculous.” By and large, EA’s defended its dubious decisions in a fashion that should not be at all surprising to anyone who’s followed the industry for more than four seconds, but now it appears to have sort of turned a corner on the matter. As mentioned in the Bargain Bucket, this weekend, the original Dungeon Keeper is free on GOG while Dungeon Keeper 2 is only $1.49. That all comes courtesy of EA, so maybe it’s their way of saying sorry? Kinda? But hey, even if you tear EA’s apology bouquet to pieces, light the pieces on fire, and sue said pieces for your self-inflicted burn wounds, GOG is having a full Valentine’s sale of its own.

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Dungeon Keeper Vs. War For The Overworld

Giant corporations traducing classic games to swing a buck – dontcha love ‘em? A top-of-the-line current example is EA Mythic’s ongoing brutalisation of first Ultima and now Dungeon Keeper into bad freemium tablet games. “If you want to play Dungeon Keeper or Dungeon Keeper 2,” says senior producer Jeff Skalski, flipping the bird and using a golden zippo to torch the Bullfrog logo, “go to Good Old Games and download them.” At first I considered this a slightly dickish thing to say but, after playing the kickstarted War for the Overworld, I’ve come to realise Skalski has a point.

Let’s take a look at what happens when Dungeon Keeper gets remade by its biggest fans.

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Will You Dig The War For The Overworld Trailer?

You know the bit in action movies where Manly Heroman chases Singular Badman around a corner and there’s a pause in the action? Everyone is sad because the movie has stopped, but then Heroman comes running and is being chased by Multiple Badmans and we’re all happy to see more action? Well, that’s kind of what’s happening with Kickstarter. Except Heroman is a Kickstarter backer, and the baddies are the games he’s waiting for. Right now we’re still chasing after the games, but it feels like the corner’s been turned. Hmm, that would mean there was only one released Kickstarter game, and there’s been a few now. Abandon analogy, people! I’m sorry for dragging you into this sticky, illogical web of nonsense. What I wanted to say was the Kickstarted Dungeon Keeper-ish game War For The Overworld is now in beta, with a trailer below to show off what you’ll get if you’re interested in buying it post-Kickstarter. Let us never mention Analogygate ever again.
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War For The Overworld Recruits Dungeon Keeper’s Voice

The trouble with games with long names is that it can become impossible to write non-prosaic headlines. For this reason, I demand that War For The Overworld be removed from the internet this instant, and its creators thrown into a fire.

…Which would be be a very silly thing for me to want, given it’s a remake/sequel of one of the games I most love, Dungeon Keeper. And now it’ll star the sinister tones of Richard Ridings, DK’s cheerfully malevolent narrator.
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