War for the Overworld – Review
Follow Genre: Strategy
Developer: Brightrock Games , Subterranean Games
Publisher: Brightrock Games , Subterranean Games
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

War for the Overworld – Review

Site Score
Good: Dungeon Keeper vibe, Concept
Bad: Difficulty, Pretty much a copy paste of Dungeon Keeper 2
User Score
(2 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)

It feels like decades ago since we last heard of Bullfrog Productions, the game studio that created many timeless classics, such as Theme Hospital, Populous and perhaps most notably, the Dungeon Keeper series. It’s the latter that has received a spiritual successor which shares the same subtitle as the cancelled third iteration of the Dungeon Keeper series, namely War for the Overworld. This homage, which is in many ways a copy paste version of Dungeon Keeper 2 with some original additions, recently received some extra attention, as the developers are still actively adding content to their game, which has been out for over a year now. We were curious what all the hubbub was about.

War for the Overworld


The lands on the surface have always been coveted by many, but currently the forces of humanity hold the power of said ‘world’. You, the new Underlord, have returned after your very essence had been shattered and scattered around the world. Now you’re back, learning the ropes of the evil trade once again, dwelling in the dark caverns below the surface to finally start raiding the world above, and raise your status from Underlord, to perhaps Overlord.

As expected, a game such as this doesn’t hold a very thick plot and in all honestly, we couldn’t care less. The tone is set, all the requirements are met, and in the end, this game is all about the gameplay, yet it is welcome that some sort of backbone has been created. The story content that is present is very much in sync with the stories of the original Dungeon Keeper games, thus things can’t really go wrong in that aspect.


As mentioned before, this game is a spiritual successor of Dungeon Keeper 2, not only in concept, but also when taking a closer look at the graphical prowess of the game. The game doesn’t look bad, it does look slightly dated, and not that much better than Dungeon Keeper 2 per se. The overall character models all have fairly rough edges to them, same for the enemies and the environments, but in many ways this is a rather charming aspect of the title. You’ll see how fairly up-to-date game mechanics can still work with retro-like graphics, with people still loving the visual presentation of the title. Luckily, the fact you’ll constantly be plowing through the darkness and the darker tones hide a lot of imperfections as well.

War for the Overworld 1


The music is rather atmospheric in War for the Overworld, but this is rather fun, as you’ll be carving out rooms underneath the surface anyway. You’ll constantly be accompanied by the grunts of your creatures, combat noises, the sound of soil being cleared and of course the voice that constantly gives you updates about all that is going on. The latter is also done in the same fashion as Dungeon Keeper, albeit with a tad less humor and perhaps slightly less likeable.


War for the Overworld is a strategy game, where you manage the creation of your dungeon, and those who come over to settle in your damp and dark home. You’ll mostly be commanding your workers to carve out rooms, build said rooms, explore and of course, drop your minions in combat, while expanding your own arsenal of powers.

Overall the mechanics prove to be straightforward, as you’ll need money to pay the upkeep of your minions and build new rooms, you’ll need to carve out rooms to make sure your monsters can settle, and by doing so, you’ll also gain more experience, and in turn unlock new abilities and rooms, with the latter in turn unlocking new minions.

War for the Overworld 2

Combat in War for the Overlord is as satisfying as it is frustrating, since it can be an extremely hard challenge from time to time. The latter was also a feature inherited by the series upon which this game was heavily based. Seeing you’re the master of unruly demons, your underlings tend to have a mind of their own, where they won’t precisely attack what you want them to attack, they might quit halfway the fight, or just complain they’re not happy and pretty much do nothing at all. Other annoyances are the fact that even though your minions are often of a higher level than the human forces, they still get clobbered and take a lot more time to recover than it takes for the enemy to spawns new waves. Mostly combat, and many other mechanics of the game are a matter of trial and error, and sheer luck. Nonetheless, winning battles grants you with a well deserved feeling of euphoria, even if it is all for the sake of evil.

Of course, we haven’t forgotten about the newly added free Crucible mode, which is certainly great for those who have already cleared the game for the umpteenth time. The Crucible mode is pretty much a fancy name for a survival based mode, in which you’ll have to survive through several different waves of enemies, while expanding your dungeon and setting up the proper defenses. You’ll also get the chance to use some spiffy new abilities in this mode, but we’ll leave those for you to find out.

The only real issue with this game, which the old DK games also had, is the difficulty, not only due to the combat as described earlier, but the overall difficulty level as well. You’ll notice that most of the time you can’t take your time to properly build up a dungeon, before trying to slaughter your foes. Nonetheless, this game is the ideal example of practice makes perfect.

War for the Overworld 3


Even a year after its release date, disregarding the new mode, War for the Overlord is still a decent amount of fun, especially to those who loved the Dungeon Keeper games. In essence this title is more of the same, with the same old school feel, but with a lot of added content, new modes and properly optimized for our entertainment. If you wish to be on the side of evil for once, albeit in a lighthearted fashion, a digital vacancy as an Underlord is eagerly waiting to be filled by you.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
War for the Overworld - Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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