Dungeons 2: Dirty deeds done dirt cheap.

The original Dungeons featured a twist on the usual RTS dungeon management formula, in that your aim was to entertain the intrepid heroes invading your underground lair, making them as contented as possible before capturing and torturing them to your sadistic little heart’s content. The game wasn’t particularly well received, given its repetitive nature and the fact many fans had been holding out hope for a spiritual successor to Bullfrog’s Dungeon Keeper series. In Dungeons 2, it seems
developer Realmforge is aiming to give players what they wanted the first time around, with a firm focus on managing your own units rather than a bunch of soft-skinned interlopers.

As the Dungeon Lord’s Hand of Terror, you control the lay of the lair, starting with directing the lowliest minions on menial tasks such as gold mining and working your way up to building a Tinkerer’s Cave in which you can instruct special units, like goblins and Naga, in the way of spell casting and trap creation. You can directly intervene on units, grabbing and moving them to wherever their presence is most needed, and picking them up to get a closer look at their stats and desires. Each unit has basic needs you need to fulfil, by building features such as breweries or else they might riot.

Instructing your slaves to excavate deeper underground yields resources such as richer gold veins for mining, but it may also uncover additional entrances through which heroes could attempt to infiltrate and thwart your dastardly deeds. You’ll need to assemble your troops and push them back, but here’s where Dungeons 2 literally goes above and beyond its predecessor you can send your units out into the overworld and take the fight to your enemy’s door. It’s a refreshing twist on the usual late game grind.
You can obtain ‘evilness’, surprisingly enough, by performing evil deeds
After you’ve built your dungeon to capacity and all is running smoothly, you’ll need to go outdoors to rack up a new resource, ‘evilness’, which you obtain by, surprisingly enough, performing evil deeds. Once you’ve gained enough, you can return to your dungeon and upgrade it, unlocking new research options to further strengthen your position. There are Diablo like side quests hidden in the outside world: a graveyard crypt might hide a neutral dungeon where you can slay a rival skeleton king, while adventuring far enough into the overworld might lead you to discover a rainbow hued unicorn in need of slaying.

With a mix of dungeon manager simulation in the underworld, tactical real time strategy once you break the surface, and a solid bedrock of dark humour in between, Dungeons 2  looks like it’s set to offer surprising depth. Colour me cautiously optimistic.

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