Minecraft Dungeons, a new offshoot from the Minecraft universe, will appear on May 26th. Instead of building blocks, this time it's about adventure and fast action. The game mixes the classic elements of a dungeon crawler with a good dose of humor. Mincecraft Dungeons doesn't take itself particularly seriously, but that shouldn't stand in the way of fun - on the contrary. We reveal why Minecraft Dungeons is likely to be a success.

Microsoft recently announced that Minecraft has now sold over 200 million times before the Nether update was released in the summer. And as if this number weren't already impressive enough: around 126 million active players plunge into adventures every month. Now the block game goes - after one necessary release postponement - into the next round and that is exactly what should ensure that the topic of Minecraft becomes "suitable for the masses", if one can still speak of it at all.

Minecraft Dungeons: The recipe for action, loot and humor

Minecraft Dungeons turns the gloomy dungeon crawler into a humorous monster hunt in which uncomplicated action and loot are the focus. There are just as little bulky talent trees as the need for one-sided alignment of the hero equipment or the selected skills. In Minecraft Dungeons, the equipment determines which skills players use against monsters in the field.

The genre takes the new Minecraft game seriously. Minecraft Dungeons is anything but a serious hack 'n slash game, but there are adventures - only in a usual "blocky world". Up to four players compete together against hordes of skeletons and all sorts of crawling creatures and often rain down a – sometimes strange – effect thunderstorm on the opponents. That sounds pretty simple and it is. This is intentional. The Minecraft dungeon crawler focuses on an uncomplicated gameplay. Completely suitable for the masses: everyone can play the title - you just have to warm up to the angular look.

There are no shortage of pew-pew laser effects in Minecraft Dungeons. Image: Mojang

There are no shortage of pew-pew laser effects in Minecraft Dungeons. Image: Mojang

Despite all the simplification, there is a story, albeit a straightforward one. An evil villain is being bullied by other villagers, but then finds a powerful artifact and seeks revenge. His goal: simply enslave everyone who used to annoy him. The course of the game unfolds along this red thread of the story. The goal of the group of heroes is mostly simple, primarily it revolves around freeing villagers from the clutches of the chief villain. Far better than the story itself is its presentation: a narrator prepares the heroes for their next adventure - and in a way that could well be described as "epic". This type of acoustic accompaniment is excellent and motivates - again for pretty much every type of player, from beginners to professionals.

Minecraft Dungeons dares to change perspective. Instead of an ego view, players get an overview of what is happening from a clear isometric view that is appropriate to the genre. This provides an overview and also appeals to players who cannot cope with the otherwise usual Minecraft perspective. In addition: The Mojang Studios have polished up the look and provide variety. Although players spend a lot of time in gloomy cave systems, they also pave their way through swampy landscapes or forests.

The game environments are "blocky" but nice. Image: Mojang

The game environments are "blocky" but pretty. Image: Mojang

The star of the game, however, is the uncomplicated and ingenious item and skill system. There are three slots available to players for their equipment: Melee, Range and Armor. You can use the equipment you want at any time - switching from melee to ranged combat is possible without any problems if the loot turns out differently than you might expect. In a second step, improvement points are then allocated to the types of equipment in order to increase their effectiveness. The highlight: If you find better equipment, the old one can be recycled, in which case you get back the points you have already invested. Being able to experiment with items is something that hardly any other dungeon crawler offers this directness.

In addition: three artifact slots grant the special skills and attacks. Whether it's healing or conjuring spells, it's always the artifacts that make up the character's skills. This is comparatively simple, but it can also be adjusted at any time. Because character alignments can still be created in combination with enchantments, Minecraft Dungeons is ultimately more complex than it needs to be for quick fun. The equipment can be adapted at any time - and by any time is actually meant at any time.

The fights are quick and full of effects. Image: Mojang

The fights are quick and full of effects. Image: Mojang

This will have an enormously positive effect on the fights: The game of Minecraft Dungeons will feel fast, full of effects and immediately rewarding. And because opponents roll up en masse, it will hardly be boring. Boss fights also provide variety. There is hardly any dying in Minecraft Dungeons, even if death cannot be avoided, of course. After all: it will be difficult to let your own character bite into the grade. The level of difficulty adapts automatically, an infinitely usable medicinal bottle fills life.

Minecraft Dungeons clearly focuses on cooperative fun fights and thus invents a kind of intermediate genre for dungeon crawlers. It's not about challenges and complexity, but about immediate fun.

Minecraft Dungeons will be released on May 26th in Xbox Game Pass, for Xbox One, Windows PC, Playstation 4 and Nintendo Switch.

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