Review: The Keep On 3DS

Enter the Keep as an unsung hero on a quest to destroy the nefarious wizard Watrys. Explore the subterranean depths in this first-person dungeon crawler featuring real-time combat, a unique rune magic system, exploration, and puzzle solving.


  • Graphics are basic but nice on the eyes, The detail work however is very well done including some great looking levels and enemies.
  • Game play is a first person dungeon crawler.
  • Tutorial section is available and can be turned off.
  • Multi language support: English,Spanish,German,French and Italian.
  • Three control scheme layouts to choose from.
  • Three profile save slots so you can have multiple characters.
  • Three difficulty settings: Easy, Normal and Hard.
  • Turn perma death on or off so basically make it a roguelike yes or no.
  • Really atmospheric game helped by the subtle but powerful 3D implementation.
  • You use the bottom screen for interacting with the top screen, Sounds a bit weird but in practical terms it works really well.
  • The bottom screen is used for all your main things like attacking,magic,inventory and using a map etc. You have tabs or modes to switch between to bring up different interfaces. On the screen you will always have a load of buttons on screen to press and fiddle with.
  • Movement is done with the d pad or stick.
  • L button is used as a shortcut to cycle through the different modes on the touchscreen.
  • Combat is not turn based and instead opts for a more open affair. You attack by switching to combat mode and have a grid on screen. You swipe your stylus over these squares to attack. Top being head, middle body and bottom legs. Its a system that is new and really uses the power of the 3DS to bring a new experience to gamers and gives you a lot more control on how you attack.
  • Magic is much the same as combat except you find rune stones and spells. The spells will tell you how to align your runes stones, To cast you just simply swipe over the stones.
  • Examine mode is like your free roam sort of mode, Here you can try and interact with the scenery, pick up items and drop items etc.
  • Really ambitious title that tries so many new ways and uses every function the 3DS possess.
  • Full voice acting along with a typical yet decent story.
  • You can find secret areas, chests,search wardrobes and other furniture.
  • Has combat, exploration and puzzles throughout each level.
  • Auto save is available.
  • Equipping items is easy with a drag and drop system.
  • You have a stamina bar which depletes as you fight and stops you from just spamming move after move.
  • The map uncovers as you explore the dungeons with any noticeable events getting marked on the map.
  • Huge selection of enemies to fight from spiders to rats to knights and many more.
  • Has a huge 90’s vibe to it all and is a mix between  the kids Knightmare TV show and Legend Of Grimrock.
  • Earn exp and level up with you picking which stats to increase.
  • A big game with many hours of play available.


  • Diagrams for control layouts are confusing and hinder more than help.
  • The controls no matter what layout are really awkward and clunky. You have to have really athletic fingers and positioning skills to be able to play for long periods.
  • No checkpoint system as such with re spawns being quite random.
  • Combat is very loose and unforgiving with you dying to simple enemies yet killing powerful enemies easily. Had a lot of hits not registering or the wrong move coming out, Add in the pressure of attacks flying in from enemies and the whole thing can get quite problematic.
  • Would of being nice to mark the map yourself so you can make notes of rooms or places to come back too later.

In Summary, This is an ambitious title for the 3ds and one where just merely describing the game play will have you wanting to know more. For the most part the game is a solid action packed fun game, One of the best games on the eshop in my opinion. The controls are fiddly and awkward but with my 3DS controller add on holder thing I don’t have as much trouble as someone without one. The game is a mix of old school with modern mechanics chucked in. I love the fact that the developer didnt just make a game on 3DS and instead invested time in using every element and function the device has. It gives other developers ideas on new ways to interact in a game and for that I applaud it. I love the game and it is my go to game on the 3DS, It plays well, it has so much character and depth that who wouldn’t want it. Dungeon crawler fans will notice more and be more accommodating to its features whilst new players will initially struggle but eventually succumb to its charms. I am hoping for a sequel! Job well done

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!