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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Dwelvers PC Review - 8.5/10

Dwelvers is a dungeon management game. Dungeon management is kind of like an RTS except all your troops (or in this case minions/monsters) all follow their own agenda unless otherwise instructed to. The goal of the game is to mine into other dungeons, kill other monsters and heroes in order to have the biggest and best dungeon ever. The game is in its pre Alpha state but the product itself is finished enough to give me a decent review.

The Good:
I never thought I would have this much fun with a game like this. I always wanted to play Dungeon Keeper but I could never find it on Steam or anywhere else. While I believe this game doesn't have as much content, you could consider it a spiritual successor at least. Your main objective is to basically just mine through the small area you've been given. Within your area, you construct various pens and rooms to satisfy or strengthen your minions. The biggest problem you'll be faced with is the fact that you'll need to keep building more beds and such to satisfy your troops throughout the massive dungeons otherwise they'll have to walk back miles to get back to the main dungeon's first room.
The game has a good amount of strategy to it. Your troops can die but they can either be brought back to health just by sleeping in a bed or even become ghosts who can still fight for you. You get new troop types by killing other, newer monsters. Taking over enemy locations will allow you to build those places in certain cases. I've only found two, though I suspect this number may go up once the game is fully finished.

The Bad:
The game doesn't really explain much. Sure, there is a tutorial mode, but I shouldn't have to play it in order to know basic things. For example, every time you build something it costs materials. However, those materials need to be picked up manually by your troops. You can easily become overwhelmed with tasks once you've gotten a pretty good ways through the game. Resources to build these things are not infinite apparently. The one big problem I faced was trying to get more wood... however, there is no wood in the game at least not in this build. Does wood come from vines that are sometimes in the walls? If so, that is finite as well, or as far as I've seen. Apart from digging into my floors, I just can't find any more vines. After a while of messing around, I found that there is a mining block you can build over certain blocks. However, even that takes wood to build so build it too late and you can't build it. Even then I have no idea if the vines are even being mined. My wood count doesn't go up in the slightest and it doesn't look as if the vine is being mined at all. I think you're supposed to trade with other tribes but the game told me that after I had already exhausted my resources in order to build a trade station.
Speaking of not explaining much, I have no idea how to get more troops or get newer troops. Sure, I said that you get them by killing newer monsters but that doesn't always work. If you want to build a kitchen and a bar you need a Piggeh, a special type of monster for that. To get one you need to build a bed for it and they will just appear/be made. One time, I mined into a labyrinth, which I never found again after that playthrough. In that dungeon, there were these minotaur like creatures. After I killed them, nothing happened. I didn't get to make them or have them made for me. So I just didn't care after a while and then the game spits out one for me without any notice. A few times, a lot of my troops will complain they are hungry despite the fact I have a place where they can eat as well as a farm that gets the food. Am I missing something?

The Meh:
This is one of those games where you need to be using a mouse and not a track pad. Unfortunately, I have a laptop so I'm stuck using my USB mouse. I say need because you need to use the scroll wheel to move the camera 360. If you don't, prepare to A) not be able to finish the tutorial and B) constantly have your view obscured. You won't be able to see past walls unless you tear them down, which is bad if you accidentally bring enemies back to your base because they'll trash the place much easily now that nothing is impeding them. If this game could have a 'lower wall' tool like in The Sims, that would be greatly appreciated. At the very least, a few walls would be nice.

This is... actually a really good game. While I have a few gripes, its nothing to keep from playing/enjoying this game. For 15 bucks, its not a bad buy. The state the game is in may be incomplete, but there's enough to get me wanting to play it a little bit more.

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