The game itself tries to re-created the feel of everyone's favorite base-builder classic Dungeon Keeper 2. How close does it come? Closer than anyone else, but not without a lot of new, and very avoidable flaws.
Much like DK2 the game revolves around you digging out multiple specialty rooms in your Evil Lair (Control Room, Armory, Barracks, etc.) to acomplish various tasks, and to keep your minions healed, happy, and armed. The forces of good will also come wandering in to your lair in an effort to sabatoge your operation and must be kept at bay, or dealt with. You also have the option of building traps and security devices to keep intruders occupied, or dead...
You have the option to deal with the do-gooders in various ways. By default your minions completely ignore all enemies and neutral tourists unless they are directly atttacked. You must "tag" an intruder on your island with an action for your minions to take. These are either "Kill", "Capture", or "Befuddle". Killing is the most straightforward way, but the downside is that a dead enemy leaves a corpse behind. If tourists or enemy agents see these your "heat" level increases for that particular faction. A higher "heat" level for a faction means that they will send stronger agents to your island and are much harder to deal with. To deal with the bodies you must build a freezer and storage racks to hide the bodies until they decay. You can kill anyone that looks at you funny, but you will run out of storage space quick. Another method to deal with them is to "befuddle" them. You have social minions like Valets and Spin Doctors who will attempt to confuse enemy agents and tourists. Once their Mind stat is reduced to zero the enemy will stand there in a daze and do nothing. Agents only have a fixed amount of time they spend investigating your island, so the more time they spend drooling on themselves the less time they have to throw monkey wrenches in your plans. The third option is to "capture". Minions will attempt to knock the victim out and then drag them to a holding cell. From there you can either kill them, or interrogate them. Interrogation is only useful against skilled civilians so that you can train your minions for that profession, otherwise it is a complete waste of time.
One thing that sets the game apart from the DK series is the use of the world map. Not only must you build and maintain your evil lair, but you must send your minions out into the world to Steal, Plot, and cause Mayhem to further your evil goals. It is a very unique addition, but has numerous flaws that make it more of a pain than a pleasure. The world map is split between 4 different alliances, each alliance having 4 separate territories. Each territory has an income and a security rating. The income number shows how much your minions can steal from that territory, and the security rating determines how much heat your illicit activities will generate. You won't know what these numbers are unless you have a specific number of Control Panels in your control room properly staffed. You also have access to various evil missions to send your minions on. These include kidnapping specialists for interrogation, stealing valuble loot, and regular story advancement mission.
The game, unfortunately has many, many flaws that should have never happened. For starters the controls are terrible and very unintuitive. Almost everything is done by right-clicking. Left is generally only used for selecting your Avatar/Henchman and to drag out room building templates. What game uses the left button only 10% of the time? The World Map controls are just as terrible. Scroll speed depends on how fast your PC is, so old PCs have a reasonable scroll speed, but on newer ones you will constantly overshoot the place you are trying to scroll to. This is very irritating when you are frantically trying to tell your minions to go in to hiding so they aren't caught by the investigator agents who randomly deploy across the world and kill your minions. Speaking of which, when those agents deploy you have NO WARNING! While you are desperately trying to fend off agents invading your lair, about 80% of the places you have minions deployed on the world map will suddenly have an investigating agent deployed there as well, and if you don't luck up and check the world map at the right time all of your minions will end up dead after about 10 seconds. The World Map button will sometimes tell you have have minions being killed, but by the time it tells you it's way too late.
Keeping enemies from casually wandering in to your base and investigating your freezer full of corpses, blowing generators up, or stealing gold is unreasonably difficult. As I mentioned before minions completely ignore enemies unless manually told to do something about them. There is no "default" action you can set for enemies so you have to manually assign an action for EVERY enemy individually. Good luck with that level of micro-management when you have two separate screens to pay attention to, neither of which can be automated in any helpful way. Traps and Security Cameras are supposed to help with this but both are complete wastes of money. Traps can only be triggered by an enemy activating a pressure plate, tripwire, or motion detector. The problem is that these can NOT be placed on the actual trap, they must be placed next to it (or anywhere else, but that is even less useful). When placed next to the trap the enemy will, 90% of the time stop on top of the triggering device while the trap gos off harmlessly next to them. If it does manage to trap an enemy it has an equal or better chance of trapping your minions as well! Security cameras are just pointless. They are supposed to alert you to intruders and then deploy minions to deal with them. The cameras only alert if an enemy has been "tagged" previously. Enemies that havent been tagged will be ignored. Even if an alert is sounded only minions within earshot of a loudspeaker will be deployed. All of these things are complete wastes of valuble cash.
Dealing with enemies is needlessly difficuly as well. Enemy Agents will always be armed and you have the option of arming your minions, but only if you have built the proper gun cabinets, and only if your base is on Yellow or Red alert. The rest of the time they return the guns to the armory and if enemy soldiers start raiding they will gun your helpless minions down before you can issue the alert. This makes some sense for your regular minions, but why aren't your guards armed 24/7? Your only real defense is your Henchmen, the only guys that you can manually control besides your avatar. They can easily deal with weaker agents on their own, but require backup if faced with numerous opponents. You start with one, but can recruit more later on. One word of advice, avoid the ones that use explosives, they will kill your own guys more often than your enemies. The best method of dealing with potential intruders seems to be using the "befuddle" option if you have a lot of social minions. Yes, it requires 1 minion to be occupied with each target, but it saves freezer space and doesn't raise your heat level.
Hotels are a complete joke. They are super-expensive, require staffing, and produce no income. Better off stuffing their corpses in the freezer.
A worthy attempt to recreate the magic of Dungeon Keeper. Some horrid flaws keep it from being a true successor, but it is well worth your time and money if you loved DK2.