Generally favorable reviews- based on 83 Ratings
May 18, 2012Quite possibly the finest game ever released. Endlessly addictive, completely original, and full of charming and fascinating detail and depth.Quite possibly the finest game ever released. Endlessly addictive, completely original, and full of charming and fascinating detail and depth. You lead a home-grown brigade of horrors, from demons and trolls to giant spiders and vampires, in a campaign of brutality against the would-be do-gooders of the world. Beginning each level with a bare chamber, you, as an omnipresent demi-god, must command a hellish workforce to construct a dungeon fit for your monstrous minions. They must train, sleep, be paid, eat, and worship, but most importantly, they must kill! The world of Dungeon Keeper is tongue-in-cheek and cartoony, but nonetheless engrossing, convincing and certainly not cuddly. You are given minimal information about the world - you're evil, you have a dungeon, you want to take over the world, and heroes will try to stop you. That's all you need to know, for it's the minutiae that fascinate. For example, enlist the services of a Warlock, and he'll willingly devote time to researching new spells and the like in your Library. He's your best researcher, but hates being disturbed - he'll shoot fireballs at any intruders upon his bookish habits! Worse, he can't stand the sight of Vampires, and the feeling's mutual - if they share a 'lair' (a rather dank-looking room wherein creatures make their homes) it won't be long before they're at each other's throats in a duel to the death. Details such as this can inform your dungeon layout - make sure there's room for Vampires and Warlocks to have separate lairs, and keep your library tucked away somewhere not too busy - certainly avoid having it along the route to your treasure room, which creatures visit to collect payment for their services. Each creature and each aspect of the game is rendered with a similar level of attention to detail and care - there's far too much for a review to cover. I feel a special mention must be given to the sound effects for the creatures and heroes - a staggering variety, ranging from battle cries and chants to disgruntled grunts (when they're imprisoned, for example) and screams of anguish (which can often be heard resonating from a torture chamber, should you build one, or better, several!).
The overall effect is that even though it's almost 15 years old now, Dungeon Keeper is still engaging enough to hold it's own against newer, flashier titles. The 2D sprites perfectly encapsulate the spirit of each creature, and there's even the option to 'possess' any given goon and roam around a (rather blocky, it must be said) 3D realm, casting spells, levelling up and doing battle like a mini-RPG. The nature of the game lends itself to the more patient gamer - whilst battles can be frantic and intense, there are often long periods of 'training' creatures, micro-managing your economy, building new additions to your dungeon, manufacturing and laying traps, and so on. None of which is a bad thing by any means - it serves to make the whole experience more immersive, and often the key is to strike a balance between defence and research, and aggressive expansion.
Sadly, the series was tarnished somwhat by the release of Dungeon Keeper 2, which lost much of the charm and well-craftedness that makes this first outing so enjoyable. It's also notoriously difficult to get this game to work on modern machines, as it was released in 1997, but if you get the opportunity to play it, you're in for quite the treat (or should that be 'trick'?!)… Full Review »
Aug 7, 2014One of the revolutionary titles that wasn't afraid to do something new and completely different. Original strategy game where you were theOne of the revolutionary titles that wasn't afraid to do something new and completely different. Original strategy game where you were the evil one, because it's good to be bad and in godlike control of your own dungeon and it's creatures. Amazing concept, especially for it's time that fulfilled one of my all-time wishes from strategy games, to be able to directly control your troops and see the world from your or rather their own eyes, which was something really big back in 1997. Loads of great gameplay and fantastic dark soundtrack that sounded like it was really made somewhere in the dungeon. Still got my original box with Hornet Reaper sitting on my shelf. 10/10… Full Review »
Oct 21, 2011Fantastic, innovative game with addictive gameplay, great music, great sound effects, a narrator who will quickly turn you into a severeFantastic, innovative game with addictive gameplay, great music, great sound effects, a narrator who will quickly turn you into a severe stress head and with a sinister charm that will keep you wanting more long into the night. Attract your creatures, train your creatures, keep them happy (or not) and destroy bunches of heroes and rival keepers who are foolish enough to challenge your supremacy. There are many ways of beating each level - brute force, starve your enemies out, take out their rooms by stealth, lure them on to dozens of traps or just capture them and 'convince' them to join you. This game has so many things going on that you will be kept on your toes constantly from about level 5 onwards. Research spells, sacrifice creatures, find bonuses - the list goes on. Never a dull moment and extremely enjoyable. Probably will not run on newer computers but can be run via dosbox. Superb and a must try if you haven't played it.… Full Review »