Dungeons of Hinterberg, A Social-Sim/Adventure That Feels Like a Vacation 

Microbirds Debuts Adventure Game Dungeons of Hinterberg at gamescom

Microbirds made a strategic choice to showcase their upcoming adventure game Dungeons of Hinterberg at gamescom this week. After getting a chance to play the first demo, I couldn’t help but imagine sailing up the Rhine to experience some exciting monster hunting and enjoy the serene Alpine atmosphere.

The Story and Setting

Dungeons of Hinterberg is set in the picturesque Austrian Alps, specifically in the small town of Hinterburg. One day, mysterious magic caves filled with monsters appeared, turning Hinterburg into a hub for adventure tourism. Daredevils from all over the world, including the game’s protagonist, flock to the town to showcase their battle skills, an activity frowned upon in regular society.

The Gameplay Loop

During the hands-on demonstration, we got a taste of the gameplay loop that defines Dungeons of Hinterberg. By day, players explore and adventure both above and below ground. As the sun sets, they have the opportunity to socialize, develop their skills, and acquire items to prepare for their next underground expedition.

Playable Character and Abilities

As I took control of the character Louisa, I began by embarking on a quest to find a dungeon, gradually exploring and simultaneously learning about Louisa’s impressive capabilities. The demo showcased two essential skills tied to the shoulder buttons: the Wrecking Ball, a powerful bomb that demolishes rubble blocking the path when the LB button is pressed, and the ranged Ball and Chain, which can interact with environmental objects, like pulling down a log to cross a gap. These skills proved crucial in solving puzzles and progressing through the game.

Enemies and Combat

During my journey, I encountered creepy masked monsters inspired by real-life Alpine Mythology, resembling the infamous Krampus. Louisa possesses light and heavy melee attacks that can charge up devastating magical abilities, such as a leap with area-of-effect damage or a barrage of meteors that rapidly depletes enemy health bars.

Exploring the Dungeons

After encountering various enemies and honing my combat skills, I arrived at one of the renowned dungeons of Hinterberg. Inside, the puzzles and battles became more intense and confined. I explored, looted chests, solved puzzles, defeated armored foes, and eventually faced a formidable boss. After accomplishing these challenges, it was time to return to Hinterberg for some much-needed relaxation.

The Importance of Socializing

Interacting with NPCs in the game is not just a break from the action; it is essential for success. Louisa can enhance her abilities by deepening her social connections. After engaging in conversations with a few local characters, I spent time with Marina, a cheerful employee at the local ice cream stand. This interaction increased Louisa’s dodge stamina, allowing her to evade attacks more effectively. I look forward to discovering the potential benefits of forming further social links in the game.

A Mix of Battle and Socializing

If you’re reminded of games like the Persona series by the blend of battling and socializing, you’re not alone. However, Dungeons of Hinterberg offers more freedom and flexibility. Players can take a break from adventuring if they desire and spend time with friends in town without feeling pressured to maximize every moment. It’s an opportunity to level up skills and gather more resources before attempting challenging dungeon runs.

Expansive Gameplay and Release Details

Microbirds revealed that the game will feature approximately 25 dungeons to test players’ skills. While the Doberkogel mountains area showcased at gamescom was stunning, players can anticipate even more diverse biomes, including chilly glaciers and wetter regions.

With its sunny vibes and the option to battle or simply relax in town, Dungeons of Hinterberg promises to provide players with a delightful virtual vacation experience. It’s no surprise if you find yourself daydreaming about an actual trip to Austria once you’ve finished playing. Look forward to the release of Dungeons of Hinterberg in 2024 for Xbox Series X|S, Windows PC, and Cloud, with availability on Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass on day one.