Saturday, 15 December 2012

Kickstarting: War for the Overworld

I've been watching War for the Overworld for what seems like a long time. It started life as a fan-made remake of Dungeon Keeper, but as the team began their work, they decided that making an original project (albeit heavily inspired by Dungeon Keeper) would be a better idea. While fan-made remakes can be impressive, there is always a threat of a closure due to copyright infringement. I think going for something new is a much better idea, and it's the sort of game people have been desperate for.

War for the Overworld is a real-time strategy game, where you play the part of a dungeon-owning "Underlord". You must build your fortress, expand your territory and defeat the heroes that will come and try and stop you. It's a well-known premise for those people who've played Dungeon Keeper, and I've no doubt there will be many similarities between the two. For those that didn't play Bullfrog's classic Dungeon Keeper games, you can pick them up quite cheaply over on

Subterranean Games have put up an impressive Kickstarter project, and have made regular updates. I've been impressed by the level of polish on show, with the often familiar graphical style looking sharp. What will set this up as a proper "spiritual sequel" for Dungeon Keeper will be the details of course, things like the available monsters, rooms, traps and so forth.

Dungeon Keeper was an interesting game, which followed on from the likes of Theme Park and Theme Hospital (both also by Bullfrog). Those both required you to manage staff, build facilities and deal with problems. Dungeon Keeper was no different really, but put you in the boots of the bad guy. Your staff are monsters and demons, your facilities are treasure vaults and torture chambers, and your problems are meddling heroes and rival dungeon keepers.

Your main interaction in the game is via Imps, which perform all the menial tasks in your dungeon. Through a simple mouse interface, you can tell them what areas to excavate, where rooms should be constructed, and where to place traps. They are not useful in combat however, so you must create a dungeon worthy of great monsters to defend your dungeon and kill any heroes or rivals that dare to intrude on your territory.

With a huge number of gaming Kickstarters being pushed this year, many people could be forgiven for being fatigued, and indeed out of pocket! However, this is a project that's asking for a relatively low amount of money, and the various pledge rewards should have something for every prospective backer. As I write this, the project is almost half-way to being funded. I backed it on day one, and I hope it will be given a lot of consideration, because I'm quite excited by the possibility.

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