Dungeons 2

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Dungeons 2 Game Poster Image
Strategy game has charm, humor, but lacks any challenge.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

From bad guy's POV, with cheeky humor thrown in, but violence encouraged at every turn.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You play the villain, attacking, defending your lair against heroes. Nothing positive here.

Ease of Play

Quirky interface, lots of controls, multiple maps to juggle simultaneously. 

Violence

Hack, slash at your enemies, zap them with spells; blood sent flying. Lots of cartoony mayhem, but combat is front and center.

Sex
Language

"Ass" can be heard in dialogue.

Consumerism

Offers some downloadable content (DLC), which costs $15.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

You build breweries for your orcs to swill beer. They drink but don't get drunk.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Dungeons 2 is a real-time strategy game, requiring players to manage multiple units, harvest resources, and defend their base while seeking out and conquering the enemy's base. This game is from the perspective of the Dungeon Lord, who wants to rid the world of all that's good and pure. That said, there's nothing exceedingly nefarious or "evil" here, and a cheeky British narrator chides the player into progressing quicker. You click on units to send them to bash enemy units or make them build stuff -- that's the entirety of the game. Violence is presented in a cartoonish way, regardless of whether enemies use weapons or cast spells. The word "ass" can be heard in the dialogue. You can build a brewery and see characters drink from mugs. Finally, there's also some optional downloadable content (DLC) available for $15, and parents should be aware that multiplayer is completely unmoderated, which can expose kids to unwanted and offensive content.

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What's it about?

In DUNGEONS 2, the Dungeon Lord is back on his megalomaniacal quest to stomp out all good across the land. Along with trying to conquer the underworld, players have the option to go to the overworld and demolish the cities of humans. Players will recruit 26 unique units, as well as construct buildings to help cement your empire's dark power. You'll also be able to summon dark heroes to your side to help you crush your enemies. Players can take on the computer-controlled artificial intelligence (AI) through the single-player campaign or fight up to four players in multiplayer.

Is it any good?

For all its attempts at charm for a strategy game, this adventure game manages to frequently fall flat. It may be a good real-time strategy game for players who don't want to get too strategic: Even when you fail to meet mission requirements -- such as having a key unit die -- the narrator only teases you, brings them back to life, and on you go. This makes the whole outing a bit like bumper bowling. Victories are easily had; they just might take a long, long time. It's hard to readily recommend this since, in addition to the action being sluggish, the controls are unnecessarily complex -- especially on the PC -- but simplified for PS4.

There are lots of hot keys to learn; you must master which units can do which tasks; and you need to juggle your scouting parties on the overworld map. That means, in theory, you'll have to be good at managing a lot of things in a lot of places. Only you really don't, due to the game's forgiving difficulty. This all gloms together, so there's really no point to sweating anything that happens. If you only want to farm strong units over and over, that's fine. The game patiently reminds you of what you need to do next, meaning there isn't much freedom: Follow orders, do as you're told, and eventually you'll win. As such, the whole game feels flat and lacking in enticement to keep going once you get started. Dungeons 2 could've been an interesting twist on the strategy genre, especially given its focus on the bad guy; unfortunately, it doesn't live up to either the strategy or the challenge.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in media. Is the violence in Dungeons 2 acceptable because it has a cartoonish presentation, or is it problematic simply because it exists?

  • Discuss the appeal of being a bad guy. Is there a benefit to playing a villain instead of a hero in a game? Does playing a villain give you a different perspective on playing video games?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love strategy

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