Minecraft Dungeons is simple, Diablo-inspired fun for the family

I played a few Minecraft Dungeons earlier today and, without wanting to state the obvious, I think this game is going to be a big hit.

First announced at Minecon last year, this is an aerial view, Diablo-like game featuring characters and stuff from the world of Minecraft. Given Minecraftand the attractive skill of this game, it is possible that Dungeons will introduce monster exploration to a wider audience than all previous games in this hallowed genre, combined.

I play as a solo adventurer or in a party of up to four players, in online or couch co-op. I venture into an underworld and soon fight familiar foes of Minecraftlike skeletons, spiders and shells.

I collect emeralds to spend on upgrades, like weapons, potions, and armor. It should be noted that the currency is fully integrated into the game; there are no loot boxes or micro-transactions. Loot drops also give me random gifts, including health upgrades and other consumables.

Rooms are randomly generated, as are drops and enemies. My weapons are melee and ranged, and they’re all heavily boosted by random enchantments that I spend as I feel the need. The game’s leveling path is to increase my ability to use these boosts, rather than to statistically improve my character or their individual weapons.

I can also collect “artifacts” which are special weapons that cool down after use. A big part of the fun is equipping items suited to individual challenges, as well as working with teammates to maximize team effectiveness.

Basic lever-style puzzles interrupt combat, along with dangerous traps. During my play session, I found the game to be quite forgiving and fun, although it should be noted that the last dungeon crawler I played was extremely difficult. Below.

Minecraft Dungeons looks like a family favorite, which kids will love. It’s slated to release around $20 in Spring 2020, for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One. Mobile versions have yet to be announced, but I wouldn’t bet against them appearing in due course.