Dungeons of Hinterberg is about a holiday – which is why everything feels so important

May 30, 2024
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What’s at stake? In Dungeons of Hinterberg, refreshingly little. But the more I played of this strange and lovely combination of dungeon diver and life sim, the more I realised that wasn’t quite the case. Sure, in terms of the stakes of a lot of video games, Hinterberg’s are definitely quite low. You’re on holiday and your job, in essence, is to relax. But sometimes just getting away and having a break is really pretty important. A few hours in, I realised that I wanted to do it properly.

Dungeons of Hinterberg is a game about Luisa, who’s training to be a lawyer and is young and thoroughly burned out. She’s come to Hinterberg, which is a sweet Alpine town touched by magic, to do what all tourists here do. They stroll and eat cakes and sit by the lake, certainly. But they also descend into a range of dungeons to whack enemies around with swords and magic.

The dungeons I’ve played so far are delightful, combining puzzles and combat in a way that feels like you’re playing a really good Zelda shrine. Dungeons often have their own gimmicks – one is about manipulating jelly-like platforms that pop in and out of the walls allowing you to access specific areas. Another is all about mine carts, with puzzles that involve switching the tracks around and opening gates.

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