Minecraft is a phenomenon that has won over many players around the world. And although it has a lot to offer in the primary game, the developers found the time was right to expand the universe of Minecraft even further. Minecraft Dungeons is therefore an action RPG that should offer appropriate entertainment to fans of this genre and at the same time wants to benefit from a proven brand. It’s not a bad connection, but the question is whether Minecraft Dungeons offers enough content to score more significantly.
In keeping things close to the name, the game has a modest retro look with characteristic polygons, edges and cubes. But it sure does have beauty in simplicity. The developers were able to create interesting levels of design and attention to detail, thanks to which the rough world seems attractive and interesting enough. They offered several diverse environments, which differ in color scheme and structure. These are the interiors of mazes, mines and castles, but also swamps, forests, snowy and desert locations, which have the form of corridors. It is nicely completed by a music component and solid sound effects.
The game offers a strictly told story with almost a dozen missions, each representing one labyrinth full of enemies and traps. You fight in the skin of a hero, whom you choose from the prepared characters in the introduction. They differ only in their appearance, which in time you can dress up in different armors or clothes. Therefore, the choice is not very important and even the extra characters in the form of DLC do not have much justification.
More interesting is the ability to play offline or in online mode, where you can have fun in the participation of other players. In addition, local multiplayer with two or more characters is possible. the controls compared to the pc version are well suited with the controller in mind and the special abilities are all connected to the button and shoulder buttons of the joy-cons and pro controllers.
In your inventory there is a model of your hero with slots for a close range weapon (sword, dagger, spear, hammer, ax), armor and a long range weapon (bow, crossbow). Of course, you change the equipment as needed, so you have stronger weapons and more effective protection. However, the method of improvement is interesting. You can enchant everything, which in this case means that each item offers one to three improvements and always with three options. These are individual for each thing. So, for example, you have a sword that, in addition to a decent attack, offers enchantment with a fire effect, vampirism that adds life to your wounded enemies, or accelerated attacks. If you have enchantment points, which are the only things your hero acquires with higher levels, you will choose one of the options. Alternatively, you can improve the effect obtained in this way to the second or third degree. You can also invest points in lower category weapons and armor. Later, you will dismantle the unnecessary equipment together with the various surpluses collected. You will have emeralds from it, which is a universal currency in the game, and if the thing was enchanted, you will also get back points that you can use for better pieces.
You also have slots for three artifacts in your character’s inventory. They are not just for decoration and the addition of passive bonuses, they are actually active abilities that you can use repeatedly in combat. So, for example, you trigger a destructive projectile with an elemental attack, briefly create a burning beam, activate temporary protection, but also summon a wolf or llama that spits into the enemy’s face. In this way, you can comfortably adjust the hero’s abilities, only you may lack the ability to increase attributes. But here you have to rely exclusively on items with bonuses and enchantment, but your character does not directly improve.
Your mini base is a place in the first location where you can roam freely around the area and choose another mission on the map. There is not much interesting in the camp, the interaction is limited to a blacksmith who will make you a random weapon or armor for emeralds. And then a wizard will be added, creating a random artifact for you. So don’t stay long and go off-road. The map offers you one or more unlocked missions and it’s up to you to start wherever you want. The others will wait for you and unlock new ones when done. Tasks such as freeing prisoners, activating important objects and defeating bosses must be accomplished on the battlefield. Then you fight your way to the exit of the site and you are home again – in the camp.
You follow various paths that will not let you go far, but sometimes there are alternative paths. Occasionally you will come across chests and loot with equipment and arrows that are missed during shooting or with disposable objects that will immediately provide you with some support for a short time – regeneration, acceleration and the like. There are often some switches or interesting keys to open the gates in the area. The key must be found and taken, but you must also be careful not to miss it. He is alive and in the heat of battle he will try to escape to his original place. It’s funny and imaginative.
In addition, you may be surprised by various objects and conditions on your journey. Moving walls that can pinch you, mining carts that will knock you down, bridges with places that fall. We suggest to collect TNT charges, which you carry on your head and can throw away at any time. After a few seconds, they explode and hit everything in a relatively wide area. Quite a good variety of numerous battles with enemies, whose range is not dizzying, but they have specific abilities. Spiders will temporarily immobilize you with a cobweb, moving cubes will disintegrate into smaller and even smaller ones after destruction, wizards will imprison you with monoliths and heal their comrades-in-arms, necromancers are constantly summoning reinforcements. You are treated with a single decoction, which will be replenished after a short time after drinking. This should be taken into account, as you may need it at any given point.
In case of death, you can revive yourself on the battlefield three more times. If you pass all the lives before you reach the exit of the maze, you must restart the mission from the beginning. For the easiest difficulty, it was enough, except for the last mission, which is significantly longer than the others, and the final boss bothers you more. There you can lose all lives relatively easily and restarting the maze will not please you. It should be mentioned here that at first only low difficulty is accessible and after overcoming the final boss one more difficulty setting will be unlocked and so on. However, you can change the difficulty of each mission you are embarking on. The difficulty should not be lower than your current strength, but it can be higher. Then more demanding fights await you, but also a chance to gain extra experience and better loot.
Minecraft Dungeons is a good contribution to the action RPG genre. The game is not very extensive, moreover, there is a complete lack of production of items that would already be suitable given the brand used. And even if the title is still expanding, it will probably only be paid supplements and it is questionable whether the players will take time investing in them. Younger and occasional, less experienced fans of the genre, who do not have great demands and are not hindered by a less developed RPG component and with an average playability, will get their money’s worth. Although with minor unique elements, such as an atypical form of enchanting objects or escaping keys. And some Minecraft fans might prefer development to focus on adding content to the original game rather than creating this little turn-off.
Minecraft Dungeons is a decent action RPG but lacks a little for experienced players or those who want an extensive and complex story.