We’ve been spared the upset of a new Dungeon Keeper up at PCGN House, but during dinner it’s become increasingly difficult to talk over the wails emanating from the App Store below. “Ludicrously-priced IAPs!!” they’ve screamed. “Ratings of less than five stars are banned!!”, they’ve moaned. A very modern sort of hell, by all accounts.
Accounts including that of Peter Molyneux, who once upon a time designed a game named Dungeon Keeper himself.
Molyneux told the BBC that he was shocked by the hours-long timers that applied to digging out sections of the game’s map.
“I felt myself turning round saying, ‘What? This is ridiculous. I just want to make a dungeon. I don’t want to schedule it on my alarm clock for six days to come back for a block to be chipped,’” he said.
Molyneux added that fans of the 1997 original clearly wanted an updated game in the same style – but suggested that new developers Mythic had taken the wrong approach.
“I don’t think they got it quite right,” he said. “The balance between keeping it familiar to the fans that were out there but fresh enough and understandable enough for this much bigger mobile audience.”
Mythic have a long and storied history on the PC – though their Warhammer Online closed down in December when its license from Games Workshop concluded. They’ve defended Dungeon Keeper’s accessibility, noting that all of its features are available to non-paying players – but acknowledged “angry reactions around the internet”.