A red-haired woman in a fur coat besides a pinao

Evil Genius

Evil Genius

Good old games has release a new Mac port of a Windows game: Evil Genius. Clearly inspired by the Dungeon Keeper series, this games lets you control a villain overlord in a James Bond like universe: you build you secret lair and plot operations around the world, while secret agents a tourists stumble upon your secret base.

On Mac OS X the game runs using wine, this means a rather clunky full screen mode, but this aside, it plays fine, I would have like to be able to run the game at a higher resolution. The graphics are good for the time-frame of the game, but nothing special. The real asset of the game is the design and the underlying humour, your guards wear orange jump-suits and go for smoke breaks. Those pesky spies wear suits, or british bermuda pants, the tourists are lost. The music follows the general theme.

A red-haired woman in a fur coat besides a pinao

I found the game rather complex, in particular you need to divide your time between your base and the world map. In the base, you can construct rooms and traps, but also control around your boss and his henchman, each character has special powers, but I have not yet reached mastered this aspect of the games. Basically everything you had in Dungeon Keeper II is present, with more complexity: your boss and the stolen objets motivate the troops, doors have multiple locking levels, you not only have rooms, but also objets within them, and they can be moved. You can not only built your base, but the hotel to keep the tourists away from your base (and keep the spies busy).

While the game is fun, I found it a bit to slow, as you spend quite a lot of time doing micro-management, dispatching your minions, tagging intruders for interrogations, scheduling them, fixing the traps, and moving around stuff to improve the base. Somehow the rhythm reminded me of Tropico, but maybe it’s the whole tropical island. All in all a nice game, but it does not reach the fun level of Dungeon Keeper, I also feel the games would play better if it were better integrated, just getting proper letterbox format on my main screen for instance, more generally I find it weird to have 3D games needing to run in their native resolution.

Flattr this!

Mac OS X Window showing the dungeon heart of Dungeon Keeper

Dungeon Keeper

Mac OS X Window showing the dungeon heart of Dungeon Keeper

While they cannot compete with the graphical quality of today’s games, I still have fond memories of games of the past. While I played most on my C64, ports of games of these days do not feel very stratifying. My two favourite games in those days, and have been re-written as and , I find neither fun to play nowadays.

is a DOS game from , I never played it, but I loved the sequel, which game out two years later and was a Windows game, so when released Dungeon Keeper for Mac OS X at 5.99$, I just bought it.

In Dungeon Keeper, you control the heart of a dungeon, building up the rooms of the dungeon, hosting, feeding and training you minions to defeat either the human adventurers that visit your dungeon or competing dungeon keepers. The game takes ideas from real-strategy games, with a good sense of humor: your units fight among themselves, have different personalities and require some management.

The game appears as a simple Mac OS X application, hidden in the bundle, there is an instance of DosBox that basically runs the original game. The game is fun to play, as the graphics are quite blocky (S-VGA graphics, remember), I prefer playing in in windowed mode. The game playing flawlessly for me, and is quite fluid – which you would expect running a game designed at a time when 100Mhz was the best you could get, running on a 2.4Ghz machine.

While certainly not as engaging as the sequel, Dungeon Keeper is a fun game, which ads a twist to the classical fantasy setting and the general roleplaying game with dungeons trope. I would certainly recommend this game to anybody who designs dungeons, while laughing with an evil laugh. Despite the low resolution, the graphics are pretty nice, with many nice touches, like the wall decorations

I really like the idea of refurbishing old games for a moderate price: 6$ is certainly worth the hassle of not hacking around with emulators, and such games have a much clearer legal standing as abandon-ware. My only wish would be that Good Old Games releases Dungeon Keeper in the same format, as Dungeon Keeper II is a window game, this might be a bit more complicated.

While this might not be considered a real game by today’s standards, the price is anyway that of an phone app, so there is no big risk in buying it.

Flattr this!