Spin-offs can be fun if done right and Minecraft Dungeons packs plenty of fun – but it lasts only for a brief period of time before falling into a pit of boredom.
Don’t be alarmed what you just read, it’s worth a try and if you’re on Xbox Game Pass, then what’s stopping you? But if you’re looking to find meaningful experiences to sink your precious time, you might want to hear us out.
Illagers villager danger
Minecraft Dungeons is a cute and beautiful dungeon crawler that puts you right into the action without delays. There’s an evil Illager who was kicked from society only to find some magical powers that let him enslave other Illagers. Your goal is to work your way through the Mobs and defeat him. Simple? It is.
Minecraft Dungeons doesn’t complicate you with its story or character building. It’s meant to be a ‘pick up and play’ with friends and family. You can jump in with friends to online multiplayer or pass another controller to a buddy for local multiplayer.
Dungeons and boxes
You start by selecting a character from a list of presets, all of which are not customisable. For something that has ‘craft’ in its name, there’s no character creation, or ANY type of creation for that matter. Heck, it’s from a franchise that is all about building and using your imagination, but like all modern games, Minecraft dungeons only lets you explore someone else’s imagination.
That’s fine by us because the game does the dungeon bit all too well. And it's meant to let you explore dungeons and vast swamps at your own discretion. Maps are labringthy and it almost always rewards you for exploration.
Crowd control is where the game shines the most vis-à-vis being a dungeon crawler. You have a selection of melee and long range weapons to carry out your dungeon expedition and can slot up to three artifacts to aid and buff movement, power and all the other good stuff. Weapons and armour can be enhanced with enchantments which grant additional buffs. Although enchantment points come only after leveling up, if you salvage your old item that has enchantments, you can get those enchantment points back to use with a new weapon or armour.
The loot drops are well balanced and surprisingly varied. You have a nice balance of stats and buffs with each gear or enchantment that lets you adjust your game style. You can even deconstruct items to get Emeralds.
These Emeralds drop as easy as coins in a Mario game and can be traded at base camp after every mission to get a randomised loot box for weapon or artifact items.
The game spices things up with a fresh variety of enemy types. Ranging from close range attackers to long range shooters. Throw in some fodder mobs, exploding mobs, support mobs and you’ve got a healthy mix of enemies to keep you on your toes.
The boss battles are super fun too, some of which actually made us interested in the lore and the Minecraft world a wee bit.
Processor: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2920X; Liquid cooled by Corsair H115i RGB Platinum
GPU: Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti
Motherboard: Asus PRIME X399-A
RAM: 32GB of Corsair Dominator Platinum RGB
CPU Case: Corsair Obsidian 500D RGB
Keyboard: Kingston HyperX Alloy Elite RGB
Power Supply: Corsair AX850
Minecraft Dungeons looks gorgeous, in a Minecraft way. It’s got that authentic and artistic feel of a Minecraft game with wonderful music too. At the same time, it doesn’t bring in those Minecraft crafting mechanics to elude you from the game’s dungeon crawler approach.
We’ve got mixed feelings about this one because our only gripe is how much better it could’ve been. It’s fun, but the limited experience doesn’t allow it to be a banger title. There are DLCs on the way, but at launch, the game needs more content.
Play if you must, but Minecraft Dungeons has neither made us fall in love with the block-loving franchise nor did it make us revel in its lore. Both of which we were excited about before picking up the controller.
You can crank up the difficulty level before each mission to luck upon a higher level loot, but the enemy groups will wipe you out if you’re not up for that challenge. Jumping in with friends is what Minecraft Dungeons wants you to do, but it offers little to convince you or your friends to jump in for a second slice.