Dungeon Keeper Really Wants To Reclaim Its Former Glory [Review]

You tap on floating icons to interact with rooms or harvest resources.

You tap on floating icons to interact with rooms or harvest resources.


Dungeon Keeper on iOS is a free-to-play re-imagining of the classic Bullfrog Productions/Peter Molyneux PC game from the late ’90s. I really loved old school Dungeon Keeper as a kid, and it is one of the few tower defense/strategy titles I’ve ever enjoyed. So, no pressure on this iOS version, right?

Dungeon Keeper by Electronic Arts
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: Free

Unfortunately, the mobile version of Dungeon Keeper suffers from very predictable free-to-play problems. Expanding your dungeon was never totally carefree in previous version of the game, but as your imps work to clear out 3×3 or 4×4 spaces for new rooms, they’ll quickly plow through soft rock which takes a matter of seconds but suddenly run up against walls that can take an entire day to knock down! So the breakdown is a few seconds, four hours, or 24 hours. That’s not well balanced at start.

Every good defense plan starts with spike traps!

Every good defense plan starts with spike traps!

You can speed them along with the ever-so-precious gems at your disposal, but the cost of expediting wall demolition is not off set by how easy other gems are to acquire. Sometimes your minions will find them in walls when they dig, and other times you’ll unlock a bundle of them when you complete objectives.

Beyond rushing to upgrade your dungeon, you can invade other players’ worlds, and eventually they’ll attack you. All of this is managed through an optional raid section so you won’t have to contend with random battles. Fighting is frustrating. Your real interaction is to dump minions into a space and hope they’ll attack enemies. This works when you’re invading but defense is a lot less stable. The upside to dealing with battles is that you can collect extra gold and stone you’ll need to upgrade your rooms and dungeon heart.

Seriously, 24 hours.

Seriously, 24 hours.

With a little more polish, Dungeon Keeper could turn into a fun, micro-transaction-based game. Right now it is a little lackluster and overeager to claim all of your precious gems to get anything done. You can boost the speed of actions but doing so too often will ultimately bankrupt you.

DK 4Game Name: Dungeon Keeper
The Good: The mechanics are simple for beginning strategy game players to enjoy.
The Bad: $99 micro-transactions and waiting literally days to complete objectives.
The Verdict It’s Dungeon Keeper! I just wish it wasn’t free-to-play.
Buy from: Dungeon Keeper – Electronic Arts

Cult of Mac rating: 3/5

About the author

Jasmine ReaJasmine is a massive nerd that will play anything Marvel related -- even if it's ultimately disappointing. When she's not playing iOS games she's usually reading Star Trek novels, reviewing those, and then searching for space sim apps.

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