In lieu of roguelike, 2D dungeon games becoming quite popular, with the release of titles such as Darkest Dungeon, it was inevitable that we would get a game that showed the other side of that coin. Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Master puts you in the role of the monsters that plague the tundra’s, keeps and ruins, overseeing all that is evil as the Keeper. With a quant pixel style and comedic approach to villainy similar to the Dungeons series, LoK seeks to set itself apart in a genre that is slowly making an impact on the market.
The story of LoK takes a very background approach, you’re given the jist of your job via an evil secretary of sorts, having to takeover a local dungeon and boss to help with their yearly events. Making sure your minions don’t go insane, killing any intruders and periodically doing some peer reviews on your staff as well as yourself. Your main goal is to make sure the boss survives and the treasure is not stolen, with each year ending with a tally of your work.
Currently, there are only 2 dungeon routes to go through, Slaveholder and Enchantress, with others to be released over time during the early access segment. With 52 weeks, you’ll have an event each week. There are set battles events, with some downtime events between them, featuring shops, upgrades and random occurrences that can be both good as well as bad for your progression. As you get further along the game will continue to get harder until you can no longer survive against the onslaught of heroes, your final score is tallied and the boss you were commanding gains levels for the next run.
There isn’t a deep story as of right now, instead you will get some check-ups from the receptionist now and then with the only voice acting on display aside from the ability lines of the heroes. LoK isn’t story focused and what story is given to us is delivered with a helping of comedy to keep it fresh as well as welcoming.
LoK is split up into 2 parts, the dungeon battles and generally management week to week. Dungeons have a set amount of rooms, around 4 in the beginning and expanding as you get further into the year. A room can contain monsters, traps, dungeon events and finally the boss. Your aim is to weaken to kill the heroes before they reach the boss, or kill them with the boss so that the heroes do not get the treasure at the end.
Management is a bit more varied in its approach, you will have a choice of 2-3 different events for the week, consisting of trading, upgrading your units or boss and increases the health and sanity of your monsters. Proper selection is key, as monsters will need morale to defend the dungeon while your boss needs to be as strong as possible to deal with the later heroes.
Through both stages you will be taking care of your monsters in a very minimalistic style, with monsters respawning on death. Each respawn they lose morale, until they cannot take it anymore and need vacation time. You can pit monsters into vacation early to gain back morale. Aside from their state of mind you can buy and sell them at random markets, use your gold, blood and tears to upgrade them into higher levels to gain new skills or increase their stats. You won’t be able to use all your monsters in the dungeon, so letting some take a break can be vital for later segments, though you will also need to consider what types of monsters you want in battle, as heroes can be resistant to different damage types.
The difficulty of LoK is a steady climb, with higher level adventurers going into your dungeons with varied effects. Dungeon layout, events and monsters are all randomised, causing some runs to be much easier or harder than others. My first run of the game lasted until ¼ into year 2 as I had an amazing setup, though my 2nd run only lasted until around the middle of the 1st year due to some not-so-great matchups.
As you complete runs your boss will level up, allowing you to spend skill points to improve the boss’ statistics and damage, or affect your dungeon monsters and traps. The increases from skill points feel rather underwhelming however, with only the new skills playing a major part. A fully levelled boss will show a vast difference from a level 1 boss, but with the gradual increase you may not notice it as much.
With the current state of Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Master I can highly recommend a purchase, if not a try of its prologue demo. It is a fun game to pour a couple hours into a day, or a full session to see how long you can last. With the roguelike addition of levelling the boss you can continue to make the game easier, whilst the random generation may put some other more tactical players off due to poor rolls of the dice.
You can purchase this game here for PC https://store.steampowered.com/app/978520/Legend_of_Keepers_Career_of_a_Dungeon_Master/
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