Little over a year has passed since Dungeons 2 first made its way onto consoles and already developer Realmforge Studios has followed up with a sequel. The third instalment marks the series' first multi-platform release, bringing its signature tongue-in-cheek humour and Dungeon Keeper-inspired gameplay to a much broader audience. The title sees you return yet again to the role of the Ultimate Evil, rising up armies of monstrous creatures to conquer the forces of good while building up dungeons brimming with intricate traps.
Dungeons 3 picks up things right after the events of its predecessor and sees the heinous dungeon lord, the Ultimate Evil, growing tired and depressed after running out of land to conquer. It's not long however until he learns of a previously undiscovered continent and sends a fleet of his best troops to lead an invasion. The mission results in failure and the Ultimate Evil instead enlists the help of Thalya, a dark elf priestess, to lead his forces in the next step of building his evil empire. Thalya remains as the focal point of the story and throughout the campaign you'll command her to spread the influence of the Ultimate Evil, destroying the all who oppose you and cloaking the world in darkness.
Again, just like its predecessor, Dungeons 3 has an excellent sense of pacing during its campaign, steadily introducing players to more traps, room types and factions. Gameplay features a blend of dungeon building and real-time strategy - two styles which take place simultaneously and must be switched between accordingly. The game demands that you have eyes on both the overworld and your dungeon as you may find yourself rushed by pesky intruders when leading a full scale assault. There's also a strong emphasis on resource management, with gold and evilness being the currency required to hire more troops and earn extra unlocks.
Within the third instalment, dungeons are now randomly generated, altering your surroundings each time that you play. Mapping out the perfect layout for your dungeon is key as it can lead to faster extraction of gold and optimum trap placement. Your foes will also exploit any design flaws you may thoughtlessly make, like positioning a guards' rest area right by the mouth of your dungeon. You also need to take the needs of your minions into consideration, ensuring that they're properly rested and have access to food, or they will wave picket signs in protest and refuse to participate in work or battle.
The majority of the core objectives take place on the surface and demand you to be strategic with regards to what troops to use and where to attack first. Having a well-balanced team of minions that can heal, fire projectiles and fight in close-quarters is a must, as well as ensuring that they gain XP and level up to become tougher. A new addition to the series is optional areas that can be invaded to earn more evilness, which is a required when researching upgrades. Not only do these areas provide more to do outside the rigid structure of campaign objectives, but they make for an entertaining game of cat and mouse, as your foes will fight to regain their territory and quash your resources.