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I think this game is enjoyable, if even just to waste time. There are certainly better games out there, and this is not one of those eye-popping good games. However its a good game to play when your bored or just want to be evil. I am dissapointed with the lack of a good skirmish game. If your looking for a game you can easilly spend 100+ hours on, dont buy this game. If your not strapped for cash and you just wanna experiment and dabble around with different types of games this is a good one to check out.
Right away, this is not like one of the older sim dungeon games you are expecting; Impire has more limitations on what you can do and how you can do it. However, at the given tag price, it isn't bad. You will find that the game-play and mechanics are entertaining for a while, even though creating your own special lair may become dull. Like other reviewers here, I also got too excited over this dungeon sim. That being said, I also played the game for a significant period of time. The only down side is once the initial flavor wears off there is not much to bring you back (even with the nice addition of coop)
The game is a melted snowcone, in the terms of original gameplay and scriptwriting. There is the mushy paper barrier in your hand, separating it from a pool of off-colored water that looks like the runoff from a paint factory. The mushy paper cone is the hope of a new Dungeon Keeper. It quickly dissolves, even into the tutorial level. Hopefully you weren't wearing good shoes, because the mess is all over you now. The colorful rainbow mess is what is left of the game. The construction of your dungeon relies only on digging out halls and corridors. The building layouts for rooms are all in linear sizes and shapes that never change. The only challenge to building is how to turn your rooms to make them fit certain corridors. A glorified functioning puzzle. Your monsters are simply conjured up from a barracks style room and put into control groups, where they can be easily managed using the number keys. The creatures are just about as smart as Sims without free-will turned on. They become stronger when they eat, but will only eat when instructed, for example, even though the AI could easily direct them to a kitchen to eat. Your missions stem from underground and above-ground missions. The above-ground missions are bland, consisting of only a map with icons to indicate missions. Your minions disappear onto this bland map, then eventually return to your dungeon with no degree of entertainment involved. The underground missions are more fun, with digging out tunnels and the such, but isn't the biggest stretch. Most of them consist of reaching into a dungeon area filled with enemies and clearing it out, pretty standard material. Impire feels like it was rushed in production, and could have been much better than it's current form, patch or no patch. While the premise is interesting, the jokes fall flat and the experience falls flat. It is a flat soft drink. So much promise, but no fix to leave you want more.
It's not a sim dungeon full of autonomous minions following needs, but it's got a lot of interesting concepts. Dig tunnels, gather resources, place rooms, train minions, and explore the local dungeon. The gameplay has a lot of interesting concepts that don't feel nearly as fleshed out as they could have been, but work together to make a somewhat enjoyable game. Unfortunately the game is riddled with bugs many of which are game crashing, and because units and traps are so limited and rooms are so simple and pre-made, the whole "Craft your perfect dungeon" appeal is missing. I really want to love this game, games like this are quintessential to the PC gaming experience, this game just doesn't live up to it's potential and it still needs some serious patching. It's an enjoyable distraction if you can forgive it's faulty quirks, but it's not like Dungeon Keeper.
If you missed Dungeon Keeper, then you have to give this a try. The whole idea of being evil, building dungeons, fighting the good guys etc is there. It's a great concept, thank god there are publishers like Paradox who keep releasing stuff like this. Graphics are cute, but the whole game feels a bit rough on the edges. Same feeling you get with most of Paradox games, but such unique ideas can make you ignore that easily.
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