Minecraft Dungeons Review: a new adventure for all ages

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Brian Adam
Professional Blogger, V logger, traveler and explorer of new horizons.
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Mojang and Double Eleven combine Minecraft with dungeon crawlers. The result is a universal game of considerable thickness.

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Minecraft Dungeons Review Review: A new adventure for all ages


That Minecraft is a brand of the highest value it is an undeniable truthWhatever form it comes in, Markus “Notch” Persson’s creature shatters sales records and further replenishes Mojang’s pockets. The team, long time standard bearer of Microsoft Studios, together with Double Eleven decided to dare, moving away from the original sandbox to land in the world of dungeon crawlers. The end result openly demonstrates that Notch’s cubes can perform any miracle, and although the title is sold at a budget price (and will also be included in the Game Pass), it does not deserve to be underestimated at all. By contrast, Minecraft Dungeons is a universal product, as well as characterized by a high-quality level. This is because Double Eleven’s work fully achieves its goal: to have fun in the most genuine and simple way possible.

An experience for all ages

After trying Minecraft Dungeons on the occasion of the closed beta, we remained to sharpen the blade pending the final clash with the evil Archer-inhabitant, the dark dictator who, thanks to the powers of the Sphere of Dominance, has put the world in check. The showdown has finally come, at the end of a campaign with surprisingly long longevity.

The developers had stated that, ignoring all that the game has to offer, it would be possible to get to the credits in about five hours, but it is good to clarify this aspect: however much it can be completed in an afternoon, the work of Double Eleven and Mojang is unexpectedly layered, since it has three difficulty levels, designed to be unlocked after each defeat of the Archer-inhabitant.

When the campaign introduces what we might call a sort of “new game plus“(in fact we have the ability to return to the lower degree at any time) here are new objects, and even unpublished enemies, make their appearance. As if that were not enough, it is also possible to find secret stages, and it is precisely in this feature that you understand the real intentions of the developers: Minecraft Dungeons is a game designed for every age group and experience level.

If you were a great connoisseur of dungeon crawler, in fact, it will be sufficient to select a greater difficulty before each mission, so as to obtain more succulent rewards and face an overwhelming amount of enemies, capable of giving you the right dose of headaches. Anyone who is a beginner with the genre, or who simply prefers to experience the adventure in a more relaxed way, will instead find themselves in front of a sliding product and a cheat breaker. The systems designed by the two development teams manage to change the face of Minecraft Dungeons with extreme simplicity, in order to adapt to the needs of any type of user. The more experienced can also decide to explore the various stages far and wide, characterized by very large maps with different layers of procedural: not only the underground could change the composition, but in its structure, it could also be inserted – completely random – an extra maze that increases its complexity. Likewise, even some mid-bosses will be able to enter the scene without warning, transforming a quiet expedition into a fight to the last blow.

As a rule, one of the limits of procedural generation it consists in the clear reiteration of the same assets, which causes a strong sense of déjà-vu. Minecraft Dungeons, however, escapes this rule: even after having witnessed many different mutations, in fact, the progress has always remained fresh and lively.

During both the closed beta and the full version we have faced some stages over and over again, and on each occasion we have always found some news that has been able to pleasantly surprise us. Obviously the results are certainly not infinite, but the number of variables and environmental conformations is undoubtedly worthy of respect. With an offer of this magnitude and the promise of future DLC, Minecraft Dungeons therefore proves to be a great exponent of the dungeon crawler genre.

Progression and combat

Above all, it gives a strong character to the work of Mojang and Double Eleven the character progression system lean and intuitive but not for this approximate or superficial. At each level passage you get a single magic point, useful to enhance one of the six equipment supplied to our alter ego: a melee weapon, one from distance, an armor and three types of artifacts.

The average value of the loadout fixes the degree of “power” of the hero, while experience allows you to unlock different types of magic bonuses to be applied to the tools, thanks to which we will be able to give shape to real builds. Finally, when you get a better item, just recycle those already enchanted to regain the magic points previously invested.

Despite its ease of use, therefore, this mechanism is not without a certain rate of depth. In addition to a wide variety of loots, the artifacts surprised us most: these special objects give the hero active skills, subjected to a period of cooldown, capable of even changing the fate of each mission. Area magic to recover vital energy, explosions, laser beams, evocations and many other goodies open up a range of truly noteworthy tactical possibilities: for example, with the same offensive power, we have had the upper hand against some rather demanding bosses only by changing the magical equipment.

Fight in the CooperativeUnfortunately, we have not been able to test the co-op mode (online and offline) first hand, but we already know that a drop in / drop out system will allow any companion to join our battle. The difficulty will automatically scale to offer the right challenge rate to all participants, and the ability to revive your partner or teleport to his vicinity will give us the opportunity to face any opponent side by side. In the future, developers should also include cross-play between the platforms of the Microsoft ecosystem.

The playful value of Minecraft Dungeons is therefore perceptible in all these aspects, a attention to detail that is also evident in the animations of the melee weapons. At the disposal of the player there is a combination of physical attacks influenced by the supplied weapon: for example the hammers allow a single blow, while a pair of daggers allows a rapid sequence of stabs; in addition, the basic equipment includes a dodge and an infinite health potion (quite similar to those seen in Diablo 3). It is precisely the magic bonuses that change the approach with which to face the enemies: in our test, for example, we mainly used an enchantment capable of grouping opponents simulating a black hole, so as to allow us to quickly clean the area.

Ultimately, it is clear that Dungeons it enjoys a very thick play substrate. Turning to the technical-artistic side, the work is framed in the style “blocky” typical of Minecraft: the aesthetics created by Notch certainly helps the stability and fluidity of the experience, equipped with an optimization that offers excellent performance (60fps are always guaranteed) even on poorly performing machines. This does not mean that they are missing also good lighting effects, and in fact, by unleashing ourselves with the artefacts we will be able to appreciate a pleasant pandemonium on the screen: explosions, particles and cubes swept everywhere where they invade the scene, generating a dose of funny epicness.


Minecraft Dungeons
Minecraft Dungeons

PC Analyzed VersionMinecraft Dungeons is a pleasant surprise. At the expense of its appearance, the title of Mojang and Double Eleven is a dungeon crawler capable of offering an interesting experience also to experts in the genre. It does so both thanks to numerous settings to customize its path, and thanks to remarkable care in the systems of map generation and growth of its hero. We are faced with a universal title, suitable for any type of user, simple but not trivial: we believe it is right therefore to welcome open arms productions of this calibre, capable of combining lightness and depth with good balance.

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