PC Preview: Hands on With Dungeons

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The number of games where you actually get to play as the ‘bad guy’ is fairly small: aside from the classic Dungeon Keeper games, you have Evil Genius and Overlord and … well, not much else. At first glance Dungeons seems to follow in that line, but in reality it takes an entirely different route.

When you start Dungeons, you get a taste for some combat and destruction, but very quickly you meet your master and get to help him realize just how things work. In short – simply killing the heroes that come along is of little challenge and does little to satisfy your evil need to suck the joy from their souls.

This is where things get interesting. In a style somewhat resembling a dark RTS/RPG version of The Sims, each new hero coming into your dungeon has needs represented by icons over their heads. Wizards seek arcane lore from your library, adventurers seek battle and treasure, and so on.

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Just how many of these heroes you can take on and how their needs are met depends on how you build out your dungeon and how you allocate the resources you gain as you proceed.

The heroes’ happiness will increase as more and more of their needs are met, and then you can battle them and drain some of that happiness. But to really get the most from them you need to set up special torture chambers to lure them in and really make their lives miserable.

This is where the challenge comes in. If you spend too much time outfitting side chambers you will suddenly realize that heroes are heading right for your lair, and will end up destroying you!

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As I mentioned, there is always the option for direct combat, because unlike in games like Dungeon Keeper and LIKE games like Dungeon Maker for the PSP, you exist and can actually battle creatures – but that really isn’t where the fun is in this genre-bending game.

As of the preview build I got to play I felt I had seen all possible sides – the fun that is possible as well as all of the warts. Right now it is in fairly rough shape, but the build was from a while ago and I trust that the developers have polished the rough edges of the game and allowed all of the cool stuff I encountered to shine through. If that has happened, then when Dungeons is released this week we are likely to see another fun sleeper gem come along that everyone should try!

About the Author

I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!