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The mobile remake of cult-classic strategy title Dungeon Keeper sure doesn't look like Peter Molyneux's 1997 original. It's brighter and more colorful, but still retains its twisted sense of humor as you direct your "Hand of Evil" to create traps and order creatures to defend your dungeon and its treasures from pesky invaders. Of course, being a game built for the touchscreen, your own actual hand acts as the Hand of Evil here, and the controls in Dungeon Keeper for iOS are both intuitive and fun to use.

You'll summon minions to dig out your large, gridded dungeon area, creating pathways and rooms where you'll place your various defenses. Unlike the original you'll only have a single dungeon to maintain, but just as easily as you can dig parts of it away you can also backfill those parts back in so you're never stuck with any of your placement decisions. Keeping in line with the original, you can also slap around your minions from the summoning screen which will whip them into shape and make them work even harder, clearing paths even quicker.

During the course of play you'll unlock bigger and better minions and defenses. Once you have your dungeon setup to your liking, you can send it out into the world to test its durability against other players online. You can also test out other players' dungeons, trying to crack their defenses and destroy the "heart" of the dungeon. There's also a mode which lets you test your dungeon against a maximum onslaught of enemies, so you can see potential weaknesses and make some tweaks before testing the online competition.

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In truth, I loved every bit of Dungeon Keeper that was shown to me at EA's preview, save for one thing: timers. Summoning minions or building items in your dungeon come with timers attached, and in typical fashion the more powerful the item you're building the longer the wait can be. Of course you can speed up the process by spending the in-game currency, but for a game that seems geared towards experimentation of different strategies and rearranging your dungeon elements to find what works best, throwing wait times into the mix could make the whole process more frustrating than it should be.

I'm hoping it all turns out alright, as I can see Dungeon Keeper being a game I'd like to spend a ton of time with. If a majority of that time is spent waiting for timers to expire, however, I could see losing interest quick. We'll have to see how the final product is when Dungeon Keeper launches this winter.

  • Biowhere

    You can just hear the elevator pitch... "Clash of Clans meets Dungeon Keeper!" Followed by someone mumbling the words... "Mmmm, money" Then drooling.

  • Jake7905

    EA doesn't have the best 'track' record with timers.

    • abodi

      Ea hasn't had the best track record in over a decade.

      • JPaterson

        EA has ever had a good track record? Thinking back to olden days, with the likes of Madden and those chopper games (Sudden Strike, etc.)... I can't recall ever having a good track record.

      • anabolicMike

        I used to love hearing "EA Games....challenge everything" when turning on my game console or starting up a PC game. They went greedy hard man. I understand that there's tons of dumb people with disposable income that just drop money on this kind of thing but doesn't anyone at EA have any type of conscience? This game should be a game you fork your dough over and get the entire product. In all honesty, it really bothers me that this is gonna be a damned fishville. Log in for your free coins daily!!! Wtf?!? I remember skipping school to play this game. Ill pay a premium price ($20+) please dump the timers and make it like the original! I hope when the EA guys in charge of this decision die all they get to do for eternity is watch a timer go down. Real cash? Sorry your credits no good here!!!

      • LCRyan

        When Trip Hawkins was at the helm, the had something special.

  • joaquin_ondamoon

    This is a game that screams for a premium price point, and to hell with timers/IAP. It sounds like EA took a classic license and jammed it with game killing IAP. I guess we'll have to wait and see, but I'm not holding my breath where EA is concerned.

    • ImJPaul

      I didn't know EA was affiliated with this game. I was excited for it.

      I read the beginning of this article. Got excited.

      Then, I saw the word timers and stopped reading.

      Game ruined. What a shame.

    • Leydz Boomshaka-Irwin

      I can't stand EA anymore. Such fond memories of that company while growing up. Now I cringe whenever I see its an EA title.

  • Jokerz

    Simply put...Ruined.
    EA should of left Bullfrog alone and let them finish DK3 back in the old days instead of buying them out.
    That's the only track record EA has, ruining great companies and their games.

