Over the weekend our intrepid reporter, Zac, mentioned a title he’d been playing called Dungeons 3. Having never heard of either Dungeons or Dungeons 2, I assumed that this was the first game in a series but Realmforge added a “3” to the title to make it seem more seasoned. My assumption turned out to be incorrect, however, and there is a Dungeons and Dungeons 2, further confirming that I’m an utter dunce. Jumping into Dungeons 3 this weekend made me a little upset that I only discovered the series now. I’ve wanted a new Dungeon Keeper for ages, and it’s been there, under my nose, all along.
Dungeons 3 released last week on Steam for PC, Mac, and Linux, and it IS Dungeon Keeper, right down to being able to smack your imps with a giant disembodied hand. Of course, these imps aren’t imps, instead fancying themselves at “little snots”. Whatever. They dig and build your dungeon and are deliciously expendable regardless of what they call themselves.
Rooms are built, monsters recruited and leveled up, and complete, sprawling dungeons are built. I’ve only been playing it for a couple hours, but the dungeon building part is pretty great. There’s also an overland portion of the game in which you send forth creatures to destroy goodness in all its forms. This portion of the game plays like an RTS, taking inspiration from Warcraft. Inspiration probably isn’t the right word, as it skewers just about everything associated with the franchise, but building and character models are all distinctively based on Blizzard’s seminal RTS. It also pokes fun at Tolkien, Game of Thrones (“The night is dark and full of terriers” was my early favorite), and more. Basically it does what games like Knights of Pen and Paper attempt, but does so without being a repetitive slog.
If you were a fan of Dungeon Keeper from the good ol’ days, Dungeons 3 is a no-brainer. It’s funny, and yet offers a full menu of evilness as you build your empire. The main campaign is 20 missions long, plus there is also a Skirmish mode which offers randomly generated one-shot dungeons or even a sandbox mode. There’s also multiplayer in which you can play cooperatively with a friend online, but I haven’t had a chance to give that a go. I’ve only been playing for a few hours, but I think Dungeons 3 is a keeper. Get it? Like Dungeon Keeper? Yeah, I nailed it.