Dungeon Keeper – Teaching us how to play or pay? FTUE gets greedy

What is this hullabaloo over Dungeon Keeper? I’m certain that I spied it as an editors choice only a few days ago. If it really is so rotten, how could it be featured on Apple’s storefront? I decided to take a whiff of the alleged stink and make my own judgement.


I derived the most fun during the first session from slapping the imps. But ho! There is a game beyond this. A game that MYTHIC insists being taught to us one devious step at a time via an FTUE.


Gamers of my generation…Demographically defined as a core gamer aged 20+ Cash rich but time poor (generally monetizes at $0.25+ per DAU). Never like being spoon fed an FTUE. MYTHIC games are probably well aware of this. But alas here we are being taught how to ride a bicycle again. Or are we?

While watching my first building being constructed the Horned Reaper’s voice blurts out “don’t be stingy!”. Feeling disparaged I begin question my accuser. Why does this game dish out petty insults while forcing me to watch a countdown timer anyway? I have learned how to build a building, may I move on with my life? Except MYTHIC says I’m not done, MYTHIC does not care about the building or the timer, I’m missing the real lesson.


None of that construction nonsense matters! I must learn to click the big green gem button. Why? Because statistically once a player has clicked the green gem button they are likely to click it again next time they see it. Humans are pretty silly like that, we can make a habit out of clicking on buttons.

Honestly, I make freemium games for a living, I could let one simple button press slide off me like spilled curry, heck I might even think of implementing something similar. But here’s the kicker, I have to watch the reapers hand jab at the gem button no fewer than four times throughout the FTUE. In fact I watch the floating hand longer then I actually play.

IMG_0424As a grand finale to this farce of a tutorial, the creature summoning menu becomes completely inactive for over three minuets while the dreaded hand continues its tireless jabbing. I know the agenda, and perhaps I’m just being stubborn at this point. However, I’m 25 years old, by now I know how to swipe a credit card and don’t care for further practice.

In conclusion, It seems there are now two distinct types of FTUE that exist in the field of Game Design today, there’s our beloved “First Time User Experience” and now the “Forced Training for Unwitting Expenditure”.



One thought on “Dungeon Keeper – Teaching us how to play or pay? FTUE gets greedy

  1. ubuntuvps

    The moment I started to think about how to begin this review, the phrase, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” popped into my head. At first it seemed like some kind of subconscious, knee-jerk word association between that oft-used phrase and the fact that I was thinking about Dungeon Keeper being a free-to-play game.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *