The gameplay is quickly outlined:
The player takes - as the title suggests - in the role of a "jailer". He builds and controls dungeon / dungeons etc. with the help of his omnipotent hand, quasi the cursor that gives orders, but also punished, eg by "clapping" of monsters, torture or the use of spells, etc. The central element of each dungeon and Keepers of each is nstürlich his Dungeon Heart, which is considered to protect it.
The Dungeon is using Imps - ordinary workers - expanded, dig for clearance in the soil and reduce gold and gems to have the necessary funds to expand the dungeon to buy premises and expand, and to pay their own monster.
Increases the importance of the dungeon through the expansion of the now existing attractiveness always attracts new creatures in the dungeon up to the maximum number of reachable creatures. These then need sleeps, can be trained to assist in the research of new spells, traps, etc. (eg, wizards, vampires) and are of course used for the Dungeons defense and attacking enemies.
Level 10 is maximum achievable with level 4 can be achieved through the training room, Level 5-8 by arena fights and Level 9-10 only by "real" battles with enemies. Thus, it is possible to train his creatures without enemy contact and losses to Level 8, Level 10 is - as mentioned - only by contact with the enemy as a training level reached.
After having so now expanded and designed his dungeon to his wishes, and has attracted a preferred creatures, it is natural to tear through other territories to be at the time the rule. It would be a pity if all the evil creatures that could have been attracted and trained, were not allowed to cut small somewhat. Opponents appear in the form of hostile dungeon keepers, as the build dungeons and creatures attract and train, as well as - and here is the kicker - heroes, good people, the evil - like defeat - that one even embodies the keeper.
Since it is so delightfully wicked, you can admire the heroes of course one hand flattening and easily conquer their world so or torturing the heroes to die and become skeletons who are fighting for an even or - with a little luck - they convince before death that the earlier good human hero is now struggling for itself, and is almost angry.
The aim of the game is to conquer a whole (underground) world - Part 3 should bring the conquest of the aerial world, but unfortunately did not appear, because the development had been abandoned in favor of PS2 titles - in my opinion totally incomprehensible and shame ...
The graphics are by today's standards, of course, "stale" and is no longer effective to date, for 1999, it was great anyway. I'm at least still amazed by the attention to detail in the design of the dungeons and creatures and see it to me gladly. Dungeon Keeper is played from an isometric view, which is fully rotatable and zoomable and in which the creatures are displayed in 3D. It is also possible in creatures "empathize" or to take control and to control creatures themselves. This makes of course va in fighting a lot of fun and was "back then" a milestone, since it did not give this before in this form and with such strategy games.
At the "wonderfully wicked" atmosphere will benefit the atmospheric music and sound effects of the often humorous and sarcastic tone in which, for example, in sentences like "Your dungeon is full of yogurt!" To "Your creatures are upset because they can not play marbles ! " or even the brilliant slogan "There are too many iron maidens in your dungeon, you pig!".
I highly recommend this game highly enough. I was thrilled by it and still am - it breaks the monotony of the known strategy games.
For me, then as now one of the best games ever published and rows!