  • anabolicMike

    I was so excited. I loved this game when I was younger. Then I read timers and in app currency. Crushed man I'm crushed. I hope the EA people choke on spit. Wahhhh

    • Poo

      Or something that rhymes with hit.

  • lr1919

    You had me up until you said timers...

    • dalglir

      +1

  • Reignmaker

    "Timers."

    Interest destroyed.

  • Crimzzen

    Dear EA:

    F*ck Off!

    Signed
    Crimzzen

  • ScotDamn

    Ok that's it. I'm officially pissed. This was an awesome game. It could be a classic on iOS but instead EA is ruining it with timers. OMFG EA blows. I hope they go bankrupt. However I'm sure they will makes buckets of money with their whole new "everything freemium" approach. These types only keep mobile gaming a casual platform and do nothing in helping it become legitimate.

  • Hiraether

    YESssss! Perfect for mobile. Best thing they've done in a while..

    • Hiraether

      @$:$)(! EA is gonna $£|][ all over a beloved cult classic... Someone hostilely take them over before they start Speilberging my childhood. We should pass laws saying they aren't allowed to alter the core story -perhaps only through expansions- and only legally allowed to revamp games for HD, etc.. Omfg this is so bad.

  • ZarieoZ

    I swear half way through the article I scrolled up and added it to my watch list, by the time I reached the timer word I took the same journey up there & removed it from my watchlist. EA is the HAND OF EVIL themselves (sorry couldn't help it) they ruin everything they can get their hands on.

  • toxiccheese

    I was excited when I started reading the article. I poured countless hours into the original! But... Timers?!?! Really?!?!? Count me out.

  • Maniacfive

    Remember the good old days of summoning creatures based on what creatures you sacrificed? This is the same people don't freak out.

    Only now the creatures you are sacrificing are Time, and/or Money.

    /sigh

  • Eddy

    revamped? more like butchered, EA, free-to-play, mobile...this is not dungeon keeper, maybe in name but I won't let my nostalgia fool me on this one.

  • GiHubb

    I'd rather play Tiny Heroes. Now where is Tiny Heroes HD?! (Sadly I assume the original never sold well enough which is a shame, it was a terrific game.)

  • dreamora

    So the title in reality is wrong and was meant to say 'EA destroys another great brand with an inappropriate IAP strategy instead of going with 7/10/15/20 bucks flat'

    Anyone praising a game like this in such a way naming the timer as a potential and only problem really only supports EA in destroying more and more great games we used to love for the sake of pure greed

  • shifty

    I'm only gonna download it to be able to give it a bad review in the appstore.

  • the fish

    Don't be rude peoe...they did a great job with the pvz2 free to play model. Maybe they will pull it here too.
    But in case someone at ea reads this: please let us pay 5$ and just play the game without timers and stuff! I would pay even more for dungeon keeper. Any full price model would get you more money out of my pocket than free to play, because I have never payed a cent in such games. Not once! But I just payed 7$ for transport tycoon, so what's it gonna be? 0 $ from me and 100000000s from the masses, or 7$ from me and ...damn it, this will never happen :(

  • FreshCuppa

    Just reading the words Dungeon Keeper and timers in the same sentence makes me sad.

  • spawn12345

    EA, killing mobile gaming with every new release!

  • Chris Brady

    Man, the vitriol. I'm going to wait and see. Because the original game had 'timers' too. You couldn't just pump out gold and minions immediately, it took time. I'm withholding judgement until after it comes out.

  • ste86uk

    I miss the game and hope it still works out to be good as someone said earlier pvz2 is great with its IAP so hopefully this will be good still.

  • expresident

    Was all hyped up till I saw the Timers remark and instantly though of IAP. This is why mobile gaming isn't what it could be. Shame.

  • pavig

    To clarify my previous criticism, having played the original game, being told it will take 3 hours 53 minutes for an imp to dig through a single tile unless I pay real money... I'd rather pay up front for a well written game than rent something freemium.