Friday, March 7, 2014

Greed, Thy Name Is Electronic Arts

by SandWyrm

I heard today that Electronic Arts had released an iOS version of Bullfrog's old Dungeon Keeper game. So I decided to try it out. What I found though, was THE most player-abusive "Freemium" title I've ever seen. You think that World of Tanks is bad? Gold-rounds and premium tanks have nothing on this steeming pile-o-greed. Where every little action has been turned into an opportunity to fleece the impatient for money.


It all starts innocently enough. After downloading the "free" game, you wait for an update (!?!) to download, and then you're off into the tutorial.

Pretty soon though, you notice that doing the least little thing, like upgrading the above building, takes an awfully long time. Five minutes? Oh, I can pay a gem to complete it right away? Sure!

Ten minutes to research a spell? Um... ok. Guess I can pay the 3 gems. No big deal, right?

But pretty soon you're running low on gems. So you look into buying some. What? They're about one cent each?

I paid $5 in gems for the 3rd Imp. But the next one is always more expensive then the previous one. Turns out, if you research it, that buying all five will cost you $50 in gems.

And you'll need all five if you really intend to play wait this game through. See those 2 gem blocks I'm mining? Yep. Four hours to mine one, and a WHOLE FRACKING DAY to mine the other. Seriously? I'm supposed to take 2-3 days to mine out one 3x3 room?

It costs 49g, and 249g to rush these. Yet nowhere in the game do they tell you how many gems you'll get, if any, for mining them.

Mind you, there is NOTHING else to do while I mine these. Well, except build traps (which take 5-10 minutes of an Imp's time), and endlessly tap on the stone and gold mines. Because they don't empty themselves out into your stores. Nor do your Imps fetch that stuff for you when they're not building/mining.

BTW, if you let the iPad sit for a bit while stuff completes, you'll be both disconnected from the server and verbally taunted, to see if you're "Still There?". 

Oh look... Achievements! But you don't get the gem rewards until you go to this screen and touch "Claim". Because the game's not gonna give you anything you don't ask for.

You can be raided by other players. You can also attempt to survive 'scenario' attacks by the computer.

But you only get one free shot at each scenario. This one required me to pay 30g to try it again. While I only got a couple of gems back.

"Combat", if you can call it that... Consists of placing your minions down somewhere near the attackers. They do the rest... or not. If they're facing the wrong way, they won't see or fight the enemy. And there's not a damn thing that you can do to turn them around or relocate them.

But not to worry. After the attack, everything that was damaged will re-build itself in a few minutes. Meaning that there's no consequences beyond maybe losing some gold or stone.

Gameplay then, consists of the following:

  1. Start digging or upgrading, go do something else while it completes.
  2. Once per hour, log in to slap your Imps.
  3. Once per day, upgrade some stuff while doing something else.

Unless of course you pay at least $5 an hour to do stuff. Which is still 10x slower than the gameplay of the original games from the late 90's.

So why play wait this game at all? In fact, can you even call it a game?

No, you can't. It's just an interactive money extractor for stupid people.

Do yourself a favor. If you have fond memories of Dungeon Keeper, spend the $6 for the originals on Good Old Games instead of installing this dreck.

As for this "Free To Wait" rip-off, don't bother. I give GW a lot of crap for being greedy, but they've got nothing on Electronic Arts.


  1. I got really excited when I stumbled across this app a while back. I have fond memories of replaying the original game with my son while he was still in the single digit months. For all the reasons above I deleted it off of my i-pad only after a day.

    So does any one know a good turn based game for the i-pad that doesn't look to suck me dry?

    1. There's a port of XCOM for iOS that has pretty good reviews.

      $20 up front, and no mention of DLC.

    2. Calculords!
      Unity of Command!

    3. Almost 9 hours of XCom has confirmed no DLC. Now if I can just keep my teams from getting killed...

    4. Warning: XCom crashes... a lot.

    5. Turns out its an iPad 2 issue. Plays fine on my iPhone 5C.

  2. I like the games by Shenendoah studios. ( Steve formerly of WWPD was big on the Battle of the Bulge game. It is pretty good, and playable from Both American and Germans, with two styles of AI to go against.
    Looks like they've even got an El-Alamein game coming out this spring for Sandwyrm.

    Other than that, The Small World 2 game is really good, as is Ticket to Ride. (both from Days of Wonder, and very similar to the boardgsmes) I've also heard good reports on the Carcassonne app.

    1. Yeah the new one is March on Moscow. The 3 moves ahead podcast did a full episode on it, it sounds really great.

      Unity of command beats them for me though, it single-handedly renewed my interest in hex games.

  3. Anyone else noticing that we don't buy a 'thing' anymore, we just purchase the need or option to purchase for stuff.


out dang bot!

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