EA's Dungeon Keeper [Free] might very well be the most hated free to play game yet, with a particularly brutal listing on Metacritic featuring a Metascore of 46 with "generally unfavorable reviews," a user score of 0.2 out of 10, or, "overwhelmingly dislike", a one star review here, and many outlets scoring the game a zero out of ten. In fact, the only people who seem to be enjoying themselves in Dungeon Keeper are those that are filtering through the five star side of EA's super skeezy rating prompt. EA seems to be pounding the typical free to play game criticism response drum pretty hard, particularly in an an interview with TabTimes:

One thing we really want to express—and it’s something that hasn’t really been touched on in a lot of the discussion about the game that we’ve seen—is that in Dungeon Keeper, all content is accessible to paying and non-paying players. We didn’t design this as a “pay to play” or “pay to win” game. It is designed as a free-to-play title where players can commit time or money towards their play experience, and every piece of content in the game is accessible without having to spend a dime.

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Originally released in 1997, Dungeon Keeper has been seeing the backlash it has largely because of the still remaining highly dedicated fan following of the titles that started it all. So, we already know what the fans think of the new Dungeon Keeper, but what about the game's original designer, Peter Molyneux? Well, he's not too wild about it either per a recent interview with the BBC:

"I felt myself turning round saying, 'What? This is ridiculous. I just want to make a dungeon. I don't want to schedule it on my alarm clock for six days to come back for a block to be chipped,'" he told the BBC.

Mr Molyneux said some of the criticism came from fans of the original who simply wanted an updated version of the game they fondly remembered.

He added: "I don't think they got it quite right, the balance between keeping it familiar to the fans that were out there but fresh enough and understandable enough for this much bigger mobile audience."

It'll be interesting to see what comes of Dungeon Keeper. The good (or sometimes bad) thing about these free to play games that require internet connectivity to play is that EA can totally change the balance of the entire game on the fly. What's a grueling grind today could be a really run free to play game that doesn't feel like it's punishing you by playing it tomorrow.

We did see a sizable amount of rebalancing in EA's Real Racing 3 [Free], so anything is possible.

[via the BBC]

  • Kane

    First! But seriously he's right..

    • Alexythimia23

      Really want to know off topic here but will anyone be so kind to tell me how some comments get minuses? -

      • rewind

        On the website you can "vote down" comments. You can't on the app though.

      • Alexythimia23

        Rewind, yer too cool for school, cheers dude ( sorry but it was bugging me for a while ) lol

  • SoyGreen

    GOOD! Not that EA will listen to even the original creator... but glad to see even him calling out this garbage!

    • Chris Brady

      Yes, the very same man who had people pay to add 'cubes' to his 'puzzle experiment' to slow down progress made by others. The man who was going to be using this very same financial model for his new game Godus. The only thing he's honestly upset about is EA doing it first.

  • http://leandroardissone.com/ Leandro A.

    As a huge fan of the original DK, I agree with this comment. Sadly to admit, but remakes of good old games, are pure crap.

  • Zerol3onheart

    Where's that one kid from the FF6 article? He was flipping out about how awesome DK is, to the point of trolling the entire thread.

    • defunct32

      His name is fearlesskk, if you need concentrate hard enough he might appear. Or maybe you need to purchase some IAPs otherwise you gotta wait for a couple of days.

      • defunct32

        Shzcgb, oh right! It wasn't fearlesskk... (Forgive me, darling, I'll gift you some IAPs soon).

    • shcgzb

      I just posted. It is a good game which you don't finish in 1 week and move on to something else.

      • SoyGreen

        The problem however is that it isn't really a game when you add timers like this. It's a quick repetitive experience drawn out really really slowly. When I make time to sit down and play a game - I want to zone out and enjoy it - not have my playtime stuck behind a paywall/timewall.

      • efforting

        Valid point. Sometimes you have 5-10 minutes to play and others you have time to sit down for an hour or so. Proper game design should be able to accommodate both styles of play, not penalize monetarily those who want to spend more time with it in one sitting.

