Dungeon Keeper, EA and developer Mythic’s reboot of the 90s classic strategy game, has come in for a lot of criticism for its freemium features. It also seems the Android version is designed to manipulate review scores.
When you tap to rate Dungeon Keeper on Android, you can give it 1-4 stars or 5. Clicking the first option takes you to a message giving you the option of emailing your feedback, or clicking ‘Not Now’. The 5-star button lets you rate the game on Google Play. If you start in Google Play, you can rate Dungeon Keeper with less than 5 stars, but within the game it’s impossible.
This has lead to criticisms that by making it harder to rate a game with a low score, the developers are trying to manipulate the Google Play average review rating. The average Google Play score is still 4 stars, while on the App Store where no such manipulation can occur, the game currently has a 3 star rating. On Metacritic the game gets 46/100 from critics and 0.3 from users.
EA responded to this criticism saying “The ‘rate this app’ feature in the Google Play version of Dungeon Keeper was designed to help us collect valuable feedback from players who don’t feel the game is worth a top rating… Players can always continue to leave any rating they want on the Google Play Store.” However, that is unlikely to stem controversy about the game, which has quite reasonably been described as cynical in its design by many reviewers.