Dungeons of Hinterberg’s announcement at Summer time Sport Fest 2023 did not garner a ton of fanfare within the midst of large video games like Starfield, Fable, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, and Forza Motorsport, nevertheless it stands out as one of many extra promising indies highlighted in the course of the Xbox Video games Showcase. That very same week, I witnessed a behind-closed-doors demo, which confirmed off the gameplay loop and a few extra of the gorgeous visuals, so once I had the prospect to play this distinctive hybrid motion/RPG this week, I jumped on the likelihood.
Dungeons of Hinterberg places you within the footwear of Luisa, who has traveled to the brand new vacationer hotspot within the Austrian Alps. Folks from all around the world are enamored with Hinterberg’s many magical dungeons stuffed with mystical and harmful creatures. Luisa’s purpose is to discover all 25 dungeons throughout the area’s 4 biomes, however alongside the way in which, she’ll develop relationships with the denizens of the mountain city.
My hands-on time begins within the mountain biome’s overworld. Throughout this introductory phase, I get a really feel for the exploration and fight. Fights play out in acquainted method, with Luisa possessing a light-weight and heavy assault, in addition to the flexibility to dodge. Nonetheless, spells add additional layers of depth to fight. On high of biome-specific spells you should use to unravel puzzles (on this occasion, a ball and chain that may seize and pull issues and a large exploding wrecking ball that may put weight on switches), Luisa additionally has entry to combat-specific spells mapped to the face buttons. Within the construct I’ve in my demo, my spells embody one which rains meteors down on enemies, a slam area-of-effect assault, and an assault the place Luisa spins like a high together with her swords drawn to create a blade twister of types.
After dispatching a couple of teams of enemies, I discover the doorway to one of many eponymous dungeons. I benefit from the fight, which is current all through the dungeon, however my favourite a part of my time with Dungeons of Hinterberg is the puzzles. On this case, the first puzzles are themed round minecarts. In some situations, they’re so simple as rearranging the tracks to ensure I’m going in the correct course, whereas others contain intricate monitor adjustments that should be achieved in sequential order with the intention to attain the specified vacation spot. Not solely that, however a few of the cart rides necessitate you lean in particular instructions to keep away from obstacles and progress.
The dungeon I performed is a powerful mixture of motion and puzzle-solving, with the ultimate job coming within the type of a warlock that may summon projectile assaults and some minions. Not one of the battles had been notably troublesome, however this appeared like an early dungeon, and it is solely probably the builders tuned down the issue to account for having a brand new participant bounce a while into the sport.
My demo concludes within the city of Hinterberg. Every night after you wrap up your dungeon exploration for the day, you’ll be able to wander round city and meet the assorted inhabitants. In borrowing a few of the social simulation mechanics from the Persona collection, you’ll be able to select to spend time with one of many individuals on the town. Doing so will enhance your relationship with them, however may also grant further stats like Amusement, Leisure, Renown, and Familiarity. Some quests require you to be at a sure degree for a few of these stats, so staying well-rounded can be in your finest curiosity.
Whereas I may hang around on the bar with reporter Travis, I made a decision to hunt out Albert, who research mythology. He makes a great level that the entire creatures within the dungeons look like sporting masks of creatures in native mythology, hinting at some higher connection to the area past merely the dungeons’ geographic location.
There’s nonetheless a lot to discover in Dungeons of Hinterberg, however this small style of gameplay whetted my urge for food. If the fight can proceed to evolve in significant methods and the puzzle-solving all through the journey is as intelligent because the minecart-based dungeon I performed, we could possibly be in for an actual deal with. Dungeons of Hinterberg arrives on Xbox Sequence X/S and PC in 2024.