      • Boris Nguetie

        you my friend are a genious. To make games more lengthy devs should just lock us out of them for days/weeks!! thats just brillant!! to think until now we thought the solution was adding more bits of actual gameplay to it while it was all that simple!!

      • rewind

        How about trying Clash of Clans, which is far better

  • Duuude

    Well, there is ONE good side to what a shitty game the "new" DK is.
    I remembered how great the original(s) were, headed over to GOP and got me DK2 for 5.99
    It plays just as nicely today as I remember it and runs flawlessly on Win7

    Kinda lowres by todays views, but still the same abount of fun!

  • Sabaki

    How about EA's rebalancing of PVZ2

  • cofunguy

    Would this even be news if the original iOS DK developer say the iOS app was great?? Seems of late that news items have to be in line with TA reviews of apps

    • sivad

      This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read.

      • sivad

        TA previously posted a review by someone in favor of IAP by free to play, now they are posting this as news because it is relevant to a recent release. This was highly loved game, that was ruined, so to have an article from the original dev is news IMO and I'm glad that TA shared it.

        How is any of this go hand in hand with TA's review of the game?

      • anon_coward

        IAP is a good idea to say get a free game and buy extra levels. but its been bastardized to get people paying via developing the game in a way to psychologically hook some people.

        candy crush wasn't a game, it was a vegas slot machine posing as a game. i think it was level 39 that i played for weeks without paying and realized that every 10 plays or so you get a perfect set up and you have to pay attention and use every turn wisely to beat that level. but on the other plays you had almost no chance to beat the level

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      Well, Molyneux created the original so his opinion is highly relevant regardless of what it is... So, yes?

  • tomas47

    Why am I not surprised?

  • shcgzb

    If F2P games are so bad, why

    1) so many people are playing them for really long time compare to other games?
    2) so many updates and features added keep it going strong?
    3) very strong PVP support compare to other paid game.

    Yes, they are making a lot of money, but in the same time, games are more polished, more enjoyable. And a lot of us get to play it for free!

    If if is so bad, why don't you make a game that is so good to take people away from F2P games? Talk is cheap. You are just jealous, dinosaurs! And all paid game will perish under F2P.

    • anon_coward

      for the people who pay its like a casino slot machine. it shakes a carrot in front of you to keep you going and you never realize how much it costs.

      for a while i thought mobile gaming was going to kill the console, but apple screwed it up. anemic hardware that leads to F2P simple games and an inablity to make better games

      bought an xbox one and my kids rarely touch the ipad for more than 15 minutes now, but they can play skylanders for hours. and even though it costs $75 for the intro set, its a lot better value than the F2P nonsense that's in the app store now.

      there are some nice games, but getting hard to find and its mostly niche stuff

      • shcgzb

        I played consoles growing up. What is great about mobile games is that you can even play now anywhere! Not just at home.

        And now they are free, hell no if I turn away from it!

        I payed thousands for all the games I purchased since I started playing, no more!

      • anon_coward

        not saying its all bad
        there are niches like flight sims on IOS that aren't on consoles along with wargames.

        but the mobile games are mostly time killers. the console games have much better production values, story arcs, objectives, etc and replay value.

        the IAP and F2P reminds me of the old arcade games where kids would always waste their lunch money on back in the 80's.they were always hard enough for most people to keep you playing thinkig that one more quarter and you will be good enough to pass a level. except now its all virtualized behind credit cards so you never see how much you spend. good thing the arcades died off

      • shcgzb

        To me, playing online vs other human player beats AI hands down. Want good story? Play human player creates best story ever! Each play experience is different. Not like AI, too easy, too predictable, no surprises.

      • anon_coward

        and in clash of clans you still have to pay up to build faster to beat the human players

      • shcgzb

        If they pay for my free game, I don't mind at all let them win. They are the sponsors. I feel speeding up is cheating, winning like that to me personally is not fun at all.

      • mclifford82

        The problem with you is that you don't understand that some people are more than willing to pay for their games so they do not HAVE TO WAIT.

