All good things come to an end. Furthermore, all bad things come to an end as well, only they are welcomed with open arms. So everybody stretch those arms wide, to greet the final part of my Dungeon Keeper Diary. Granted this diary hasn’t been as harrowing as other famous diaries (such as Anne Frank, Adrian Mole and Bridget Jones) but it has definitely taken it’s toll on me. In fact by the end of this diary, I had had enough.
Started on 00.04am on 3rd February 2014.
By now I had gotten used to Dungeon Keeper, and was spending my time in the dungeon stuck in the upgrading loop. You upgrade the dungeon heart, then the mines, then the warehouses, until everything is upgraded… so you upgrade the heart again to the next level and the cycle continues. During every upgrade cycle, you are granted the ability to build a special room which will benefit you in a certain way; hatcheries increase the minion cap for your dungeon and give you a new unit. Training rooms can allow you to train units so they last longer in raids and gives you a new unit. Etc etc. Unfortunately because of this upgrade cycle, you are never truly given freedom as to what to put in your dungeon. The game consistantly limits you and your involvement, only allowing you a certain amount of traps or a certain amount of rooms. You feel like you are not doing this for your benefit, but instead because the game tells you to do this.
I decided to go on a raid whilst I was waiting for the dungeon to be upgraded. These campaign raids are incredibly easy, but very flawed due to the lack of control of your units. When a raid begins, all you do is select the type of unit you want to send in, then tap upon the entry point. That’s it. After they have entered the dungeon they are no longer in your control, so it’s entirely upto them about how to attack the dungeon. What’s worse is when you have a defensive raid against your dungeon, and you select where to drop your units off to fight off the aggressors, and that’s the end of your involvement once again. You can’t reassign your troops once they’ve dealt with one threat and drop them off somewhere else. This is a problem when it comes to defending your dungeon heart, as you’re left in the hands of your minions. They can choose to defend the heart, or otherwise they could choose to potter off somewhere else. Then you are forced to watch your dungeon heart take a battering from an enemy, and you can just see your ogre in the corner of the map, wandering about your treasury like George Osborne, whilst you scream bloody murder at him to defend your heart. The inability to interract is absolutely terrible.
After the victorious raids, I order the replacements and end the session with nothing further to accomplish.
I recommenced the game at 14.25pm, after a sleep.
Began the game to find that I had been attacked twice.
Akito92, aka the dick from before, returned to rob me again. This time I decided to return the favour, regardless of the likelihood of being out-matched.
I entered his dungeon, sent my troops in and my involvement in the attack ended. Upon seeing his dungeon I realised how he played the game. Rather than be a normal dungeon, he understood that this game was more akin to a tower defence game, and redesigned his dungeon so it was basically one long corridor. Whilst clever, I didn’t like this idea. If everyone did their dungeon like this, what would be the point? There would be no variety.
Needless to say, he was able to defend my attack easily because of his one corridor dungeon. Then I began to consider what this game truly is.
It could be said it is a tower defence game, but if you say that I would argue that it isn’t, or at least it’s a bad one. You see, in tower defence games, you defend your base against wave upon wave of enemy soldiers. So if you were to attack an enemy base, you are given the numbers needed to attack the base. In Dungeon Keeper, you do not have access to wave upon wave of enemies. Furthermore, due to the limitations of the number of rooms and traps you can have; to successfully defend your dungeon, you have to design the dungeon in the single corridor design. You aren’t given the freedom to be creative. This makes a terrible tower defence game. If you want to play a great tower defence game, check out Defence Grid: The Awakening.
I also thought to myself about this game being a casual game for casual gamers, but I’d disagree on that point as well. With casual games, you are able to pick up the game at any time and play. That is not possible in Dungeon Keeper as more likely than not, you are forced to wait for certain actions to be completed. Whether that consists of rooms being upgraded, receiving reinforcements or even training reinforcements. During these waiting times, you are restricted to what you can do and most times, that would mean the game is suspended until these actions are completed. Therefore, this is not a casual game.
What about the gems? If you had gems, you can speed up the process. Unfortunately, the only way to get a decent amount of gems is by buying them with real money. Although the game does allow you to unlock more gems with achievements, or by mining them, the amounts that they reward you do not balance the cost of how much it takes to mine blocks or train troops. By digging out a solid gem rock- which Hall eventually did, by the way- you are only rewarded 9 gems. And even then, it takes 24 hours to do that! Hiring an extra imp is 800 gems, or using gems to speed up the digging of a solid gem rock will set you back 249 gems. The economy just does not work.
The game has finally taken it’s toll. In my dungeon, I was stuck in an upgrading cycle, going on raids which required no strategy. I was done, and I severely hoped that noone involved with any of the past Dungeon Keepers would ever have the fortune of playing this.
The game then played it’s last cruel joke.
Rate the game? Sure thing. I went over to the app store, gave it a 1 star rating and a review about how mindless tapping at a screen does not make it a game. Then I noticed an update was available. Now I knew nearly everyone had been critical about the game. Is it possible that EA sent out a fix and made some changes? I decided to download it and hope they had.
The update downloaded and I started the game once more to find… the tutorial? Hmm, ok. Well I’ll get through this bit, then I’ll go back to my dungeon. Once I finished the tutorial, which was identical to the first time round, I was asked to name the dungeon.
What?! WHAT?! My dungeon. The dungeon I named Foul, with Hall & Oates- my little imps. All gone. The update had wiped the save. Everything was destroyed. What’s more, the game remained identical as before. There were no major changes to the economy or the waiting times as I had hoped.
“THIS IS BULLSHIT!” I screamed.
After having acrued 2 hours 46 mins of game time, which added up to 62 hours 34 mins in real time… everything was lost. Fuck this game!
No seriously, FUCK THIS GAME!