It's a hard job being a new Lich and commander of the forces of darkness. With heroes constantly breaking in and plundering your dungeons, it's time to take a stand and fight back against the forces of good. Or something like that anyway. In Underworld Overlord your goal is to arm your dungeon with a variety of monsters and traps to protect the source of your power, the Animus, from the sticky fingers of heroes in the area. Between spells, monsters, and a variety of traps you'll have to prove you're meant to be the Lich in charge of the Underworld.
Not all dungeons are grey and gloomy
While the menu of the game takes place within your supposed lair, it isn't the real setting inside of Underworld Overlord. Instead, this honor is given to the various dungeons that you'll be protecting from those rude adventuring heroes who keep ransacking the place.
Each dungeon has its own little flair, and each one is slightly different.
Each dungeon has its own little flair, and each one is slightly different. You'll see grey and foreboding levels with steep stairs followed by dungeons that have walls of glowing green fog or pools of molten liquid. Each one will give you new options on how to defend it but will also make things more difficult for you along the way.
While the graphics definitely have a cartoonish, round animation style, it works really well for the atmosphere of the game. You will find detail in little things, though, from the glow of your new fireball throwing bats to the way your arrows volley across the stone floors.
Strategy is key
Each dungeon is set up a little bit differently. In some of them, you may need to see around corners or have to deal with multiple staircases and directions that heroes can take after entering the dungeon. Due to this, strategizing before you start placing any monsters or traps is absolutely key.
Each dungeon has a similar feel, although they vary wildly from level to level. At the back or top of the dungeon is a large gate, which is where the heroes will bust into your dungeon from. On the other side of the level is the Animus, a glowing green pillar of magical energy. Your goal in every level is to protect the Animus from the harm that the heroes could levy against it. That's where all of the traps and tricks come in.
At various places on the floor, you'll see tiles that are lit up. These mark the spot where you can deploy traps and monsters to defend the dungeon. Each defense will cost a chunk of gold that is allotted for the level. While you start out with access to only one type of monster, and one type of trap, this expands as you complete levels.
By the end of the first campaign, you've unlocked three different traps as well as three different monsters. Each defense that you unlock will have its own perks and detriments, which is why taking the time to consider how to best defend your dungeon is always a solid call.
In certain levels, you'll also have to move around to keep an eye on how the heroes are faring against your defenses. There are warp points that hover around the map, and by pointing your Daydream remote at them and clicking you're transported across the dungeon. This becomes especially important if you have multiple groups of heroes that are taking different routes to try and reach your Animus.
Not all heroes are created equally, either. You'll run into both close-combat troops and archers as the levels progress. The archers in question are also rogues, which means you'll see them deactivate traps that might harm their compatriots. While your traps will recover from this tampering, it can make things far more difficult.
The controls are easy to pick up and use but can be slightly problematic.
Underworld Overlord is tons of fun to play, and far more addictive than you might think. Each level takes 5-10 minutes to complete which makes it a great bite-sized game if you only have an hour to play. At the same time, it's easy to mow through level after level without ever realizing how long you'd been playing for.
The controls are easy to pick up and use but can be slightly problematic. While playing from my couch I kept having issues focusing the remote where it needed to go because of physical items in my way. Once I moved over to my swivel chair I was in better straits, but it was frustrating until I moved.
Aside from a few small frustrations that were caused by physical objects, I didn't really have many complaints. The game delivered easy mechanics to move and interact with things, while also delivering me monsters with decent enough AI that they knew to attack even if I hadn't instructed them to do so.
Rise young Lich
The game delivers you a short bit of information before tossing you into the dungeons that you are meant to protect. However so far as the story goes, things are a bit thin. Essentially, you were a Wizard who tried to walk on the dark side and got burned in the process. You died a human but were raised again as a Lich.
Now, with the small, evil faerie that has been bonded with you, there is a job to be done. That job requires you to bulk up and protect various dungeons from roving bands of heroes intent on racking through them. By doing so, you'll also rise in rank as a Lich until you become the greatest of them all.
The story in Underworld Overworld is cute, but it ends up being a bit flimsy. While this might be disappointing for those who crave a great story, the truth of the matter is that the actual gameplay carried things and the story works quite well as window dressing. Enough to give you some background on what is going on without overloading you with information.
Underworld Overlord is a fun and addictive take on tower defense games that will have you rooting for the bad guys in no time flat. With great mechanics and a fun atmosphere, it's a game that will have you thinking out how you want to kill the marauding bands of heroes who keep breaking in.
- Protecting your dungeon with traps and monsters is a blast
- Plenty of levels
- Tons of monsters and traps to unlock
- Controls can get wonky
- Levels can be too easy for experienced gamers
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