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Dungeon Keeper is a series of real-time strategy games published by Electronic Arts. There are two main instalments: Dungeon Keeper, released in 1997, and Dungeon Keeper 2, released in 1999, which were both developed by Bullfrog Productions. A third main instalment, Dungeon Keeper 3, was planned, but cancelled. Two spin-offs were developed: Dungeon Keeper Online and Dungeon Keeper Mobile, released in 2012 and 2014 respectively, and develped by NetDragon Websoft and Mythic Entertainment respectively. Dungeon Keeper Online never had a full release (it was retired in 2013), and Dungeon Keeper Mobile was retired in 2022, leaving the franchise inactive as of 2023, save for fan modifications to the original games: KeeperFX for Dungeon Keeper and OpenKeeper for Dungeon Keeper 2.

The basic premise of each game is simple: the player takes control of an anonymous entity known as the Keeper and builds a subterranean complex of Rooms, Traps and Doors, and uses fiendish creatures to kill the invading heroes. It is one of the few games that has the player take control of evil beings, and the various objectives changes with the levels.

The player has several abilities that they can utilize throughout the game. These include building Traps and Doors to defend the dungeon and to impede the path of invading intruders, cast a variety of spells, and send a range of creatures into battle against the goodly heroes. The player also has the ability to use the Torture Chamber to convert enemy creatures and goodly heroes to your cause, and even scavenge enemy creatures for yourself (DK1 only).

Games[]

Dungeon Keeper[]

Dungeon Keeper gameplay screenshot

Dungeon Keeper was released in June 1997, and based on the Magic Carpet engine. There is no story other than to take over the world and capture or kill the Avatar, who rules over it.

An expansion pack, The Deeper Dungeons was released in late 1997. A Direct3D version was released in early 1998. A fan expansion, Dungeon Keeper FX, is still in active development as of 2024, with the latest stable version being released in May 2024.

Tools for this game include the official level editor, and the unofficial ones: ADiKtEd, UnDed, and Unearth.

Dungeon Keeper 2[]

Dungeon Keeper 2 gameplay screenshot

The second instalment in the Dungeon Keeper series was released in June 1999. The game is fully in 3D. The player now works for a character called Horny, who needs assistance in conquering the realm of Harmonia (ruled by King Reginald) in order to obtain the Portal Gems to gain access to the overworld. It adds Skirmish and my Pet Dungeon modes.

There is an official level editor, but few other extras other than patches that added new features, and several bonus packs, which added new levels. A remake, OpenKeeper, was in development.

Dungeon Keeper 3 (cancelled)[]

Dungeon Keeper 3 was in development in 2000, but was cancelled later that year, never having got past the design phase. The game was going to be named War for the Overworld, and Electronic Arts discontinued it in favour of making games for the Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings franchises. It was to take place in the overworld, and would have featured a new faction: the Elders.[1]

Dungeon Keeper Online (cancelled)[]

Dungeon Heart messages Dungeon Keeper Online

On 1 December 2008, it was announced that NetDragon Websoft Inc., a Chinese online game developer, had partnered with Electronic Arts to develop a Dungeon Keeper-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game.[2] The game was to only be released in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.[3] A closed beta for the game was launched in 2011, followed by an open beta in 2012.[4] The game never reached full release, however, and the servers were closed down on 20 December 2013.[5]

Dungeon Keeper Social (cancelled)[]

Dungeon Keeper Social was to be a Facebook tower defence game. It was never officially announced, and was cancelled for unknown reasons. The Dungeon Keeper IP was then handed over to Mythic Entertainment.

Dungeon Keeper Mobile[]

Dungeon Keeper Mobile screenshot

In August 2013, EA and Mythic Entertainment announced that they were creating a "twisted take" on Dungeon Keeper for both Android and iOS mobile devices with a release date set for winter of the same year.[6]

On 10 October 2013, Dungeon Keeper Mobile soft-launched on Google Play and iOS App Store.[7] The game has faced criticism due to its use of microtransactions and wait times, with Peter Molyneux, the original creator, even saying that it ruined the fun aspects of Dungeon Keeper. The game has also faced controversy due to EA's habit of censoring reviews that are lower than 5 stars.

The game was retired in August 2022.[8][9]

Similar Games[]

Although these games are not part of the Dungeon Keeper series, they were heavily inspired by and take a lot from it.