        Quoting you from another thread: "It is a good game which you don't finish in 1 week and move on to something else." What you're ignoring is that unless you pay a lot of money, you cannot beat the game in less than a week and move on even if you wanted to.

        I get that is not YOUR playstyle. You prefer timers and not paying for things. I prefer to pay for things and not have when I play my game dictated by some arbitrary paywall.

      • shcgzb

        For network player vs player game, if there is no timer, then the game would break.

        Mobile games are not intended for hours of play without stopping. It is play for 15 minutes, then do something else, and then come back to it again.

      • Edwin Ramirez

        So you're telling us that this game lets us play for 15 minutes straight? You're kidding right? You "play" (tap a stone) for 3 minutes max and then come back to it again the next day to tap another stone. Repeat.
        I fail to see the fun in this.

    • sivad

      ^. Trolling example, please input into Encyclopedia. File under "are you f@&$ing kidding me?"

      If you believe that F2P is a good source of gaming then I cringe the thought that the youth of America have been brainwashed....

    • Fangbone

      Ahhh! While scrolling down I must've hit like in this dudes obviously lame statement and can't get

    • makitango

      if trash tv is trash, why keep so many people watching it?

      people are stupid.

  • JJE McManus

    Shcgzb, li read the first sentence of your comment and loved it.
    Please transfer $10 to my PayPal account and I'll read the rest of it in 24-48 hours.

    • shcgzb

      If you read my comments, you would know I didn't pay 1 cent for any F2P game. I really want to spend money, but I just don't want to finish game I like to play quickly

      • http://winterdrake.com/ Dehumanizer

        "I really want to spend money"?!?

      • shcgzb

        Like get more imps, I only have 2. But then I thought why finish the game quickly, what is the point of shortening my enjoyment.

      • Edwin Ramirez

        Wow, you must really enjoy yourself watching the grass grow.

  • shcgzb

    Cannot wait for F2P EVE to come to iOS!!!

  • bigjack66

    The problem isn't timers, I've played games with them before. It's the excessive use of them to do very little that's the problem! It may be difficult to balance them but when the complaints started they didn't improve the experience, they made it worse that's what's pissing everyone off! If anyone should know it's the original creator.

  • shcgzb

    EVE spaceship takes more than 1 month to build, and it is a paid app, anyone complained?

    If it is multiplayer game, timer need to be enforced, otherwise the other player will not have a chance to retaliate....etc. with timers, it make the game deeper.

    The stone takes 1 day to remove. Then why not remove the dirt which only take 3 secs? Build dungeon just the dirt area. The other resource takes more time to access because at beginning you don't need that much resource, it is for after couple level later.

    • Cheeseball

      With your logic, if there were no timers ALL players would be fighting fair and square when raiding each others dungeons. All players would have a chance to raid and defend against each other.

    • anon_coward

      why can you play a game of madden faster than a real football game? realistic sports games have almost always bombed

      there were timers in starcraft and other games since the 90's. the point is that EA and others have a pay model that preys on the psychology of a minority of the players to get them to spend a lot of money to play the game. they have to make the game around these mechanics and it ruins it for a lot of other people

      • Cheeseball

        Dude, there are no timers in those games. You're probably confusing them for cooldowns, channeling and build times (which are technically sorts of timers anyway, haha). Those are needed to keep the balancing of the gameplay fair and to prevent mass-spamming of units.

      • anon_coward

        starcraft and every multi player RTS game since the 90's had timers. they were part of the game

        with the F2P and IAP crap the publishers are balancing the games to make game play too long to get people to pay in small increments so they don't realize how much they spend.

        these games aren't games in the classic sense, psychologically they are like slot machines and vegas table games where the more money you spend the higher your chances of "winning" and the game mechanics are designed to make you think that if you spend just a little more $$$ you will finally win

      • sivad

        There is a big difference in waiting for a unit to build to make another one in a RTS vs paying 9.99 for a bundle of gems to speed up the wait time.

