Dungeons 4 PC Review

Buckle up and grab something pointy; the new Absolute Evil is hungry for some hero meat.

By R3GR3T, Posted 11 Nov 2023

It takes a special kind of crazy and twisted to make a horror game, but those types of people are a common occurrence, though a fun mix of crazy and geeky with an unholy mountain of geek trivia is a rare sight in people. However, the developers at Realmforge Studios seem to have assembled into a massive swarm of shameless madness; this doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing, it’s actually quite entertaining.

Dungeons 4, Review, Screenshots, Strategy, Adventure, Simulation, NoobFeed

Realmforge Studios has been around since 2008, and they’re based in Munich; now, they might not have a rocky origin story, but they do have a great history. This quirky studio started their wild adventure with Cevile in 2009, an odd point-and-click adventure with a lot of character to start, and it was well-received as well. Though, they did hit a bit of a bump in the road with M.U.D TV in 2010, a not so well-received management game. Now for the good part, the string of madness taking Realmforge Studios straight to the top with a horde of creatures in tow, the Dungeons series.

With the very first Dungeons release in 2011, it looked like they still had a few bugs to iron out with the first round, but things changed almost instantly with Dungeons 2 in 2015, and it just kept getting even better with Dungeons 3 in 2017. The entire series has one major detail in common, to play the role of the Absolute Evil and take over the world by wiping out anything good in this chaotic base-building RTS series. We thought it was the end of the line with Dungeons 3, but Realmforge Studios isn’t done yet and released their new evil upon the world with Dungeons 4 on 9 November.

Just to recap - After several rounds of taking over the world and the goodie-goodie heroes taking it back, the Absolute Evil managed to convert the Dark Elf, Thalya, to join the dark side. Now, Thalya was technically also a part of the heroes, but with her being adopted and a Dark Elf, she was easily swayed to join the Absolute Evil… Granted, she had to deal with a bit of a split personality so there was that which made the unholy conquest quite interesting, but evil doesn’t rest and the show had to go on and Thalya’s adoptive father had to fall for evil to rise.

Dungeons 4, Review, Screenshots, Strategy, Adventure, Simulation, NoobFeed

So, Thalya eventually conquered her good side, and the Absolute Evil’s forces dethroned another do-gooder leader and took over the entire Overworld, with celebrations going around and Thalya taking a much-needed holiday; this brings us to the end of the recap and brings us to Dungeons 4. The Absolute Evil was enjoying his victory but realized there was still one small village standing in his path for total conquest; in his newfound rage, he sent his most powerful general to wipe out that last village. The general in question is Thalya… Who just came back from a little holiday after ending her foster father, Tanos. Yes, this game is filled to the brim with geeky references; see if you can get them all.

That last village was protected by Thalya’s goodie-goodie stepbrother, Tristan, and he was basically the last hope (or annoyance) for Good. This is where the tutorial for Dungeons 4 begins, though it should be noted that you won’t just get everything right from the start; any good army takes time to build up and evolve. So, for now, your journey begins on the Overworld with an overpowered Thalya whose only objective is to destroy Tristan. This is a good start and gets you accustomed to commanding units in the overworld using RTS mechanics, though this is just one side of Dungeons 4.

Before we go into the dark and gory details of Dungeons 4, there’s a bit more plot to know about. While destroying any heroes on your path to putting Tristan down like a bad dog, you’ll eventually find creatures who were caged up. A few attacks later, they’ll be free to join you as a part of your army, and you’re going to end up freeing a small army with which to storm the last village. Having reached Tristan, you finally get to nearly destroy him, but he escapes through a portal and leaves a glove behind. Unfortunately, Thalya had a dim moment while showing the Absolute Evil the glove, and with a snap of her fingers, which “Thanos’d” the Dungeon Lord himself… Luckily, it only destroyed his body but not his soul. It’s now up to you, Thalya, and the spirit of the Absolute Evil to find him a new body and take down Tristan once and for all to finish their world conquest.

Dungeons 4, Review, Screenshots, Strategy, Adventure, Simulation, NoobFeed

Now that the plot’s done, it’s time for the gory details of Dungeons 4, starting with the Underworld. This is where the magic happens, what sustains your army and keeps you alive. Welcome to your dungeon, and at the center of it, your Dungeon Heart. Above all else, you need to keep Dungeon Heart protected, or you’ll get stuck with a game over. Luckily, there are a few ways to do this, ranging from traps to simply dropping everything you have on the heroes who would dare to invade your dungeon.

