Dungeons of Hinterberg’s announcement at Summer time Sport Fest 2023 did not garner a lot fanfare amid blockbuster video games like Starfield, Fable, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, and Forza Motorsport, but it surely stands out as some of the promising indie video games highlighted in the course of the Xbox Video games Present. That very same week, I watched a behind-closed-doors demo, which confirmed off the gameplay loop and a few lovely visuals, so once I had the chance to play the distinctive motion/RPG hybrid this week, I jumped on the likelihood.
Dungeons of Hinterberg places you within the sneakers of Luisa, who has traveled to the brand new vacationer hotspot within the Austrian Alps. Folks from everywhere in the world are fascinated by Hinterberg’s many magical dungeons stuffed with mysterious and harmful creatures. Luisa’s purpose is to discover all 25 dungeons throughout the area’s 4 biomes, however alongside the best way, she’ll develop relationships with the residents of the mountain city.
Sensible coaching time begins within the outdoors world of the mountainous biome. Throughout this introductory part, I really feel each exploration and fight. Battles play out in a well-recognized method, with Louisa having each a light-weight and heavy assault, in addition to the power to dodge. Nonetheless, spells add further layers of depth to fight. On prime of the biome-specific spells you need to use to unravel puzzles (on this case, a ball and chain that may seize and pull objects and a large, exploding wrecking ball that may place weight on switches), Luisa additionally has entry to particular fight spells mapped to the face buttons. Within the construct I’ve in my demo, my spells embrace one which rains meteors down on enemies, a robust area-of-effect assault, and an assault the place Luisa spins round like a prime together with her swords drawn to create a twister of types.
After dispatching a number of teams of enemies, I discovered the doorway to one of many dungeons of the identical identify. I benefit from the fight discovered all through the dungeon, however my favourite a part of my time with Dungeons of Hinterberg are the puzzles. On this case, the primary puzzles revolve round go-carts. In some instances, it is so simple as rearranging routes to verify I am on course, whereas others contain complicated route adjustments that have to be made in sequential order to achieve the specified vacation spot. Not solely that, however some rickshaw rides require you to lean in particular instructions to keep away from obstacles and advance.
The dungeon I performed by way of was a stable mixture of motion and puzzle fixing, with the ultimate quest coming within the type of a warlock who can summon projectile assaults and some minions. Not one of the fights had been significantly troublesome, however this felt like an early dungeon, and it is fully doable that the builders dialed down the issue to account for a brand new participant leaping in for a while within the recreation.
My demo ends within the metropolis of Hinterberg. Each night after you have completed exploring the dungeon for the day, you possibly can wander across the metropolis and meet the completely different inhabitants. Borrowing some social simulation mechanics from the Persona sequence, you possibly can select to spend time with somebody on the town. Doing so will improve your relationship with them, however may even provide you with further stats resembling Amusement, Leisure, Recognition, and Familiarity. Some quests require you to be at a sure degree for a few of these stats, so staying well-versed will probably be to your benefit.
Whereas I may have hung out on the bar with journalist Travis, I made a decision to search for Albert, who research mythology. He makes a great level that every one the creatures within the dungeons appear to be carrying the masks of creatures in native mythology, suggesting a larger connection to the world past simply the geographic location of the dungeons.
There’s nonetheless quite a bit to discover in Dungeons of Hinterberg, however this little style of gameplay has whetted my urge for food. If the fight is ready to proceed to evolve in significant methods, and the puzzle-solving all through the journey is as intelligent because the go-kart-based dungeon I performed, we will have some actual enjoyable. Dungeons of Hinterberg arrives on Xbox Collection