If you ever wondered why no one ever made a Farmville for the fantasy war-gamers, then you probably have not seen Dungeon Overlord on Facebook. If you love the idea of a city management but wished you could weaponize your sheep and send them to raid your neighbors then Dungeon Overlord is the game for you. If you fancy yourself an evil warlord whose destiny it is to rule over hoards of minions, then you need to seek professional help, but whatever hospital you choose, make sure they have an internet connection so that you can fulfill your megalomaniac desires by playing, yes you guessed it, Dungeon Overlord.
Comparing Dungeon Overlord to Farmville is a bit unfair. It would be like comparing the Sims to Dungeon Keeper, the latter of which is undeniably what this game is based on. Sure you build rooms for your residents, and even craft and place furniture, but if you invite your neighbors over for a BBQ it’s only because they are the main course. The comparison is made because the games do share some similar mechanics but while I play both games, I wouldn’t admit to my RTS buddies I play Farmville, but I would enthusiastically recommend they try Dungeon Overlord. Then I would throw them into my mine as the taskmaster and shock them daily to “encourage” efficiency.
You begin building your underworld kingdom as a lowly level 1 Miscreant. Your first task will be to build a den for your minions. Don’t worry about making mistakes at this early stage with your dungeon layout. Dungeon Overlord has one of my favorite features in a Facebook game, which is the ability to reset your account and start over. Once your den is constructed you can begin building the rest of your evil lair by constructing a farm to feed your minions, a library to conduct your research, a workshop to craft items and a host of other specialized rooms.
Out of all the rooms you may construct, the library is one of the most interesting. This is where you conduct your evil research opening new technologies such as the ability to create new room types, increase your efficiency in all areas from combat to resource gathering and even gain the ability to attract new minions. Personally I am looking forward to being able to control Dark Elves and Dark Priests, I’m not exactly sure what abilities they possess but I want some wandering the halls of my kingdom. It doesn’t stop there however; eventually dedicated overlords will be able to call upon Death Knights, Arch Fiends, and yes even Dragons.
By the time you are a level 10 Evil-Doer you will be sending out your first raid and all the preparation will have been worth it. If you follow the recommended quests, your first raid will consist of 3 Orcs who have been trained up to level 2 in your proving grounds. These minions will make quick work of your enemy and return with plunder to fill your vault. You should not however spend too much time basking in the radiance of your victory, but instead use it as inspiration to build your forces so that you can inflict greater pain on even more powerful towns as well as fellow overlords.
Dungeon Overlord will keep you entertained for many months. Not because research takes time and training your minions requires crates of resources that will take 37 years to gather, but because after you have finished crushing your foes and subjugating their minions you will learn the Stonegating technology and move to an adjacent realm to begin your conquest anew.
In a recent raid we managed to capture Harlan, the marketing director at Night Own Games and have been holding him in our dungeon forcing him to answer some questions.
AppSauna: Many people have pointed out the connection and the inspiration is obvious, but can we hear it from the source? Do you require potential hires to play Dungeon Keeper during their first month of employment?
If they haven’t played Dungeon Keeper before they come to interview, they need not apply! Seriously, while we are all fans of the Dungeon Keeper legacy, our goal with Dungeon Overlord was to make a strategy game on a massive scale similar to Civilization while keeping a darker, more evil tone, which so many loved about Dungeon Keeper.
AppSauna: The game seems really polished, but there are still a couple areas that say coming soon, such as the Awards box in the Player Profile. Do you have more surprise being developed for us and can you reveal anything about awards?
We have many, many more features and surprises arriving in the upcoming months. While I can’t say anything specifically about awards, I can say that we listen very carefully to what our players are saying and try to prioritize new features based on feedback. We even have a dedicated online forum where players are encouraged to give us new ideas, discuss features and interact with the developers: http://forum.dungeonoverlord.com/ If your readers go there, they will find tons of discussion about upcoming features.
AppSauna: The ability to watch battles as opposed to having to be present to micro-manage them seems to be a really efficient Facebook mechanic. How did you come upon this feature and do you get a lot of requests from players asking for more direct combat control?
We came up with this battle approach after we realized 2 key things about social games: 1. People expect to be able to attack and interact with players who are not currently online, and 2. People expect to not be penalized for being offline. Our goal was to balance out the fact that even while you are not logged in, your dungeon is still in the world and can be raided as well as attacked by other players. Some players would like more direct combat control, but usually don’t want to give any advantage to the attacker or defender who is online!
AppSauna: I am guessing equipping your minions is available at a much higher level than I have attained so far. Is there a good resource for finding what items, rooms and minions become available as I gain levels?
Our online help system is currently the best resource here: http://do-world2.s3.amazonaws.com/help/templates/main_index.html Also our forums are a good place to get strategy help from other players: http://forum.dungeonoverlord.com/
AppSauna: Let’s say I have a level 50 Orc and have just gained the ability to attract Vampires. At what level would these higher creatures greatly outmatch the lower tier ones or would you recommend I keep my high level minions even though they are of low tier?
That is a deep strategy question, and one we want our players to figure out. To be honest, both approaches are perfectly valid. The game has been designed with balance in mind, so the player can choose whichever strategy they wish. As long as they manage their resources well, plan ahead and make changes as needed; they probably will be able to compete.
AppSauna: Obviously the creatures that you gain at later research levels are more powerful, but are 10 dragons the best force or is there a more complex strategy you would recommend for putting together raiding parties?
Having a good mix of raiding creatures is usually the best approach. For example healing units, such as the Dark Elf Priestess, mixed with Ranged units, such as Dark Elf, and Tanks, such as the Ogre, work well together. Do not forget though that while your creatures are away from your dungeon attacking someone else, your dungeon could be attacked by their friend, so leaving behind defenders and traps is also a good idea.
Start your own dungeon today, visit the Dungeon Overlord game page on AppSauna for the link right to the action.