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    Minecraft Dungeons

    Game » consists of 4 releases. Released May 26, 2020

    A top-down dungeon-crawling RPG set in the Minecraft universe, developed by Mojang AB.

    nateandrews's Minecraft Dungeons (PC) review

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    For the price of a Game Pass subscription you really can't go wrong with Minecraft Dungeons

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    Minecraft Dungeons is a relatively straightforward dungeon-crawler set in the world of Minecraft, but it's not nearly as simplistic as it appears on the surface. There's actually a fair amount of depth to the game's loot system, and the whole thing is surprisingly fun to play.

    Crowd control is a must
    Crowd control is a must

    In Minecraft Dungeons, your hero character sets out to do battle against the Arch-Illager, a corrupted being with designs on conquering the world. Through a series of 9 levels (14 if you include secret levels) you'll fight through a vast and diverse array of Minecraft enemies and collect new gear and abilities along the way. The game has leveling and gear score systems as well as numerous upgrades to weapons and armor that grant a variety of buffs and advantages.

    The game's isometric perspective, map overlay, and large crowds of enemies give Minecraft Dungeons a distinctly Diablo feel, though the level design isn't always stellar. It's apparently procedurally generated, which fooled me since many of the levels feel handcrafted. But this probably explains why the levels contain many side paths that lead to nothing. This can be frustrating because the game does hide treasure and access to secret levels on some of these paths, but if you get into the habit of skipping them to save time you might miss out.

    You select levels and can purchase new equipment at the camp
    You select levels and can purchase new equipment at the camp

    Combat is largely satisfying, and the gear you collect is different enough to make engagements feel drastically different depending on what you have equipped. I played most of the game with a sickle that weakened enemies and a harp crossbow that fired 5 bolts at once. This loadout combined with an explosive arrow ability and armor that granted faster attack speed and lifesteal made me unstoppable for large stretches of the game. It wasn't until I completed the game and started running through the levels again on the challenging post-game Adventure mode that I had to abandon this setup completely in favor of higher gear score equipment that plays very differently.

    The game grants enchantment points every time you level up, and these are used to acquire and upgrade perks assigned to your two weapons and armor. These perks are randomly generated and most are pretty exciting to obtain. The downside is that it makes switching to a new piece of equipment a rough transition. I didn't fully appreciate how often the 6% lifesteal ability on my armor was saving my life until I switched to a new piece of armor without it, and suddenly I was getting chopped to bits in combat.

    Some of the boss fights are wildly intense
    Some of the boss fights are wildly intense

    There's an inherent beauty to the blocky aesthetic of Minecraft, though I've mainly experienced it in the form of the sprawling, unpredictable terrain surrounding whatever disappointing house I've thrown together. Actually creating beauty in Minecraft is a whole other beast, requiring a level of proficiency in architecture and terraforming that I've never really had. The levels in Minecraft Dungeons may be procedurally generated, but they look way better than anything I've ever made. It's neat being able to experience that world from a new perspective like this.

    There's cooperative play in Minecraft Dungeons, though I played the entire thing solo. The game's replayability is actually pretty solid thanks to the ability to upscale difficulty by power level, and by the end I was still acquiring new abilities that I hadn't seen before. Completing the game only took a handful of hours, but I feel compelled to keep playing, unlocking the secret levels I missed and the remaining Achievements. I didn't really expect anything from Minecraft Dungeons, so it's been a pleasant surprise.

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