        Please don't compare Starcraft or any other RTS game to EAs garbage, it makes me violently ill and I may vomit. If an EA exec sees that it might give them an idea to destroy another classic game... I.E. Ultima, dungeon keeper

      • anon_coward

        when you think about it, these games are all carbon copies of civilization, sim city, starcraft and command and conquer. except for the payments to build stuff faster.

        Closer to Civilization and SIm City since those were a huge click fest and people would spend days playing them

        for the MMO part they know a small percentage of people will play more than anyone else. warcraft, Evercrack, and other MMO's proved it. they just set up a system to make these people pay up instead of playing for a long time

      • makitango

        actually, the only difference is that you now pay for cheats, and cheats became mandatory.

  • efforting

    No matter how EA tries to spin this by its very nature timers are a Pay to Play model.

    If you purposely design a game with the intent to slow down gameplay, they are essentially extorting you for fun.

    If you have to stop having fun because you ran out of currency, thats Pay to Play.

    What is really onerous is that there is no indication of how much actual money it will end up costing you in the long run to experience the game as it was originally intended. (all games are originally intended to be enjoyed)

    I would prefer the chapter model, where you pay by the chapter or episode, with the first episode being free. There is a clear indication of what you would end up paying to completely finish the game and leaves open the possibility of expansions and additional content.

    • shcgzb

      I rather have it other way, slow but free for everything

      • efforting

        Just like your mother does!

        But seriously.. I get it, you are cheap and don't mind the abuse or you are a troll trying to get a rise out of everybody. (like like your mother! oh snap! this just writes itself!)

      • shcgzb

        I like to try a lot of games, free helps. Look like your parents didn't raise you well. Dissing others in conversation already showing you are losing. Dissing on others' parents showing how pathetic you are. I feel sorry for anyone live with you who have a heart of a peanut.

      • efforting

        I'm sorry, I genuinely meant no ill intent. You just left a huge opening for a mother joke that doesn't come around very often and I thought I would poke fun at your expense since your opinion seems to be in the minority here making you a juicy target.
        You do have a valid point that some games, especially mobile are meant to be played in short spurts. You probably have a good an honest heart and think that EA is genuinely on the side of gamers. Unfortunately EA has a proven track record of putting profits before the need of gamers.
        I think games are meant to be enjoyed and in this case its almost universally despised because for most gamers the balance between pay and play is broken. It seems to me that EA only wants to make games for those with deep pockets and the rest of us gamers get left with no way to enjoy the game as it was intended. Even the games creator thinks its heavily unbalanced in the favor of profit over play.
        Most unfortunate is that if we as gamers allow or reward this behavior what comes next? how would you feel if the game just stopped as the story was getting good and you already invested your time and money and to continue they extorted even more money from you.
        Or God forbid they get the idea that they can alter the prices on a per user basis, which they already have the system in place to do. If you are a frequent player you end up paying more than someone who just started. Which if you really think about it, its exactly what they are doing right now. Free to start and you have to trust EA on the cost to progress.
        Has anyone actually determined how much this game would cost if you wanted to play as it was originally intended? My guess is hundreds of dollars. I'd like to see EA's breakdown of their fremium titles. The top 5 percent of deep pockets probably provide all of their revenues so why design games for anyone else but them?

      • makitango

        You know things go wrong when you invest a crapload of bucks into a savegame (which is beyond your control and safety reach because it only works online, and in correspondence with EA maintaining its server) rather than actual content.

  • SuperWeird

    Whenever I see that a game is free, I automatically pass on it without even bothering

    • SoyGreen

      I MAY take a look at it - but the one that I will automatically pass a game for is if I see the $99 IAP... 100% NOPE for me!

      • shcgzb

        There are plenty of fun games with 99 dollar IAP, gunner z is one of them and it was super fun without paying 1 cent.

      • SoyGreen

        I hear ya - and I'll admit my "100% nope for me" is a little over reach - but it doesn't make it any less BS to offer that as an IAP.

        That said - if I recall correctly - Gunner Z does not have the level of timer/paywall you get in Dungeon Keeper... You can play that one for just a couple bucks and feel as though you are playing a game if memory serves me well.

