Once upon a time, a sandbox simulator and a dungeon crawler magically collided to form Minecraft Dungeons – a solid, procedurally generated hack and slash game for explorers to band together and bash enemy blockheads.
Developed by Mojang Studios and Double Eleven, Minecraft Dungeons is a traditional dungeon crawler that incorporates the blocky landscape of Minecraft but leaves the mining and crafting behind.
Customization, however, is a large component of the game. Each users can arm their character three main weapond and three sub items. Weaponry includes a selection swords, axes, and bows, while support items include the Corrupted Beacon to fire light at enemies, and the Soul Healer to heal yourself and nearby allies. New items can be purchased with in-game currency and weapons can be upgraded with earned Enchantments. There are no classes, but weapons and items are varied enough to create distinct characters.
Controls are solid, with weapons and items keyed to every button and trigger. At any moment the user can melee an enemy, fire arrows, roll dodge and heal within seconds.
The base game includes nine levels, each procedurally generated for a different map layout at every run. From the Creeper Woods to the Fiery Forge, each level holds a dynamic difficulty for single-player or four-player co-op outings. At normal difficulty, there was a great balance between looting, exploration, and enemy wave attacks. Bosses in particular require a good dose of teamwork to take down.
Drawbacks to the game include a thin storyline and lack of online matchmaking. However, online multiplayer functionality was solid with zero to no lag and clear communication via Discord. I had a blast playing co-op with my nephew as we teamed up to loot and take down hordes of enemy Creepers and Endermen.
With block-based construction, Minecraft Dungeons runs sharp at 60 frames-per-second on a mid-range gaming PC. The title, which utilizes the Unreal Engine, includes high-quality animations, real-time lighting, and particle effects.
Minecraft Dungeons is a solidly built dungeon crawler for all players. While the title doesn’t have the full depth of an action RPG, it carries plenty of charm, customization, and looting for under $20.