War for the Overworld

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War for the Overworld
War for the Overworld Logo.png
Game logo during the Kickstarter campaign
Developer(s)Brightrock Games
Platform(s)Windows, OS X, Linux
  • WW: 2 April 2015[2]
Genre(s)Real-time strategy, god game, dungeon management game

War for the Overworld is a real-time strategy video game developed by Subterranean Games, which changed its name to Brightrock Games based in Brighton, UK. The game started as a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, which ran from November 29, 2012, to January 3, 2013. In the game, players build dungeons containing deadly traps to kill adventuring heroes that enter.[3] The game is inspired by Dungeon Keeper, StarCraft, Overlord, and Evil Genius.[3] It includes a campaign, sandbox mode, and online multiplayer.[3]


Interior of a dungeon, divided into rooms and connected by passageways.
Players construct dungeons to trap would-be heroes in a very early alpha version.

In the game, players assume the role of an Underlord tasked with building dungeons that contain deadly traps and enemies to kill wandering heroes.[4] The game starts with a blank slate and lets players choose where to "dig, fortify, and build" to create their dungeon.[4] The game is played in real time, with the player actively making decisions while fighting occurs.[4] Armies of minions can be trained and commanded to vanquish foes, and spells are available which can injure enemies or assist minions during battle.[4] The game requires micromanagement to keep minions working, supplying them with food and gold.[4]



War for the Overworld started development in 2009 as a fan-made sequel to Dungeon Keeper and Dungeon Keeper 2.[5] Taking its name from the subtitle of the defunct Dungeon Keeper 3, the game went through several incarnations, starting with a version based on a custom OpenGL engine, and later Unreal Development Kit,[6] it was announced in November 2011 that a decision had been made to leave the Dungeon Keeper IP[7] and the team finally settled on using the Unity Engine, announcing the change in June 2012.[8]

Subterranean games went on to join with another indie developer called Rise Games who had been working on Epoch Saga: Shattered Shores, a role-playing game set in Atlantis.[9] announcing the collaboration September 2012.[10]

Funding campaign[edit]

On November 29, 2012, Subterranean Games launched a Kickstarter campaign for their game with a £150,000 goal set for January 3, 2013.[11] For every £75,000 the campaign receives, the developers plan to release one of twelve flex goals determined by vote.[3][12] These goals offer extra content for the game including more multiplayer and co-op content and a dungeon crawl mode which lets players be the hero in the dungeon scenario.[3] Backers—people that pledge during the campaign—are given rewards based on the size of their pledge.[11] Rewards include beta access, a digital copy of the game, and a copy of the game's soundtrack.[11] If the campaign reaches its base goal, the developers plan to release the game on Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux on August 30, 2013, and they would additionally release a modding tool to the community.[11] Called the Dungeoneer, it would allow users to create new maps, campaigns and game modes.[11]

On December 22, 2012 Dungeon Keeper creator Peter Molyneux praised Subterranean Games passion and strategy in making the game and asked people to pledge to the Kickstarter campaign.[13]

By December 29, 2012 the £150,000 target was made through Kickstarter pledges.[12] A total of £211,371 was reached at the end of the Kickstarter campaign on January 3, 2013.[14] Further pledges via PayPal increased the amount to over £225,000 on January 6, 2013 securing the first flex goal of Richard Ridings as narrator.[15]

Development and early releases[edit]

An Alpha version of the game, dubbed Bedrock Beta, was released on May 15, 2013, allowing players to experience the game during development, as well as assist in development by reporting bugs and giving feedback on their experience.

On February 5, 2014, Subterranean Games sent out an update regarding the delayed delivery date, stating they "were extremely naive with our initial estimate[..] as to how long it would take to release the game", without issuing a new release date, instead turning to Steam Early Access.[16]


The game was released on April 2, 2015,[17] in an unfinished state due to time and financial constraints.[18] This resulted in the development team working extreme hours to release a series of patches over the following weeks and months. By September, "a lot of the loose ends" were fixed with the 1.2 patch. Subsequent patches were released over the next three years, adding features including a map editor, steam workshop support, a tower defense mode called The Crucible, and finally a scripting system for the editor in the 2.0 release.[19]


The game received a total of three expansions from 2016-2018:

Heart of Gold was released on May 27, 2016.[20] The expansion continues the story from the base game with four additional levels, a new underlord and associated cosmetic additions.[21]

My Pet Dungeon was released on April 3, 2017. It was inspired by the eponymous mode from Dungeon Keeper 2.[22][23] The eight level campaign features levels without gateways, with units instead needing to be rescued from prisons around the map. A "God mode" is also unlocked after completion, with wave based gameplay.

The Under Games was released on April 20, 2018, containing a seven level campaign, new AI, and three new underlords.[24] An Ultimate Edition of the game was launched alongside, which includes all three expansions.


The game has a score of 65% on Metacritic with a user score of 7.8[25]


  1. ^ Subterranean Games (Dec 12, 2012). "Subterranean Games Launches RTS God Game War For The Overworld on Kickstarter". Develop.
  2. ^ "WFTO Wednesday #109: Rated D for Delayed". wftogame.com. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e "War for the Overworld Kickstarter Campaign Underway and Screens". GamersHell.com. Dec 12, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e Rainier (Dec 12, 2012). "'War for the Overworld' Announced, Seeks Crowd Funding - Screens". Worthplaying.
  5. ^ "War for the Overworld v0.1b". Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  6. ^ "Non-Paid Position War for the Overworld looking for extra team members [Archive] - Epic Games Forums". forums.epicgames.com. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  7. ^ "News on the direction WftO". Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  8. ^ "Development Diary #1 – A New Leaf". Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  9. ^ "RiSE - Upgrade Your Game!". Archived from the original on 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2014-02-13.
  10. ^ "Development Diary #2 – Still Alive". Retrieved 22 August 2013.
  11. ^ a b c d e Farokhmanesh, Megan (Dec 9, 2012). "War for the Overworld mixes strategy with god game mechanics". Polygon.
  12. ^ a b Subterranean Games (Nov 29, 2012). "War for the Overworld by Subterranean Games". Kickstarter.
  13. ^ Subterranean Games (Dec 22, 2012). "A Message From Peter Molyneux, The Creator of Dungeon Keeper". YouTube.
  14. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (Jan 4, 2013). "Dungeon Keeper-style game War for the Overworld funded". Eurogamer.
  15. ^ Subterranean Games (Jan 6, 2013). "Richard Ridings Unlocked!". Kickstarter.
  16. ^ "Kickstart Update 99". Feb 5, 2014.
  17. ^ "War for the Overworld out now!". Apr 2, 2015.
  18. ^ https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2016-07-19-the-messy-story-behind-the-making-of-war-for-the-overworld
  19. ^ https://www.pcgamer.com/the-long-tough-journey-of-dungeon-keeper-successor-war-for-the-overworld/
  20. ^ "Heart of Gold - Now Available". May 27, 2016.
  21. ^ https://store.steampowered.com/app/363990/War_for_the_Overworld__Heart_of_Gold_Expansion/
  22. ^ "My Pet Dungeon & Patch 1.6". April 3, 2017.
  23. ^ https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-04-03-war-for-the-overworld-gets-my-pet-dungeon-dlc
  24. ^ https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018-04-20-war-for-the-overworld-gets-final-expansion-and-big-new-update
  25. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/war-for-the-overworld

External links[edit]