When a dungeon keeper game, a real time strategy game and the storytelling, narrative device from Bastion come together, it makes Dungeons 2. Developed by Realmforge Studios and published by Kalypso Media, Dungeons 2 is the quirky, fun game you just may be looking for.
What I really appreciate about Dungeons 2 is its unabashed focus on making the game as fun as it can. This is definitely a “sum of its parts” kind of game. None of the individual game subsets or mechanics will blow you away, but when you put them all together, it takes you on a zany ride you have trouble stepping off.
The glue that brings everything together is the storytelling mechanic. As I wrote above, Dungeons 2 employs a similar mechanic as the game Bastion (from Supergiant Games). The narrator gives you, the player, direction, background story and entertaining anecdotes to keep the game lively and fun. The best part is the narrator is not afraid to gently (and sometimes not so gently) chide you when you are not quickly or aptly following the story or mission objectives. As a person who plays as a turtler (a slow moving, methodical playstyle), the narrator is never short on calling me “the ever-patient Evil” or “slow-moving Evil” instead of the “Ultimate Evil,” which is the character you are portraying. The game’s lack of fear of breaking down the fourth wall becomes more of an advantage rather than a gimmick or immersion-breaking. I even once accidentally uncovered an area I wasn’t supposed to see yet and the narrator nicely asked me to stay away until I caught up with the story.
Besides the narration, the other mechanics are good, although not ground breaking or innovative. Everything in Dungeons 2 is simply just solid. The art style is completely in line with the story. The real time strategy (RTS) aspects are fine, although in the overworld, I wish I could have grouped my ranged and melee fighters into specific hotkeyed squads to move them separately, but it wasn’t anything game breaking. Lastly, the character animations are superb. Your minions will grunt, salute or otherwise ignore as much as you allow. You may be the Ultimate Evil, but your troops are not zombies.
Overall, Dungeons 2 is all about the fun. From the writing to the different characters to the art style, all of it is in service of fun. If you like RTS games or if you are looking for just something quirky or different, Dungeons 2 will not disappoint. It’s the kind of game you’ll play and just lose a few enjoyable hours. Besides, isn’t it time Evil won for a change?
Dungeons 2 Gameplay Commentary