  • shcgzb

    You really think paying can progress the game quickly? Do you understand if play without waiting to get everything to level 10 probably will cost you like $10K!? No joking at all. The huge IAP is there to prevent people from playing too fast because that is not the point of this game.

    • SoyGreen

      You really believe that EA slowing down how a person plays a GAME by putting in time/pay-walls is really a good feature?!

      The problem is 2 fold...

      1 - you are really just a troll - and people (myself included) keep replying to your posts - to which you will continue to reply to thus continuing to make our eyes bleed!

      2 - it's a game. A GAME. People should be able to sit down and enjoy all aspects of the game without having to wait 4 days for digging to complete... especially when bringing back a beloved game to the new platform. When the original was made - it was made and you could just PLAY.

      Have you played any pay games? I can't think of a SINGLE TIME playing Oceanhorn or XCom or KOTOR and so on - where I thought... ya know what would be really great right now? If there was a built in timer to prevent me from playing further and I could pay money to get past. GEEE I wish they would slow me down and cost more money!

  • shcgzb

    For people complain there is nothing to do in DK other than wait shows they didn't even play the game. Everyday, I can keep raiding until hit capacity of my warehouse limit for both gold and stone. You can play for couple of hours if you want.

    • Holcman

      I have concluded that you either work for EA or are a brainwashed little kid. If a game is meant to be played slowly over time with nothing to do while waiting, why even call it a game. However, based on your previous comments, there is no reason to argue with you (because you won't give up) but you can reply if you wish.

      • shcgzb

        What you mean there is nothing to do while waiting? You didn't play the game. Raiding need very little waiting time. And you can do as many as you want because each raid reward is most likely higher than your army cost. You can keep playing until hit warehouse capacity.

      • Edwin Ramirez

        There should be no waiting time. You said it elsewhere in another comment: "Mobile games are not intended for hours of play without stopping. It is
        play for 15 minutes, then do something else, and then come back to it
        again."
        Can I really play for 15 minutes, then do something else and the come back? No. Because it's a 4 hour wait just to clear a block.
        Why should I schedule my play time for when the game developers want to let me play?

      • shcgzb

        Raid has nothing to do with breaking blocks. Also, there are plenty 3 sec block to break for your buildings. Obviously you didn't play, just wrote from what you read.

    • homosaur

      Can someone please ban this twat from commenting? He's taking a shit all over this thread.

  • Unseen Studios

    It's fine to chip away at 64million cubes as long as you don't have to wait 5 seconds for them to complete?

    • Edwin Ramirez

      To be fair that cube game wasn't really a game.

  • Defcubusal

    What did anyone think EA (the reigning champ of hated corporations in the world) would do?

  • The kernel

    When the original dev of the game indicates that his original work is bastardized into something abysmally bad, you know that really means something.

  • Zeillusion

    Those of you who like these types of games, I will say this. The concept is fun, the upgrading is fun. The fighting / strategy is fun. But by in no means are they legit. You don't realize what these games are doing psychologically to the mind.

    These practices are studied. They study how the mind works and the strong sense of "reward". When you are rewarded dopamine is released from the brain. As someone said above, spending money gives you more of a chance to "win" which than in return your brain rewards you by releasing dopamine. You become unconsciously addicted. Your brain craves spending little increments for "rewards". A dollar here, a dollar there. Because of these horrific timers the games can be played for months on end. Look back, and see how much you have spent. You are being played my fellow gamers. Maybe some don't spend, but if you have a credit card and an addictive personality. Watch out. Some people are spending thousands on these games. It's terrible.

    Don't go and say these games are good, there not. If they had no timers they would be arguably the most fun on ios. They're very polished, get updated constantly. Clash is making 600 million a year, it's a scam. They prey on your pockets without you even realizing. Just to get the last imp alone is 40$. All imps will coast you 70$. It's pathetic, I'm done.

    • efforting

      I wonder if there will eventually be a legislative backlash against this practice of preying on people with addictive personalities.
      Maybe a class action suit is in order that hopefully put a stop to these tactics by publishers.
      EA has lowered the bar on decency, at some point they will have to be called to task on it.