I consider myself a frequent visitor of Facebook. How frequent? Well, the fact that I’m constantly checking to see what everyone’s up to when I have nothing else going on, and even when I’m working on other projects, I tend to spend quite a bit of time on there. The one thing I rarely do though, ironically enough, is play games on Facebook. While I never did get into Farmville and most games like that, the two I did play a bit of were Mafia Wars and Utopia Kingdoms. While Utopia Kingdoms didn’t hold my interest for very long, I played Mafia Wars quite a bit, but for some reason, just lost interest in it. However, I recently had the chance to check out a new Facebook game called Dungeon Overlord. Now while it does seem like it’s another “farming” game, the main theme revolves around things like orcs and goblins, which I enjoy (I like games like World of Warcraft [mostly] and other fantasy/adventure games), so I figured I’d give it a shot and see if I could make this game my Farmville, so to speak.
For starters, the game’s not very hard to get into. Like other games, you’re given a set of quests to follow at your leisure, and these quests begin by helping you get started with things like building rooms, getting more minions to harvest minerals and gold for you, and so on. Most of the quests are self-explanatory, such as “build this” or “research that”. In fact, quite a few times I’ve gotten ahead of myself by just researching stuff on my own time, and when that mission pops up, I’m already done. Later missions though require resources that are a little tougher to get, so it’ll take some time to gain those resources and complete the quests.
A lot of the early quests start you off with building various types of rooms, each with their own purpose. The first of which are mines. Your goblins will use these mines to…well, mine minerals. These minerals are used in building and crafting things later on. After that, some of the other types of rooms you’ll build are a farm for harvesting food, a den for your creatures to sleep (and to gain orcs), a tavern for your creatures to eat in, a vault to store your gold, a library for researching, and a workshop to craft items. Each room can also be upgraded for a cost. The requirements for upgrading a room are having certain materials on hand (such as iron or crystal) and the room itself being a certain size (such as at least being 2x2 or 3x3). If you have the materials, simply click on the room you wish to upgrade and do so. It does take time, so don’t expect to gain the benefits of an upgraded room right off. The benefits are pretty nice though. For instance, a level 3 farm will increase your food production rate by 1600%, while a level 3 den increases overall production as well as your population.
Other quests will teach you how to craft various items for your rooms, which will also provide various bonuses. Placing a trinket rack in your workshop will give you more storage, while warlock beds will…well, provide an additional warlock for researching. Speaking of which, researching opens up even more possibilities. The early technology Creature Affinity is required to be able to control orcs, which are needed to raid and attack villages and such. Hey, you gotta gain resources somehow. Later technologies, such as Skirmish Party and Swift Raiding Party, are useful for speeding up raiding and surveying. While a lot of the quests have you researching, building, and crafting the necessary items and technologies, you can also kind of get ahead of the game once you know how, such as leveling your orcs high enough to do a few raids.
While the game is pretty good (at least in the early goings), that’s not to say it’s not without its frustrations. Again, I’ve never played games like Farmville and really don’t plan to do so. However, with Dungeon Overlord, if you go too long without checking in, your creatures might wind up starved…or broke…or both. I actually came home from a trip to California and within the two days I was away (since the hotel I was at didn’t have free wi-fi), a good chunk of my creatures were dead. I would guess it was due to starvation, as my food count was zero. I would imagine that Farmville is the same way, and it’s kind of like the old-school Tamigotchi pets that I never got into. You have to pretty much check in every day to make sure things are going smoothly. With that said, if you don’t have a lot of time, this probably won’t be your type of game.
That’s pretty much about it. Now yes, there is more to do, and with enough time I could probably write a small book on my experiences with the game, but I kind of wanted to give a small glimpse into the early goings of the game with this review, but there are still a couple more things to mention. The first of these are the Dungeon Marks. Dungeon Marks are the game’s currency to purchase items and boosts. To buy DMs (it feels weird using that abbreviation outside of Dungeons & Dragons), simply use Facebook credits. DMs can be used to purchase things like more dungeon tiles, an increase in population, or to even boost crafting upgrading. If you have the DMs to spend, this is the easiest way to get more tiles or goblins, or if you need that quick boost or plan to craft multiple items at once. One thing to keep in mind is that this is the fastest way to gain dungeon tiles. You can gain more tiles through leveling up, but though my experience, I only got a couple here and there. With that in mind, I never used tiles to make hallways and just made all of my rooms connected. It works for the most part. I also fiddled around with making an expansion dungeon. I’m not really sure what I was expecting, but it felt kind of like starting the building, mining, and populating of a dungeon from scratch with its own resources. I may have just misinterpreted it though. I’m sure as you level higher and gain more creatures, there’s more to do and more to raid (as with only a few orcs, I can only raid a few small villages). Whether there’s major issues down the road, I’m honestly not sure. However, from what I’ve played, Dungeon Overlord is a pretty good game.