Dungeon Keeper 2 is a strategy game developed by Bullfrog Productions and published by Electronic Arts in 1999 for Microsoft Windows. It was released in Europe and North America in June 1999. It was the sequel to Dungeon Keeper and predecessor to the canceled Dungeon Keeper 3. Unlike the original, Molyneux did not have an active role in the creation of Dungeon Keeper 2, though many of his ideas lived on from the previous game. Like its predecessor, players take the role of a 'dungeon keeper', building and defending an underground dungeon from the would-be heroes that invade it, as well as from other keepers. In the game's campaign mode, the player is charged with recovering the portal gems from each area in order to open a portal to the surface. This was charged as a setup for the sequel, where the gems would be used to invade the surface world and defeat the faction of goodly heroes.
The most immediate change from Dungeon Keeper is in its graphics; the world is now fully 3D. Where monsters were previously sprites, they are now 3D models. Several rooms, spells, and monsters were changed, added or removed, as were many game mechanics. For example, if a creature is dropped into the middle of a melee, it is stunned and vulnerable for a few seconds before getting up to fight. One major feature of the game is its "My Pet Dungeon" mode, which features sandbox-style play where players have a nearly unlimited amount of time to construct a dungeon uninterrupted, and wherein heroes only invade the dungeon if the player chooses to allow it.
As in the original, the player takes on the enigmatic form of a large floating green hand which moves around the map picking things up, dropping them, casting spells and interacting with specific items. The game interface is blended between a large panel at the bottom of the screen and interactive items in the world. For example, the buttons to select which room, door or trap to build or spell to cast are in tabs on the panel and are then dropped into position in the world. Locking and unlocking doors or activating items is done by clicking on the item in the world. Disabling imprisonment of enemy creatures is done by clicking a metal bar next to the prison door, barricading it closed.
The game plays quite similarly to its predecessor, however gameplay is more streamlined with less micromanaging and elimination of unnecessary information. Examples include the removal of the "kill enemies"/"beat them unconscious" switch (creatures are always knocked unconscious - the behavior can't be changed) and the creature statistics panel, which provided all sorts of generally irrelevant information like blood type and luck. The creature combat experience was also moved to display as a circular "progress bar" in the creature's "health flower" over their heads, removing the need to find the information in the panels. The colors, music and sound in Dungeon Keeper 2 also tend to be brighter and more vibrant; the original Dungeon Keeper was generally darker and "grimier" with more serious overtones. Dungeon Keeper 2 tends to be much more tongue-in-cheek with various fourth wall-breaking jokes. An example of the change in mood is when a creature hits jackpot in the casino. This releases a flurry of stardust springing from the room, while the game blasts "Disco Inferno" and the creatures in the casino dance around. The fact that this casino (together with the fighting pit) replaced the eerie Scavenger's Room from Dungeon Keeper solidifies the altered mood.