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Build a Dark and Dangerous Abode - Dungeons Preview
Dungeons is an upcoming strategy game from publisher Kalypso (the same publisher behind the upcoming action-adventure title The First Templar) where your main goal is to build a dwelling, fill it with treasure, and take the souls of heroes that come exploring for gold, jewels, and other riches. The game gives a sense of empowerment, all the while teasing your own vulnerability. This probably all sounds familiar to gamers who played the classic Dungeon Keeper series, and that’s because this game bears some striking similarities to that franchise. There are, however, a few key differences that set the two games apart.
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Building Your Dungeon
You play as a dark dungeon lord, and at the start of the game you have very few resources to work with. Regardless, you have to make do with what you have until you earn more riches later on in the game. Your dungeon lord stays at the heart of the dungeon, and you must instruct your band of goblins to construct an impressive dwelling. Because of your limitations early on, the dungeon you build starts off fairly plain and compact.
After you’ve successfully built your dungeon, heroes start dropping by in search of gems, expensive artifacts, and other such objects. In many cases, the thirst for battle brings these heroes to your abode. It is your job to give these visitors what they want. By successfully decorating your dungeon with pricey items and strategically placed enemy spawn points, you’ll keep the infiltrators busy and in a good mood.
Once you’ve noticed that the heroes have reached a grand level of satisfaction, it’s time to send out some bigger, stronger monsters to take them down. If you want, you can even get your hands dirty and battle those pesky intruders on your own. Just be careful, because every so often a stronger breed of hero will pop up, and this guy can really deliver a beating.
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Collecting Gold and Soul Energy in Dungeons
There are two factors that you need to monitor carefully in order to succeed in Dungeons: gold and soul energy. Both of these are precious commodities, and they each serve their own purposes. Gold is used to expand your dungeon, add extra rooms, prisons, decorations, and treasure for your guests. Much like gold, soul energy is used as currency in Dungeons. You can unlock various new items known as “gimmicks” for your lair, and these are categorized by tiers. The more gimmicks you use to decorate your dungeon, the more pleasing the experience for the heroes, which in turn means more gold and more soul points for you.
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Dealing with Those Pesky Heroes
As previously mentioned, your success depends on the happiness of the heroes. If your structure is low on decorations, an invading hero may find the overall experience boring. The same applies if there are hardly any treasures for him to seek out and collect. If the hero gets bored, he’ll try to seek satisfaction by heading to your living space at the heart of the dungeon. This spells nothing but bad news for you, because if the hero defeats you in battle, it’s game over.
You have to make sure that your furnishings are decent enough to keep heroes enthralled in their explorations, and you have to ensure that there are plenty of riches to scratch their treasure hunting itch. The same applies for battle-starved warriors. If you don’t send capable monsters their way, they’ll simply breeze right through the weak beasts that spawn and head toward you. This is where strategy kicks in. You have to summon creatures that are strong enough to give them a memorable battle, but that aren’t powerful to the point where they’ll destroy the heroes.
By providing the proper elements, heroes will gain a great sense of satisfaction, and this is the perfect time to take their soul energy. You can slaughter them and take some gold and spirit juice, or you can send some goblins to capture and imprison them so that you can squeeze as much soul energy as possible. Not only does this make the game more challenging, but it rewards you in a much greater capacity.
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Dungeons Preview - Squeeze the Soul Out of Those Heroes
Aside from the game’s campaign, which spans about 20 missions, Dungeons also includes a free-play sandbox mode. This feature is obviously more open-ended and allows for more freedom, excluding any restrictions that the main game may force on you. So far, Dungeons looks like a promising PC game, and one that can appeal to different types of gamers, from strategy buffs to management fans all the way to simulation aficionados. Dungeons is slated to launch for the PC on February 8. Watch out for it.