Action and exploration combine in “Minecraft Dungeons”, a hotly anticipated spin-off from generation-defining “Minecraft”, now due to arrive in April 2020.
Launching across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Mac and Windows, “Minecraft Dungeons” is intended for up to four players and, according to the official line, is inspired by classic dungeon crawler games — a genre fomented by the likes of “Gauntlet”, “Dungeon Master” and early entries to the “Diablo” series.
But while the ongoing “Diablo” franchise and its recent free-to-play competitor “Path of Exile” use modern computing power to offer increasingly visceral experiences, “Minecraft Dungeons” appears to be siding with cuter, more family-friendly interpretations of the form such as “Sparklite”, “Spiral Knights” and “Moonlighter”.
It may also have an eye on the “Dragon Quest Builders” games, which have succeeded in adding story-based missions to the digital homesteading of “Minecraft”.
Like the vast majority of upcoming Xbox Game Studios releases, “Minecraft Dungeons” will be available as a standalone purchase, or alternatively on Xbox One and PC as part of a subscription to the Xbox Game Pass.
It has not been announced for mobile platforms, and while Microsoft is launching game-streaming service Project xCloud in early 2020, neither “Minecraft” nor “Minecraft Dungeons” have yet been announced as participating titles. RGA/JB
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