Video Game Dungeons 2 (PC) (2015)

Overview: Play as the Ultimate Evil and defend your dungeon from the good guys and conquer the Alliance.

20170820:
Today I continued knocking down games at the $29.99 price point which I have yet to play (see the footnote in my Mafia II post). First up was Dungeons 2.

Sending Orcs to the surface.

Game Log:
I played the first two missions (tutorial in nature) in 72 minutes. At one part I was stuck when I was building a treasury room here and there, but it didn't trigger the event. I eventually realized the game wanted me to build a treasury room on the 8 squares marked by an exclamation mark.

I took a break and considered not resuming the game. But I eventually decided I barely got into the meat of the game and so I continued playing some more. This, of course, was an indication that the first two missions left a good impression.

Tip: When finding a gold vein, immediately build a treasury around it. In fact, building a treasury around any significant source of gold will save time.

So much gold!!!

Steam Game Time: 3.8 hours (total game time)

20170822:
Today I played part of the next mission which involved killing a unicorn. The game opened up from there, but I had trouble managing my workers. This was frustrating.

The (presumably) last three missions involved destroying three cities and I was able to defeat the first one but all of my army died. I think it would have worked without flaw if the Naga (serpent species which are long range and heal) had stayed alive. This required me to spawn a new army and try again. Thus while I had the resources, the end game just required time. Instead of attacking, I could have also tried to beef up my army in the arena.

There were a lot of other upgrades as well, but again my workers (goblins) weren't cooperating.

Steam Game Time: 1.1 hours (session game time)

Thoughts:
Pros:
+ Humorous narrator (apparently the same person who did The Stanley Parable (2013)); chat level can be set in options
+ Model design and general art design

Minor Con:
~ Easy to win by turtling; misplaced challenge (I want a challenge via strategy, not via time). Not enough motivation to finish quickly. I would have implemented a scoring system that favors short completion time, no death, and maybe most gold.

Send in the troops!

Cons:
- Controls feel clunky; picking up and dropping minions feels awkward; choosing actions in the menu screens is often unintuitive
- Related to previous, selection of characters is a difficult process
- In general, most of my complaints had to do with the interface
- Some of the game's goals can be confusing to understand (see "treasury" example above)

Summary:
After playing for almost four hours, I realized that perhaps I was playing almost too conservatively. With that being said, the game did not push me to act otherwise.

Victory! (no score screen!?! how anticlimactic)

On a different note, while my personal complaints were geared towards the game's control and UI, I later read an IGN.com review which noted that half the time the game was a dungeon keeper and half the time it was an RTS. The review went on to say that the RTS half was overly simplistic, and consequently ruined half of the game. This was a fair point, the RTS half of the game paled in comparison to even a simple, yet complete RTS such as Warcraft: Orcs & Human (1996), the first game in the Warcraft series.

In the end, I could see a huge gain in entertainment value upon replaying the game with an optimal strategy in mind, but just playing the game once could potentially be a chore depending one's experience with real-time strategy games.

Remark: I've never played Dungeon Keeper, but I read that this game is similar to it.

Dungeons 2 (PC) (2015)

Time to tackle the fifth mission!!!


Relevant Links:
Dungeons 2 (Wikipedia.org)
Dungeons 2 (PC) (MetaCritic.com)
Dungeons 2 (Steam Store Page)
Dungeons 2 (PC) (IGN.com)

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