War for the Overworld[]

War for the Overworld screenshot 07

War for the Overworld is the spiritual successor to the Dungeon Keeper series, and is considered to be the most polished and finished of all games similar to Dungeon Keeper. It was started by members of the Keeper Klan forum, and endorsed by Dungeon Keeper's creator, Peter Molyneux.[10] Like Dungeon Keeper, the player takes on the rôle of an evil master of a dungeon on a mission to take over the world and rid it of goodness. Richard Ridings even reprised his rôle as the Dungeon Keeper series' Mentor as this game's equivalent.

Developed by Subterranean Games Ltd and is available for purchase via Steam.

Dungeons series[]

The Dungeons series, developed by Realforge Studios and published by Kalypso Media Digital, began in 2011. Like the Dungeon Keeper series, the player takes the rôle of an evil dungeon overlord, who constructs and manages a dungeon with which to deal with his enemies.

The first instalment, however, was criticised for being like Dungeon Keeper on the outside, but more like Theme Park on the inside.[11][12] This changed with the second instalment,[13] which also added the ability to go to the overworld,[14] an ability found only in Dungeon Keeper Online in the Dungeon Keeper series. Compared to Dungeon Keeper graphics-wise, games in the series have been noted for having pretty graphics,[15][16] with the third and fourth instalments noted for their gay colours.[12][17][18][19]

References[]

  1. Ernest W. Adams (August 2006). Dungeon Keeper 3: War for the Overworld. PC Games That Weren't. Archived from the original on 17 June 2008. Retrieved on 16 August 2023.
  2. NetDragon Enters into Agreement with EA to Develop New Online Game - Dungeon Keeper Online (6 January 2010). Archived from the original on 5 December 2008.
  3. Luke Plunkett (1 December 2008). EA Announce Dungeon Keeper MMO. Kotaku. Archived from the original on 4 December 2008. Retrieved on 8 November 2022.
  4. Dungeon Keeper Online (CN) - Exclusive preview (16 September 2011).
  5. 《地下城守护者OL》将停运 单机改编难复制成功 _ 游民星空 GamerSky.com.
  6. Mike Fahey (21 August 2013). Dungeon Keeper Returns... As A Mobile Game. Kotaku. Retrieved on 8 November 2022.
  7. Tony Zhang. Dungeon Keeper Soft-Launched on Google Play and Apple AppStore in some territories. AppsGoer.
  8. Finally, this is the end of DK mobile. Keeper Klan (17 May 2022). Retrieved on 29 May 2022.
  9. Dungeon Keeper Mobile is Retiring On August 9th, 2022. EA (May 2022). Retrieved on 28 September 2022.
  10. A Message From Peter Molyneux, The Creator of Dungeon Keeper. YouTube (22 December 2012). Retrieved on 8 November 2022.
  11. Dungeons 3 takes Warcraft and Dungeon Keeper and makes something new. VentureBeat (20 November 2017). Retrieved on 8 November 2022.
  12. 12.0 12.1 REVIEW: Dungeons 3 – Complete Collection. Save or Quit (12 July 2020). Retrieved on 8 November 2022.
  13. Luke Karmali (10 February 2016). Dungeons 2 is the Dungeon Keeper Remake We've Been Waiting For. IGN. Retrieved on 8 November 2022.
  14. Dan Whitehead (20 April 2015). Dungeons 2 review. Eurogamer. Retrieved on 8 November 2022.
  15. Rashid Sayed (7 May 2015). Dungeons 2 Review – The Ultimate Evil is Ultimately Underserved By This Game. gamingbolt. Retrieved on 8November 2022.
  16. Mark Walton (7 February 2011). Dungeons Review. GameSpot. Retrieved on 8 November 2022.
  17. Anthony Cole (23 October 2017). Dungeons 3 Review. Xbox Tavern. Retrieved on 8 November 2022.
  18. Kikopaff (3 December 2018). Dungeons 3 – PC. Nerd Bacon. Retrieved on 8 November 2022.
  19. Catherine Daro (10 November 2023). Dungeons 4 PC Review – The Evil is Back in Town. GameSpace.com. Retrieved on 20 Februaey 2024.

Attribution[]

CC-BY-SA
This article uses Creative Commons-licensed content from the page "Dungeon Keeper (series)" at Wikipedia (view authors).
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