Legend of Keepers
I’ve never really delved into dungeon management games, not because I had anything against them, it’s just that there really aren’t that many out there. Apparently, one of the classic ones is 1997’s Dungeon Keeper and a more modern take on the genre is this year’s Evil Genius. Also this year is the debut of Legend of Keepers, a new dungeon management game that hopes to further fill out the deflated genre as a whole.
Like other dungeon management games, in Legend of Keepers, you’re play the role of a dungeon overlord who is tasked with keeping parties of pesky adventurers out of your dungeon’s innermost recesses—or at least successfully guarding your treasures against them.
To keep the adventurer’s greedy little mitts off of your shiny baubles, you have to outfit your dungeon with all kinds of obstacles. You can do this through training your forces, preparing traps, and acquiring spells. In this way, you can hope to eliminate them before they reach your final boss.
You can place traps from your inventory in special trap rooms. These can inflict special types of damage, such as an adventuring party’s morale, health, or some type of specific weakness. For instance, you can trigger a poison trap that poisons adventurers from the get-go and will inflict damage from the very beginning of the fight, until its conclusion. Just like traps, you can pick spells spontaneously in order to impede particularly annoying adventurers.
When it comes to actual combat, you can line your dungeon chambers with all sorts of dangerous denizens. For instance, you can designate tank types to soak up lots of damage and have your high-damage-output types waylay your adversaries while that’s happening.
How does combat look in Legend of Keepers? If you’ve played Darkest Dungeon or any of the games that tried to clone it, you know what to expect. Side-scrolling, turn-based combat with “role-playing lite” elements. There are a handful of actions that your minions can execute and more become available as they become more experienced and level up.
In-game, time passes via a week-to-week loop. There are different sorts of decisions you can make during these periods, such as training your minions or engaging a party of adventurers who have just shown up on your dungeon’s doormat. The events that happen range from the mundane to ones that are pretty outrageous in a humorous way. Legend of Keepers is a light-hearted game that keeps its atmosphere tongue-in-cheek, most of the time.
Graphics-wise, Legend of Keepers is rendered in pixels, which gives it a retro-style charm evocative of the 90s. While I’m personally not a huge fan of pixelated visuals, I have to admit that they work pretty well here, and I could easily see this game being played from an arcade cabinet back in the day.
While I did find Legend of Keepers a pretty fun experience, I don’t think that it’s anything to write home about in the long run. It has some charming graphics and a fun gameplay loop—at least initially—but as you progress throughout the game, things become more or less same-y and redundant, although fans of dungeon management games will probably embrace it.
Legend of Keepers has some great graphics so you’ll need a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. Therefore, you may just want to invest in a superior gaming rig:
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