Back in 2014, KeeperRL had a handful of alpha releases and a successful IndieGogo funding campaign, and was due to be finished that year. Then the ambitious Dwarf Fortress-lite or Dungeon Keeper-heavy made its way through the player-voted Steam Greenlgiht process, at which point its developer decided, hey, why not work on this game for longer.

Ten years and several dozen more updates later, KeeperRL has just hit 1.0.

KeeperRL is a “dungeon simulator with roguelike and RPG elements”. Like its obvious inspiration, you’re an evil wizard, and like both its obvious inspirations, you’re directing a growing troop of minions to dig wider and deeper underground, lay traps, and await assault by your enemies. You can also venture beyond the confines of your own dungeon home to lay waste to innocents around the world, or switch roles and play an adventurer invading the dungeons of other players, with turn-based tactical combat.

All of which sounds swell to me. “Sounds” because, although I’ve played just a tiny touch of KeeperRL, that was a decade ago, and I remember it not.

Dungeon Keeper and Dwarf Fortress have a lot in common, but are very different in other, key ways. KeeperRL’s Steam page describes it as being “simulated on a very detailed level”, for example, with granular wounding, fire that spreads, and a rich variety of “items, spells, attributes and special attacks.” It lays no claim to simulating the inner worlds of its minions, and so I suspect your orcs and men will not be taking to a fey mood and demanding materials for great works of art. You probably know yourself whether that’s a disappointment or a relief.

It’s quite a good time to be a Dungeon Keeper fan, given an open source remake KeeperFx just hit version 1.0 after 15 years of development.

KeeperRL will continue to receive balance patches and fixes post-release, as well as a 1.1 update to add “more content and gameplay that didn’t make it to the 1.0, including another playable keeper faction”, according to its developer.

If you want to buy it now, it’s £11.61/$15/€12.59.

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