|Dev: Acquire/SCE Studios Japan|
|Release: November 2, 2010|
|Players: 1 (2 player online cooperative)|
|Screen Resolution: N/A||Alcohol and Tobacco Reference, Animated Blood, Mild Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes|
by Greig McAllister
As the third installment of its series releases, many people are already familiar with the quirky and humorous evil-doer known as Badman. I was not one of those people, but even so I was immediately taken in by his entertaining way of doing things. You are the God of Destruction, summoned by Overlord Badman to relieve the world's lame heroes of their lives. You must conquer dungeon after dungeon, fighting off do-gooders, preventing them from getting their manicured hands on Badman and relieving you of your right hand man.
That's pretty much the extent of the story. It's not deep, but that doesn't matter because the main draw of this game is the entertaining dialogue and the complex, interesting gameplay. If you haven't played any of the previous titles, there are a handful of tutorials you can complete to get a feel for the game, which, it turns out, is simultaneously very simple and frustratingly complex.
As the God of Destruction, it is up to you to dig as complex a dungeon as possible, hiding Badman in the furthest corner possible and spawning a horde of minions to protect him from heroes that come to your dungeon in search of him. Your main (and really only) tool in this endeavor is your trusty pick ax. This is where the game is simple. You only use one button to dig through each square of dirt, creating a deep tunnel system designed to confuse invading heroes. The length and complexity of your dungeon is limited only by your imagination and your Dig Power. Dig Power is what it sounds like. It is the power you use to excavate soil. Each time you dig a tile of soil up, you use one Dig Power.
That is the end of the simple aspect of the game. In addition to digging your tunnel system, you have to spawn minions to protect your dungeon. On paper it is a simple concept. Spawning minions is done by digging into dirt that contains nutrients. Simple enough right? Wrong. There are varying levels of nutrients, each level spawning stronger minions than the one before it. You must manage the nutrient levels of the dirt properly if you are going to spawn minions strong enough to fight off invaders. The only way to manage and improve the level of nutrients in the dirt is to spawn Level-1 minions known as Slimemoss. These minions wander the dungeon sucking nutrients from dirt they pass and regurgitating it on other nutrient rich soil, increasing its level. Since you have no direct control over your minions, you must dig the dungeon in a way that will encourage the Slimemoss to take a certain path to properly distribute nutrients. This is tricky because if you spawn too many, they will simply follow each other, sucking up the nutrients deposited by the one in front of it and move it elsewhere, which will lead to exactly no squares leveling up, but if you spawn too few, it will take ages to level up a square, and time is a precious commodity in this game.
Once you have managed to spawn several minions of varying levels, you must then maintain their population. The minions must be fed or they will die. Slimemoss feeds on nutrient-rich soil, Level-2 minions (called Omnoms) eat Slimemoss, and Level-3 minions (called Lizardmen) eat Omnoms. Each level has its own way of reproducing once it has eaten enough, so you must make sure that there is enough food for each level while evenly trying to manage their reproduction. I love the staggering complexity of the game's ecosystem. It makes the game challenging, which is not always the case in a market full of mindless action and FPS titles.
Adding to the complexity of the game is the ability to dig up tiles that release a torrent of water. You must guide the water through your dungeon to pool in strategic areas. Water makes up a whole separate ecosystem, spawning different monsters, each with different traits and abilities. Learn what they are and how to use them if you want to succeed in the field of dungeon mastery and world conquering.