Before you can start defending, let alone try conquering the Overworld piece by piece, you’ll need a few very important things – Gold, Evilness, and Little Snots. Starting with the most basic requirement for any dungeon, Little Snots, your tireless workers who will handle all the heavy lifting… Literally. These loyal little creatures are essentially your workers; they’ll dig and mine where you tell them to, build the various rooms and devices you need, and even generate mana or toolboxes for you. Plus, they’re completely disposable, though you shouldn’t make a point of trying to kill them because your dungeon will come to a screeching halt without them, even if they do pop back up again after a while.

Gold is up next, and you’ll need a lot of it. Your creatures will need to be paid, or they’ll desert you, gold is also used to pay for rooms, traps, and partially for research. Sadly, gold will also be your biggest hurdle in the early stages of any dungeon, but it’s also plentiful on every map. You’ll usually have a mix of normal gold veins, rich gold veins, and never-ending diamond vein; normal and rich will eventually run out, but a diamond will always be your end-game best friend. So, explore and find the gold you need, but you’ll also have to be careful how far out you send your Little Snots to dig, though more on this real soon.

Dungeons 4, Review, Screenshots, Strategy, Adventure, Simulation, NoobFeed

Lastly, there is Evilness. This one is a bit of a tricky resource to get because it can be incredibly easy to get or obscenely difficult. You’ll need Evilness to research and use Thalya’s abilities; both are extremely important and vital to your victory. Research is definitely going to be your biggest spender for Evilness in Dungeons 4, but it’s also the most rewarding; you’ll gain access to new rooms, creatures, trap upgrades, room upgrades, and even a few upgrades for your Little Snots, which will help in the long run. However, while you do get a bit of starting Evilness, you’ll need to get more, and a lot of it. Now is the best time to gather up what little army you have and go play in the Overworld – Destroy a few statues, demolish some hero buildings, crush some actual heroes, torture them, or maybe complete a side quest. All these will give you varying amounts of evil, but every little bit counts.

With resources done and dusted, you’re ready to dive a bit deeper into Dungeons 4. This is where things become a bit more complicated and interesting because you can’t just do any research and expect to win. You’ll need to plan and research based on what you need. for example. you’ll need some early-game creatures because heroes are always on the prowl and looking to invade your dungeon, but you’ll also need to make sure you have what your creatures need. Opening up the research panel will show you 4 tabs, one for the dungeon and 3 more for the creature factions. The factions are where you can mix up your playstyle and what gives you the freedom to build your army based on what you want without any major limitations.

The factions in question are Horde, Demons, and Undead. Horde creatures will usually require a place to sleep and food at first, so a Hideout and a Gobbler Farm. However, while Horde creatures are your cheapest to bring in and maintain, they can still die initially until you unlock something a bit more Frankenstein-esque. Meanwhile, Demons require a Vortex to revive once they die, and revival for a demon only costs Evilness, though they’ll also need food and to be paid. Then we have Undead creatures, with simple requirements like a Graveyard, and dying for them just means reviving in the Graveyard and feasting on the life energy of rotting hero corpses, along with the fact that they don’t need food. This doesn’t mean that one faction is better than the other, they all come with their strengths and weaknesses, but this makes combat in Dungeons 4 much more versatile.

Dungeons 4, Review, Screenshots, Strategy, Adventure, Simulation, NoobFeed

Something to keep in mind with Dungeons 4 is that your creatures will also gain experience and level up, though their max level is also tied to the faction research level. To add fuel to the fire, their needs only stay simple while they’re low level, and this changes very quickly in later stages of the game; Horde creatures will need beer from a Brewery, Demons will need a Chamber of Relaxation, and Undead start driving you insane for a Necrodancicon. Yes, a dance floor because it doesn’t matter how dead you are; you can still shake a bone to a good groove. In the end, you’ll need to make sure to keep your creatures happy because a happy creature is a dangerous creature, and you need them to be as dangerous as possible.

However, as mentioned before, Dungeons 4 won’t make it easy for you to get Evilness or to revive Horde creatures, but this changes very quickly as you progress. Welcome to the daunting world of advanced rooms, like the Torture Chamber to extract Evilness from heroes or the Horde Laboratory to revive fallen Horde creatures, just to give you a few examples. What’s really nice in Dungeons 4 is the speed at which you’re introduced to the new changes and rooms is a lot more relaxed, and you’re given a lot more time to really get a feel for everything while experiencing the story; gone the days of being bombarded with everything in one shot, and it’s replaced with time to experiment. Granted, Dungeons 3 also gave you time, but it was a bit overwhelming for new players who didn’t know what to do.

Now for the really fun part in Dungeons 4, where you can let your inner evil darken the light of the heroes, defending your dungeon with traps. They might cost you a small fortune in gold and toolboxes, cripple your gold economy if you line up too many traps at a time, and give you a slight headache with planning everything out to make sure your traps do the maximum damage. There is a certain sense of satisfaction that comes with it. You’ll have to get your severed thinking head cap on and be creative with your traps; some prefer littering traps throughout the dungeon, while others go a step further with a murder corridor filled with traps that will funnel heroes through it.

