One of the first games I played on my computer was the Dungeon Keeper series. I was an evil overlord who managed my dungeon with more gusto than a sixteen year old who had been newly promoted to fry manager at McDonald’s. I strove to be as evil as I could and I was good at it. Sometimes I think I missed my dictatorial calling in life. I loved being able to build traps and spawn new monsters to kill whatever hero was foolish enough to traipse into my lair.
Unfortunately, after Dungeon Keeper 2, Bullfrog stopped making the series and my dungeon-building prowess dulled – the lands were freed of my evil grasp. I have always wanted a game to fill the dungeon keeping hole in my heart but alas, the void remained…until recently.
While browsing the selection of download-only PSP titles available on the Playstation Network, I happened upon “What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord!?” and after waiting a couple minutes for the download to complete, I was in love. While “What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord!?” is not a complete fulfillment of my Dungeon Keeper obsession, it is a very quirky spiritual successor to it. Oh, from here on out, I am no longer referring to the game by its actual title, henceforth it will be called, Bob. Why, because Bob is the shortest name I could think of to replace the longest game title I have ever heard of.
Now that we have that cleared up, Bob is a great game. Like Dungeon Keeper, you play the bad guy, make your dungeon, and wait for heroes to venture in. There are a variety of creatures you can spawn and they all have their own powers that make them unique and useful in your dark crusade.
Bob branches away from the Dungeon Keeper series in a few distinct ways. First, Bob shares much of its brand of humor with the Disgaea series of games. There are jokes made to poke fun at the JRPG genre and the game is very self-aware. I think this humor is kind of overplayed these days but I enjoy it here and it helps to keep the game feeling light-hearted despite being fairly deep in terms of strategy. Graphically, Bob utilizes a very retro visual style, also similar to the Disgaea series. These similarities shouldn’t be a surprise because the game is published by NIS America.
Something that I found surprising about the game is its deceptive complexity. When heroes invade and are consequently slaughtered in your lair of infinite despair, their spirits and nutrients are absorbed into the cavern walls. Therefore, it is important to build tight corners and claustrophobic tunnels to fully digest all that the fallen heroes have to give you. How you mine and harvest creatures in the game also contributes to the strength of the creatures spawned. Overdoing it in one area of your dungeon will basically make it so only weak creatures can spawn.
As a supremely dark lord, Bob makes you see the big picture and you need to gauge where bottlenecks may occur to trap the invading and troublesome heroes. Knowing where a hero is likely to die means knowing where resources need to be piled. You need to plan bottlenecks in advance because heroes tend to make a mess of your best-laid constructs. The pacing of the game makes elaborate planning difficult so you need to be quick on your mining and cultivating of woe and darkness. You can easily pick this up and play it on a causal basis but will only become good at it over time.
Something that also pleases the tar pit that I call my soul is the fact that there is a sequel to Bob. Bob 2 looks to keep almost all of the original game intact while adding some more features and fun aspects that I look forward to trying out. The original Bob is only available as a download from the Playstation Network and Bob 2 is a UMD that is fairly hard to find. This means Bob 2 is a game that I will own very, very soon. Also, Bob 2 has the original Bob on the disc as well. Bonus!!
Bob is easily my favorite PSP game at the moment. The childish graphics conceal a truly addicting and complex strategy title with high replayability. As far as I am concerned, this game belongs on every PSP’s memory stick. Alright, enough of talking to you whelps, I need to get back to digging in my dark chasm of evil. All hail Tyson, the lord of darkness who craps bats and has earwax made of sorrow!