“I’m Horny. Horny, Horny, Horny.”
Those are the lyrics from the Mousse T hit song ‘Horny ’98’, which was arguably a homage to the anti-hero of the legendary game series, Dungeon Keeper. Developed by Bullfrog studios, the game allowed players to be the bad guys, create a dungeon and amass a horde to vanquish the forces of good from the land. Released in 1997, it was successful enough for a sequel to be made in 1999. As time progressed, members of Bullfrog would part and ultimately the company was merged with EA. As a result, all the Bullfrog IP’s were lost in time and Dungeon Keeper became a glorious memory of PC gaming’s past.
Until now. EA decided to bring back Dungeon Keeper… as a Free2play mobile game. But hey, it’s Dungeon Keeper. It’s bound to be good if they don’t mess around with it, right?
Unfortunately, they have messed around with it. Quite substantially. You just need to google ‘Dungeon Keeper Mobile’ to see the various reviews and rants against this game. In fact, there are so many reviews, that I wanted to do something a bit different. I had heard that the Free2play economy system was well and truly broken in this game, and I was intregued to see how broken it was. So, I thought I would keep a log of my playtime with the new Dungeon Keeper mobile game. I thought it couldn’t be as bad as everyone made out. After all, it’s still Dungeon Keeper!
With a naive optimism, I downloaded the game and hoped that it would be fun, without having to spend a penny on it. After all, isn’t that the point of Free2play games? That’s a debate for another time, now it’s time to be Horny once more! (Horny is the name of the devil-like character in the Dungeon Keeper series. Maybe I should have said that previously!)
Start time; 00.05am on 2nd February 2014. (Yes, I’m a night owl!)
I clicked on the app, with a stopwatch keeping track of game time taken, as I knew from the reviews that I had read that this was a key point of criticism. The game took 1 minute 46 seconds to load, check for updates and the usual Game Centre malarky. On an iPhone 4. It’s a good job I’m a night owl, any ordinary person would have fell asleep by now.
Finally got into the game, and had about 10 mins worth of mindless tutorial clicking and tapping on my phone screen. Then the game released control to me… Bwah hah aha ha ah aha ahaaa.
Ooh, I can name my own dungeon. I went for something childish and smutty; “Scummy Dick”. The game told me that name was invalid. This surprised me, rude as it may be, Dick is still a name. Fair enough, I typed the longer and cleaner version; “Scummy Richard”. Once again, the game told me that this wasn’t allowed. Really? Was it a character limit? Then, I began to suspect I knew what the problem was. I typed in one word; “Scum”. Another invalid name. Bingo! The game wouldn’t allow me to use the word ‘scum’ because it has the word ‘cum’ in it. With a shout of “Cameron’s Britain!”, I typed in ‘Foul’ – because I was not feeling witty at that time and just wanted to play the goddamn game!
With my terribly named dungeon, I was finally in control. A grim reaper type character made an appearance, and claimed to be my adversary. Why? Surely we are working on the same team. Then I realised, this is another one of those games where our enemies are bad guys, but the bad kind of bad guys, and we are the good kind of bad guys. In other words, we might as well be the good guys! What’s the point of that? One of the selling points of Dungeon Keeper was the flipped perspective, and that you wanted to destroy all those smug knights in shining armour. Please just let us be evil!
I was told to build a Library, so with my two Imps- whom I had decided to call Hall & Oates- set about the excavation. I required a 4×4 space, so began digging and decided to speed up the workrate by using green gemstones. With just 2 blocks remaining, I ran out of gems. If I wanted more gems, I could choose to pay for them with real money. Of course, I chose not to and marked the final two blocks for Hall & Oates to deal with. This would take them 4 hours to complete. Each. Great.
There was nothing else for me to do, so I closed the app.
Finish time; 00.22am.
Game time spent so far – 14mins 38secs
Real time spent so far – 16mins 24secs