Dungeons 4, Review, Screenshots, Strategy, Adventure, Simulation, NoobFeed

Sadly, having a few creatures and some traps might save you from the heroes, but Dungeons 4 likes to throw surprises at you. You’ll be under threat from heroes that come from the Overworld and from the random surprises like spiders and dwarves in the Underworld that your Little Snots will likely dig into as you explore. However, there is a bigger threat that can grow wildly out of control, Manavores. These cute little monsters might look harmless, but they have a never-ending hunger for Mana; it doesn’t feed them, it’ll also make them stronger and allow them to multiply. It’s best to kill them quickly before dealing with an infestation that can wipe out your entire horde.

Speaking of Mana, Dungeons 4 did take a different approach to Spells when compared to its predecessors. Spells can now be researched in massive chunks with minor upgrades, but they still come at the cost of needing Mana. Now, Mana isn’t always easy to come by; say hello to Spell Potions. They don’t need Mana, just one or two Little Snots to randomly make the potions, and you’ll have a stockpile of Spells that can turn the tide of any fight, maybe even make your army extra overwhelming.

Now, with so much going on in Dungeons 4, there is one important factor some of us tend to overlook. Thalya’s constant entertaining monologues and arguments tend to be a great source of humour, and we can’t forget about the Narrator still diligently telling the story as it happens while breaking the fourth wall. It might be a small thing for most, but this is what gives Dungeons its unique flare; that slight silly touch and witty banter keep the game interesting during the slower moments while you’re building up or when the Narrator thinks you’re moving too slow and he tries to rush you along. There’s never a dull moment with our dear Narrator, plus we can’t run the risk of another round of revenge since he has way too much power.

Dungeons 4, Review, Screenshots, Strategy, Adventure, Simulation, NoobFeed

There is one other thing that’s new to Dungeons 4, mods and map editing. Map editors in general can be a daunting task for a developer to create. Still, with something as massive and complex as Dungeons 4, it shows a lot of love and dedication to their creation, and being able to create your maps opens up a whole new world of possibilities and chaos. As for mods, you’ll naturally want a way to add in some of your personal twists or maybe share your additions with the world. Once again, endless possibilities and chaos to partake in or create for others to experience.

To save the best for last, you’ll be happy to know that Dungeons 4 carries on the legacy of Co-op gaming. Nobody ever said you have to rule the Overworld alone, invite a friend to cause some chaos with you, and leverage your strengths in strategy. However, we have to give a small shoutout to Chris at Realmforge Studios, who was a major help with the co-op side of Dungeons 4. He went above and beyond to help make the review experience as smooth as possible, and he has pleased the Absolute Evil.

On the visual front, Dungeons 4 has a few improvements in details and texturing, but it also looks like there are a few snags in certain places. Now, nothing is ever perfect right off the bat, and this will likely get fixed quite soon, but it might be semi-noticeable for some. Aside from the minor snags, Dungeons 4 still gives us that same visual appeal that we know and love, along with the watercolour/hand-drawn cinematics that just makes you feel all cozy on the inside. On a different note, you’ll see that new creatures and heroes have also been added in, the rooms got a nice rework, and everything just got a brilliant rework that makes everything feel new.


The Dungeons series has become somewhat known for its voice acting and sound engineering, and Dungeons 4 is no exception; it might not have RPG levels of dialogue, but the witty banter between Thalya, her enemies, and the Narrator has forever become a welcome sight or sound. With each voice actor practically living their roles, it probably makes you wonder how many retakes it took to get everything just right, especially if you consider just how outrageous some of the dialogues are.

All in all, the fandom loved it from the start, and they’ll probably still love it now. As for music, Dungeons 4 still relies on the theme we got used to, using a mix of cartoonish/instrumental / and metal between the Underworld and Overworld, in battle and out of battle. The changes in music can be odd for some, but it works so well and breathes even more life into the game as it is.

Overall, Dungeons 4 looks set to be the biggest sequel to an already great series of releases while maintaining the same level of over-the-top quality and brilliant story. Though it’s also one the most of the most fleshed-out games out there with so much to keep you sucked in, whether you’re looking for a good story or just some strategy with a challenge, you’ll likely get exactly what you’re after.

Jay Claassen (@R3GR3T_3NVY)
Senior Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Dungeons 4


Platform(s): PC, PS5, XBSX, Switch
Publisher(s): Kalypso Media
Developer(s): Realmforge Studios
Genres: Real-Time Strategy
Themes: Simulation, Adventure, Top-Down
Release Date: 2023-11-09

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