Dungeon Defense with a Twist
Boasting a rather ironic title, Idle Dungeon Heroes from upjers GmbH isn’t actually about the heroes at all. Take on the role of an evil dungeon keeper and traverse dungeons looking for treasure to defend from pesky heroes. Aided by colorful minions with funny names, watch as they fight against multiple heroes on different levels of the dungeon. I wasn’t expecting to play the villain but was not disappointed. Sometimes it’s exciting to be the bad guy. Each minion has their own unique abilities and weapons. For example, Lukzi is an orc who wields a spear, and Maw is a fire-breathing dragon.
Minions in Idle Dungeon Heroes can die but revive after a few seconds. With all those minions at the keeper’s disposal, surely defeating a handful of heroes can’t be that hard, right? Except the heroes come in waves, and they keep coming, which can become stressful and tedious after a while. If your minions appear overwhelmed, rapidly tap the advancing heroes to defeat them faster. Once a hero falls, they drop rewards like gold, keys, chests, diamonds, and hero tears. Yes, hero tears; absurd but interesting. Each of these rewards serves a specific purpose.
Spend gold to increase the stats of minions. Chests contain multiple rewards but take hours to open on their own. That seems a little excessive; why not have players wait one hour instead? To claim the rewards earlier, you’ll need to collect keys, usually twenty. Players can use diamonds to buy minion packs and helpful potions. A mini pack, for instance, costs 60 diamonds, while a basic pack costs 100. Packs contain extra minions to use in the dungeons. Potions of healing, defense, strength, and acid are used to help minions in battle. Individual potions cost 50 diamonds, whereas packs range from 100 to 300.
Lastly, hero tears are also used to buy minion packs, with the mini-pack costing 150. Besides defeating heroes, tears are earned by completing daily quests. Individual quests often require you to defeat a boss before winning the tears. Other times you’re asked to cast a certain number of spells. Completing all daily quests earn tears, too, depending on the day.
Your Treasure, Your Minions
Heroes come in all shapes, sizes, and skills. Types of heroes include fancy archer elves, bearded mages, and fully armored knights. Rather stereotypical of the fantasy genre, I was hoping for more originality. If any three heroes or a boss reach the treasure, the level restarts. One boss is a Tree Rider, which is basically an elf riding a walking tree. Though there’s seemingly endless waves of heroes, a Lure button can be used to lure more heroes into the dungeon. A Lure button for a boss is also present if you’re ready to face a bigger and tougher challenge.
Minions are also varied. Ranging from spear-wielding orcs and sorcerer skeletons to three-headed dogs and even demons, the more minions you have, the better. If you end up with more than one of the same minion, sacrifice them in the Bestiary. Doing so nets you with hero tears and gold, among other rewards. How do you know you’re the villain? You discard your followers without a second thought. There’s more to find in the dungeon besides the average treasure, however.
The deeper the dungeon, the higher the chance of finding an Artifact. Collecting enough Artifacts helps defend the dungeon from heroes. An example is the Lava Lamp, and no, it’s not one found at a 60’s party. This Artifact is a simple jam jar filled with what appears to be a lava creature. You need to collect twenty Lava Lamps before their power activates. That power being a thick fog with a 50% chance of dealing 33% damage to knights. It seems ridiculous that expansive fog would only affect one type of hero.
To find enough of these Artifacts, you’ll have to search twenty different dungeons. That’s a lot of work for little reward. Besides this arduous task, gold must be spent to unlock other levels of the dungeons. This wouldn’t be a problem if it didn’t take such a long time to earn gold. Heroes only drop three or four at a time if that. The price increases the deeper the dungeon goes, making it hard to save gold for something else.
Not Worth Much
Idle Dungeon Heroes has a lot going for it. Quirky monsters and heroes combined with varied rewards make for a decent time killer. However, reaching the treasure, you’re supposed to be defending takes far too much gold to reach. Plus, Artifacts take a long time to collect and offer little help overall. The game’s potential lurks just beneath the surface, but the waters are a bit murky as it stands.
Is it Hardcore?
Dungeon defense in reverse proves to be an entertaining choice but falls short of being worth a second glance.