NAG Online > News > EA revives – and ruins – Dungeon Keeper

EA revives – and ruins – Dungeon Keeper


Electronic Arts have done it again. In yet another example of the DRM-laden and microtransaction-loving publisher’s greed, EA has released a mobile version of the classic PC series Dungeon Keeper. And it is simply awful. Developed by studio EA Mythic, the game is free to play (freemium), available on both iOS and Android, and – most importantly – possibly the worst example of overused microtransactions that I have ever seen.

[Anybody else getting the sense that Graham is incredibly upset? Like, Hulk-smash angry almost? Shall we all join forces and organise a great big Internet Hug to make him feel better? No? – Ed.]

The original Dungeon Keeper was a groundbreaking strategy game developed by Peter Molyneux’s Bullfrog Productions in 1997 and it received much critical acclaim. The game involved building and managing a large dungeon of evil minions, hoarding treasure and preventing invading heroes from ruining all your hard work. It was a brilliant concept and was followed by an equally enjoyable sequel Dungeon Keeper 2 in 1999. Together the games achieved massive popularity. Sadly, Dungeon Keeper 3 was cancelled during development, but the cult status of the series meant that imp slapping was not forgotten over the years.

THIS is what we want from a new Dungeon Keeper EA.

THIS is what we want from a new Dungeon Keeper EA.

However, EA now owns all Bullfrog properties and has taken a proverbial dump on the legacy of the series by releasing a cartoonish, tedious mobile game. Simply mining out the walls of your dungeon can take up to 24 hours (for one single square) and the only way to speed this up is to spend gems. The only way to speed up anything in the game is to spend gems and, predictably, you are given almost no gems to work with. Thus, the only solution is to spend real money to buy packs of gems, with one of the packs on sale being worth a whopping 99 dollars. Seriously EA? I know that this is a common model for freemium mobile games today, but we’re talking about Dungeon Keeper here!

For anyone wishing to relive the classic series or even possibly experience the excellent strategy game for the first time, I urge you not to download this terrible mobile title. Rather, go to and purchase the original titles. A once-off payment, and completely DRM-free – the way it was meant to be played.

  • Squirly

    No hugs for Graham. That might lessen the fires of burning rage that’s inside him, resulting in less heated discussion and …

    I have no idea where I’m going with this metaphor.

  • FanieNel

    EA = Destroyer of games.

    Luckily there is a great remake in the making by another company and it will be just as great as DK1 and DK2. It is called War For The Overworld.

  • Graham Ziervogel

    Haha that ed’s note. I thought I did well not to rage too much. No expletives even. As for WftO the development struggles don’t look too promising.

  • Xelus

    For some reason I would like to check this out for myself to form my own opinion, however, looking at what they have done and having the ignorance to call it dungeon keeper puts me off far enough not to even try the game.

    However, on a side note, I’ve been working on a dungeon keeper 1 remake for a while now, you can find a gallery of many of the assets and world tiles I’ve made so far here:

    • Graham Ziervogel

      I’ve been “playing” (the game doesn’t involve much actual playing) the game for a few days on my tablet and, because I refuse to spend a cent on micotransactions, I’ve achieved almost nothing. It would literally take months to build any sort of decent dungeon.

      As for your remake, that’s some really epic stuff man. Keep us posted on how your work on the game progresses, I’d love to write something on it once you’re a bit further along.

      • Xelus

        Oh alright, well the game has a nice art style to it, but it would’ve been better if it was maybe named something differently, as for microtransactions, not a fan of it myself. Something I liked about the old dungeon keepers was that you could get a dungeon up and running in a few minutes, given if you had enough coin to pay for the create imp spell every time you used it, but still cool none the less.

        Thanks, have been actively developing the game project since 2013 in my spare-time, got a pre-alpha version as testing grounds for all the different tile sets and gameplay mechanics, still going to take a while before it would be close to even seeing in real-time, but working closely with the original Dungeon Keeper 1 Sprites makes the graphics side a bit easier to develop. Having more time nowadays makes it a bit easier to work on the game, so hopefully later in the year it should be in a playable demo, if all goes well. Developing everything myself takes a bit longer, so no promises on a playable demo date just yet. ;)

        Will keep you guys posted on the development.

        • Graham Ziervogel

          Great, let us know if you need some testers :P

    • P

      awesome remakes.

  • BinaryMind

    This is true to the direction EA has been going. DLCs and microtransactions. Just more and more. It just gets worse and worse with them.

    I just can’t understand why they can’t see how we see them. Voted worst company in a year. Isn’t that a little hint?!

    • El Capitan del Blade

      They can’t hear people over the sound of their raging money boners…. :

      • BinaryMind


  • Policia Tragadonuts

    EA greedy bitches.


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