Minecraft is known for being a friendly survival crafting game and it’s been around for the better part of a decade with plenty of updates. There’s also several spin offs each offering a new gameplay experience. TellTale’s Minecraft: Story mode focused on story telling, while Minecraft Earth lets players build and explore in the real world using AR. Minecraft Dungeons takes the franchise into the dungeon crawling, RPG genre, but without all the typical gloom and doom.
Before you start your adventure you must choose your character. There are no character classes so choose whichever one you like, because all your abilities are tied to your gear. As you level up you’ll find powerful gear that allows you to defeat stronger mobs and complete dungeons on harder difficulties. Loot is bountiful, and is very simple to understand.
Each piece of armor and each weapon has a random set of enchantments that you choose from that add abilities to your character. Your abilities are tied to your gear and you’re free to swap out weapons and armor at any time. This allows you to experiment with the many different enchantments that’s attached to dropped loot.
The plot of Minecraft Dungeons is as simple as the rest of the game — an evil dude known as the “Illager” has summoned a bunch of minions to terrorize villagers and destroy their towns. You and your gang of adventurers must fight through the hoards of enemies and bosses along the way, to finally defeat Illager and return order to the world.
The story is easily completed in a few hours, with the meat of the Minecraft Dungeons experience being the loot. Gear is obtained by defeating mobs, bosses and can be found in chests hidden throughout each level. Loot chest, emeralds and secret rooms are hidden on each level giving you plenty to search for as you battle lots and lots of familiar Minecraft mobs. You can also trade gems to the blacksmith and traveling merchant at your camp for random gear. Each level is randomly generated so you’ll never play the same level twice.
The one object you don’t have to look for is health potions. They are unlimited but, heal wisely, as they have a fairly long cooldown period between each use. While playing on a team, if a teammate has fallen, they can be revived easily. But do so quickly, because after 30 seconds an enemy referred to simply as “night”, will start causing damage to the surviving players until they die or the downed player is revived. If the whole squad dies, you consume a team life and respawn. There’s only a few team lives for each level and if you run out you’re then returned to your camp and must start the dungeon over. After you complete the story you will be able to play through dungeons on higher difficulties with extra enemies that are stronger. There’s also more enemy types and of course, extra powerful gear too.
Minecraft Dungeons is a great crawling experience, and has the gameplay of Diablo while keeping it light and humorous like is expected from Minecraft. The game is very simple and might be a little too simple for some dungeon crawling fans. However, the gameplay is more than satisfying to keep you playing for quite a while. Costing only $20 it’s priced well for what the game offers.