From the French studio, Goblinz Studio, and after more than a year on Early Access, comes the release of Legend of Keepers, a dungeon management game, where you work as an evil boss for the Dungeons Corporation.
Managing your schedule as the bad guy
First, you can choose which kind of evil boss you want to be: you can be the slaveholder, the first one available, the Engineer or the Enchantress, both available after some hours of playing. Each one has its stats and his skills, which you will use on dungeons.
You will start the game with a predefined set of troops. You can personalize the difficulty too. If you accomplish several weeks with success, for example, the first time you have to survive during 38 weeks, you will unlock the next stage, with new troops and more dungeons to protect. You will get experience, and you will level up your character and his or her skills too.
On Legend of Keepers, time passes using weeks as a unit. Every week you can do one of the available actions, you can level up your troops, your character, sell or buy new monsters or traps, heal your troops, send them to secondary missions…among others. In determined weeks, you will have to repel some intrepid adventurers from stealing the treasure of the dungeons, being this, one of the core features of this title.
In determined weeks, you will have to face some adventurers, who want to loot your dungeon. Enemies have several difficulties. At the start, you fight normal adventurers, but after some weeks, veterans and champions will appear. When this happens, you will select which ones you want to defeat. Champions are the hardest ones, but they will give you better rewards. Also, you can consult which rewards you will get: money, blood and tears, artefacts, an upgrade for your character stats or skills, or new traps or monsters.
Dungeons will vary in length, usually, there are a couple of traps, one room where you will use one of your skills, one room where you can provoke an accident to damage the enemies, related to the dungeon, a couple of rooms with monsters and the final room where your character and the treasure is. The distribution varies too, and advancing in the game will give you new rooms with new options.
The target of your management is to kill the adventurers. Traps will activate automatically, and you can choose which accident and skill use. The battles between your troops and the visitor are turn-based. There is a bar with the turn order in the left part of the screen, and every monster has several abilities to use with different ranges. This applies to the enemies too.
Every enemy and troops have determined stats, resistances and weaknesses, and skills, which have an important role when you have to position your troops. Skills can target individually or the entire enemy group. Also, you can cause status ailments, with traps or abilities, like poison, bleed or slow, among others, and, of course, enemies will have this type of abilities too.
Time to support your troops, and yourself
From events, enemies or shopkeepers you can obtain several useful stuff for your troops. Your monsters have a morale gauge, which you have to take care of. If they are defeated, they will lose part, and if this indicator is empty, they will leave your group for several weeks, leaving you with fewer troops to use. To recuperate morale, they will need rest. When you have visitors, if they not participate in the dungeon defence, they will recover. If they go to the therapist, or through some events, they will get better too.
On Legend of Keepers, there are random events. They can have positive or negative effects, but you won’t see them unless you select the event. These events are of different types, from inviting your troops to drink, healing their morale in the process, to accept some recruits after a job interview. Other events will grant you artefacts for money, or blood and tears, which you can trade for your monsters’ morale or your health, among others.
From the shopkeepers, you can obtain new monsters and traps. From the trainers, you can level up your troops, with money, or your stats, with blood and tears. Also, a secondary quest, like looting villages, or rent traps, will give you some benefits. They will require some troops or traps, and you will not use them during the duration of the quest. As you see, there are several options to improve your team.
Other modes, graphics, soundtrack & other stuff
Asides from the main mode, there are two modes more: endless and ascension. Endless mode is a kind of survival mode, you select your team and your traps, and your target is to survive the maximum time possible with them.
Ascension mode is the hardest mode. You will suffer handicaps for your team since the start, and after successful dungeon defence, you will accumulate more. For example, one of the first handicaps is that one of your monster party are two members only when the normal composition is three.
The graphics are nice pixel art, where every monster is well-defined. Some enemies are clones of others with different colours, but there is variety among their ranks too. Also, there are some steam mods with new looks for the enemies or monsters if you want. The soundtrack is OK; it accompanies you well, especially when you are in a dungeon. The game is available in 14 languages, and it has achievements and steam cards.
Overall: 8.5. Legend of Keepers puts you in the role of a dungeon master who defence the treasures of his/her corporation from the adventurers who want to loot them. With a dungeon and schedule management system, and turn-based combat is an original and interesting title to play. Recommendable.