How to get the most out of Dungeon Keeper without spending a thing - hints and tips


How to get the most out of Dungeon Keeper without spending a thing - hints and tips
| Dungeon Keeper

You don't need to spend a single penny to enjoy Dungeon Keeper. But you do have to adjust your mindset a little.

Unless you're willing to invest tons of real-life cash in Dungeon Keeper, then it's not the sort of game you're going to be playing for hours on end.

But if you're smart and you don't mind dipping in and out of your cartoon subterranean lair, then there's actually a pretty decent casual game here.

Like I said in my review of EA and Mythic Entertainment's new game, it's NOT Dungeon Keeper. And while some of EA's practices are a little suspect, everyone knows that the best revenge is a free-to-play game enjoyed without spending any money.

I might be paraphrasing a little there.

Without further ado, then, I've compiled some hints and tips that should enable you to set up a dungeon empire that's entertaining to poke at every now and then, and won't cost you a single IAP in upkeep.

Play smart

If you're looking for anything with a vague whiff of that awful term 'hardcore' in Dungeon Keeper, then you're going to be disappointed.

This is about as casual a gaming experience as you can get without resorting to reclining chairs and narcotics.

Think of it instead as a 'filler' game. You might only get a couple of minutes of play in here and there throughout the day. You know what - that's okay.

A wait timer doesn't grate so badly when your phone's in your pocket or your tablet's out of sight.

Hitting a wall doesn't mean it's time to get angry - it means it's time to switch to something else.

Your dungeon is going to be fine without you. Your minions are going to build whatever you've told them to. And the next time you pick up the game, you'll be that little bit further on.

This is the mindset you need to be in to get the most out of Dungeon Keeper. It's a series of almost bite-sized slices stretched out forever. And if you don't want to pay, that's how you're going to have to play.

Time is your most valuable commodity

You don't necessarily need to be in the game to be playing it. I'll explain...

Don't be afraid to put your phone down and leave your dungeon ticking away. Make sure that during the chunks of time you're not around, though, stuff is happening.

Slap your minions before you move on to something else to get your 30-minute speed boost.

Leave them digging out the harder rocks overnight so when you wake up, you've got something to work with.

It's a good idea to have one imp on digging duty at all times, leaving your other to build traps and rooms. This will make things slower, but the game isn't a race.

It takes a good chunk of time to dig out the best places for your rooms, so making sure there's always someone on that will help immensely.

It's also good to keep on top of your resources. If you're not claiming your stone and gold when your quarries are at capacity, then they're just sitting there doing nothing.

So, pop into the game when you can to stay on top of things like this.

Defenders of the dungeon earth

It's a good idea to spend some of the gems you're given at the start of the game on expediting the process of unlocking a couple of extra gold and stone mines.

You want to be making as much of both as possible. Why? To facilitate upgrading your dungeon heart and other rooms as quickly as you can.

If you follow this strategy, then - to begin with at least - your rooms, and any new rooms you add, aren't going to be in the best places.

It'll take a while to dig out anything useful, and unlocking the new entrances means enemies can attack from a variety of directions.

So, you're going to have to be smart with your defences.

Cannons are your best friends if you put them in sensible places. Try and make sure they cover at least two, if not three, hallways.

And always add spike traps to those hallways. Combinations of damage are always better than relying on just one trap.

By putting spike traps near your cannons, anyone who attacks them is going to get a nasty shock, too. That might buy you some precious time. And don't forget to spawn your monsters.

Grouping your rooms together makes them a lot easier to defend. It means if one falls, though, the others are likely to go in quick succession.

It's best, then, to have two groupings spread out across your dungeon. You should have cannons defending the corners, for one. And you should place the doors so any other projectile weapons, like in the hatchery or the dark library, can hit any attackers that are trying to break in.

Testing your dungeon inevitably costs a chunk of gold, but it's important to discover the weaknesses in your defences before they're exposed by either a real player or during a campaign stage.

You don't need to do it often. After a few changes, mind, it's good to see what's effective.

Attack the block

There are some golden rules that you should follow to make attacking easier.

Firstly, ensure that you know what your troops do, and where they're going to wander off to when you spawn them.

Check the dungeon layout and pick the rooms you want taking out first.

Don't waste creatures, either. Some spells and other contraptions only appear when you spring them, so send in a skeleton or two to test the waters.

There's a good chance they'll capture a room for you to spawn in, bypassing the obstacles set around the main entrance.

A balanced squad is always going to do better than a group of just trolls. You'll need a couple of casters for ranged support, and some bile demons to run around vomiting poison everywhere. Don't be afraid to chop and change if you need to.

Make sure you use your spells, too. Not only do you gain little bits of experience by turning bad guys into chickens or walls into bombs, but you'll also use up some of your mana.

Your supplies of this are tightly limited, so it's good to use it to get your library working again.

If you play smart, you won't need any of the boosts on offer at the start of each scrap. Take your time and plan your routes. If need be, take a loss so you're better prepared for next time.

You'll lose your minions, but we're playing the long game here anyway.

Common sense will out

Always claim your achievement rewards when you get the chance. There's not much there sometimes, but some extra gems in the coffers can help no end.

You get a sizable chunk to begin with, but it's wiser to save them up to buy a third minion when you can.

Upgrade your rooms as regularly as you can - especially your dungeon heart - because you unlock new devices, minion slots, and rooms that way. Getting your mines producing more will help no end, too.

And last but not least, check back often. Empty your mines, slap your minions, and give them something to do. Follow those three commandments and you shouldn't go too far wrong.

Harry Slater
Harry Slater
Harry used to be really good at Snake on the Nokia 5110. Apparently though, digital snake wrangling isn't a proper job, so now he writes words about games instead.