“Stuck in a rut with your life? Feel like you have more to offer to the world? Do you have team management skills? Are you a massive monster and or beast? Well, we have the position of your dreams! Come join in a leadership role, manage your minions, set up your trap rooms and welcome the stream of adventurers that try their best to plunder our company gold deposits we keep secure in our dungeons.” This isn’t in Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Master but it very well could be from the style of game it presents itself as. Let’s peel it back, break it down into digestible pieces and let me explain how I found my experience with this title.
Off the bat, Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Master greets you with a tutorial featuring a cyclops. Unlike nearly all other dungeon-based games you have played in the past, this cyclops isn’t a grunting brute, covered in blood and looking to murder you. No, she instead is sitting behind a tidy desk, sitting up straight, wearing a suit and has her hair in a bun.
She’s your point of information throughout the game, any new features, promotions or fail states get
communicated through her, your boss (I think).
Did you ever wonder why every dungeon full of ghosts and ghouls in all the games you have ever played had a convenient chest of loot sitting at the end? Legend of Keepers has an answer for that, it belongs to the company.
Monsters don’t just haunt any old cave, cavern, dungeon or tomb. No, they’re hired to stand guard and stop any would-be adventurers travelling in a convenient party of three like most other RPGs. That is also a lot of work for the higher-ups to be dealing with, so when it comes to the employees, they need a manager to manage the day-to-day stuff. They need to hire a boss for these employees, someone who can handle a team of monsters but also stand guard as a last line of defence. The boss of the team but also, the boss of the dungeon.
Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Master, is a Management sim, tower defence, turn-based game. Yes I know, let me break it down for you:
When you choose your boss, you select a campaign from a map. Each campaign lasts about 40 weeks. Each week is made up of a random text event or managing the dungeon. (I’ll go more into the dungeon stuff next after this management stuff) In between each arrival of a new party of adventurers, you have a choice to make each week. These choices range from using the time to spend gold upgrading your monsters or traps, improving the master’s stats, sending everyone to therapy to keep their morale up or sending troops out to plunder a nearby area in the hopes of gaining extra goodies.
There are also the random events I previously mentioned. They can range from, “Profits are up. Select a bonus for your team” and you could get a random upgrade, or extra gold, blood or sweat. (yes, sweat) or the company’s scientist wants to buy one of your monsters for an experiment, leaving you a choice of selling a troop for a chunk of change. Each choice you make progresses the campaign by one week.
Traps can cause full-party debuffs or single medium to high damage to a single member. The room where you affect the party is basically a midpoint where the adventurers meet the final boss for the first time but don’t actually get to fight them.
Most of the time a battered and bruised party will meet the boss where another round of turn-based combat takes place. It’s also comical how overpowered you are in comparison. Do be careful though, not paying attention to a party set up and letting them waltz through can cause trouble. The boss is strong but we all know the power a three-person RPG party can hold.
Strengths and Weaknesses
The game’s humour keeps fresh and light throughout without ever getting too ‘hammy’. Events are themed everyday things that could happen in an office but just one that’s filled with monsters.
The game also never punishes you for playing, if you fail a campaign you are still rewarded experience for your attempt and can level up to get extra perks to help with the next fiscal year of dungeon management.
Each boss you can select has their own campaign map of levels to choose from. It’s not just the one set of campaigns you replay as you unlock new managers.
The game has a few hiccups that need to be mentioned, the stats and effects can be hard to figure out at times, understandably it’s to make you think more as you plan a layout of troops before a plunder but it can be quite overwhelming at times and it’s a lot of text to digest.
The UI is hard to read at times and can also be difficult to navigate. The inclusion of a cursor would greatly benefit the overall experience for the player, instead of having the majority of the navigation bound to different buttons.
Are you interested in the position?
All in all Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Master is a fun pick-up and play title. You don’t need to commit a chunk of your time to this game to enjoy it. Once you get past the initial information overload, you will find yourself micromanaging your way up the monster corporate ladder of success.
These words were brought to you in painstaking detail by Lewis Magee.