Dungeon Keeper Series

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The dungeon guardian’s waiting times will make you gasp, as if someone is going to put an un-lubricated fist in your ass. Four hours to improve a room. A whole day to dig through a single block. These are real-time measurements. As a guard of an emerging dungeon, you will have to exploit resources, use imps to improve, while increasing your underground fortress, convening RAID groups and making significant improvements. The obscene downtime only serves to force you to exchange gems for money in order to immediately perform the necessary action.

Gems, the despicable life element of this experience, can also be spent on enticing (but temporary) improvements for your dungeon, as well as on loose resources and other useful items. They can be obtained through actions such as intensive mining or raids on enemy dungeons. But the accumulated amount is quite insignificant. For example, if you unlock early achievements (four hours), you will receive five gems – buying a third imp will cost 800.

It quickly becomes clear – nor could it, the way the game grinds you with messages asking for money- that the only viable way to progress is buying gems via microtransactions. And low, and behold, they are not inexpensive.

All the positive steps that the game may have taken due to its strategic strike and defense scenarios, cartoonish charm and decent sound effects will soon be consumed by the growing bitterness of its blatant trick to siphon money from your bank account.

An important frustration is that it should not be so – if only the waiting times were not so blatant, and the resources could be spent on precious stones, the experience would be much more tangible. From the looks of it, it’s a terrible example of F2P.

It is not a dungeon guardian. It is a veiled silhouette that badly imitates an old friend, waving it in a black tar road. Under the shroud lies the incarnate greed, smiling.

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