Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Manager - PC Review

Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Manager
by developer Goblinz Studio and publisher Goblinz PublishingPC (Steam) review written by Pierre-Yves with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Some days it's good to be the boss... even if you have corporate hovering over your shoulder to get the job done and Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Manager by Goblinz Studio / Publishing is one such experience. While you are the boss, you're still going to have to navigate some red tape in order to hire new hands to defend various dungeons' treasure, lend a hand to other initiatives, and raid other locations for resources all while worrying about your own hired hands' wellbeing. Thankfully, there are therapists for that!

I honestly think that reverse dungeon crawlers are not as popular as they should be as releases in the genre seem to be few and far between. That said, Legend of Keepers isn't just a small addition to that pile but a solid one that can easily keep on giving as the hours tick by. Hosting not just resource management options, there is plenty of strategy as you set up a dungeon's defenses and order your troops in battle to defend the treasure that corporate tasked you with from one week to the next.

Unlike the Dungeon Keeper series and the War for the Overworld which will have you micromanaging your forces, here, it's a turn- based affair and each dungeon that you defend is a bit different than the one prior to it. See, Legend of Keepers isn't just a reverse dungeon crawler, but it's a reverse dungeon crawler in which your forces never really die and "corporate" needs you to be ready on a moment's notice to deploy to various dungeons that they've teased treasure. That said, the fun and games are what you make of them.

Set up in a series of weeks, each week “you” will be choosing what you wish to do. Options range from defending a dungeon from adventurers, sending out units to raid other locations, visiting an alchemist to transmute resources, upgrade your traps, upgrade your units, and so on. So with this in mind in order to keep the action rolling, each dungeon that you defend isn't going to be a one, two, or three hour affair. It's going to take minutes and then you'll just as easily be on to the next one as you don't need to worry about cleaning up the mess. That's corporate's problem. What you need to worry about is that everything you have access to. Troops, traps, and your own Dungeon Master have to be in tip top shape and continue to evolve in order to meet the expectations set before you. To meet these expectations, you’ll have to make strategic choices from one week to the next.

This is where the gameplay literally shines as there was so much that could have gone wrong. Hardcore dungeon crawlers such as Darkest Dungeon, Vambrace: Cold Soul, and MistOver are designed to kill you outright and the punishment is harsh as you’ll never see those units again. Legend of Keepers, while designed to kill your forces as you are guarding treasure from perky adventurers, has plenty of safeguards such as necromancers and therapists to resurrect and heal the minds of those that die over, and over, and over, and over again. From there, you can level up your units through a variety of choices that will present themselves over time such as paying for training sessions to make them more powerful.

For your traps, you'll also be able to sink some cold hard earned cash in order to make them more viable to your strategies. Do you want to demoralize the enemy? Do you want to enrage your own units to do more damage? Buzz saw your enemies to drain some health? Set them on fire? Each type of trap has its own pros and cons and like your above mentioned troops, you’ll want to make sure to be keeping them leveled up as the challenges will only continue to rise as the weeks go on.

Putting it all together is where the bulk of your gameplay will be as you put your troops and traps to work in the best strategic formation that you can think of. Set up in a series of rooms, rooms will consist of “troop rooms” for turn- based combat, “trap rooms” that are basically one and done, and then the alluring “empty rooms” that exist to pelt the unsuspecting and intruding adventurers with spells from your spell book. IF, IF they make it through all of these rooms? There’s the final boss room to truly ruin their day as you send whoever is left to the grave. It’s a solid design and with the constant changing of the rooms, what you have on hand, the type of adventurers that keep on coming in for the treasure, it’s as fun a few hours down the line as it is in the opening tutorial.

Probably the best part of all of this is that Legend of Keepers can fit into any kind of day. Only have a few minutes? That’s fine as you can simply go through a few weeks and maybe one reverse dungeon crawl. Have nothing on your calendar? Go the whole nine yards and see just how far you can make it. Only ever adding to the action is that there's a "campaign" trail that leads you from easier to tougher challenges. Once you've finished a campaign trail, your Dungeon Master will gain experience allowing them to level up and learn new abilities through their own skill tree. This isn't the only way to level them up as it can be done through events, but since you never really know if that event will come up, at least you'll always know that there's experience points at the end of the line!

Now because it's not all sunshine and rainbows, you could end up kicking the bucket. If that happens, well, at least you had a good run at it and then can start a campaign trail all over again. Depending on how far you've made it by this point though you could have unlocked a new Dungeon Master to use in your fights against evil. Unlocking the Enchantress requires the base Slaver to be level 5 and the Engineer requires the Enchantress to be at least level 3. So obviously it's going to take some time but with the amount of gameplay ahead, it shouldn't really be an issue to obtain. Finally, if things are just going super sour you can always hit the give up and then just start a new campaign trail instead of waiting for an inevitable demise as one way or the other, if you lose or quit, you unfortunately receive no experience points in order to level up.


So overall, there’s plenty to love about Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Manager. There’s strategy, there’s resource management, and there’s just some good plain old fun as you get to be in charge of repelling pesky adventurers just drooling at the prospect of the treasures hidden away inside of the dungeons that you are charged with protecting. Again, the best part? You don’t have to clean up the mess! That’s corporate’s problem.

Score: 8 / 10




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