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Review by: Shawn Quigley
Published: July 10, 1997
It was a couple of years back when we first heard of a game called Dungeon Keeper. Although the game has been through a few thunderstorms, it finally has managed to appear on store shelves.
Dungeon Keeper comes with both a DOS version and a native Windows 95 version (uses DirectX) out of the box. After getting the game installed, I set out to see what all the long delays were about. To my surprise, I entered a world that was not like anything I have ever seen on a PC.
Instead of playing the role of the hero conquering the dungeon, you take on the opposite role of the dungeon conquering the hero. What this all boils down to is that you become the “Dungeon Keeper.” As the dungeon keeper, it is your responsibility to construct a dungeon that will not only flourish in riches, but one that will attract the most evil creatures.
You begin the game from the Overworld tower, a tower that overlooks the world you’re about to lay to ruin. It is from this view that you enter into your dungeon worlds and this view will also reflect your progress at spreading evil throughout the lands.
Once inside a dungeon, you begin at its center, which is occupied by the Dungeon Heart. The Dungeon Heart is what represents the dungeons’ overall well being. As the heart dies, so does the dungeon. This becomes very important as the game goes on, meaning that you not only protect your riches but you have to protect your Dungeon Heart. From the Dungeon Heart you will expand your dungeon by creating tunnels and rooms that will be occupied by the many inhabitants that travel into your dungeon. You begin creating these rooms and tunnels by marking them with your pointer. From here your trusty Imps will carve out your tunnels and rooms at your commands.
Your army is made of Imps. Imps carry on the daily maintenance of your dungeon. As you request tunnels to be dug, rooms to be built, or gold to be mined, your Imps will carry out these tasks. If for some reason you have not given them a chore, they will clean, decorate (making the dungeon more evil looking) and re-enforce your dungeon for you. If for any reason your Imps are not performing fast enough, you can always slap them (at the cost of inflicting damage on them) to get them to move faster. You might even slap them to reprimand them for wrong doings.
You control all your actions by using the mouse or the keyboard. You have an on-screen pointer that dynamically changes depending on what it is lurking over. The pointer also acts as a torch and illuminates the part of the dungeon it is over. If you place the mouse over one of your Imps, it changes into a star that represents the creatures overall health. You might pick the Imps up (the pointer turns into a hand) or slap it to make them move faster. When the mouse is over the normal tiles of the dungeon that have not been dug out, it changes to a pickax. This is how you tell your Imps what to dig. After clicking on a normal tile, your Imps will come and dig out that tile and claim it as part of your dungeon.
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