Dungeons of Hinterberg has stolen my heart

I’ll forgive you for having missed Dungeons of Hinterberg during Xbox’s big summer showcase. It was tucked away, forty-something minutes in, between a new horror from cult-favourite studio The Chinese Room and an appearance from little-known character actor Keanu Reeves, plugging little-known indie gem Cyberpunk 2077. But I won’t forgive you for forgetting about it now, because I saw a little more of Dungeons of Hinterberg behind closed doors out in LA, and listen: this game looks brilliant.

In it you play as Luisa, a tourist-slash-adventurer who’s gone on holiday to the Austrian village of Hinterberg. Hinterberg, a once-sleepy mountain resort, has seen a flock of these adventure-tourists recently because, a few years ago, 25 dungeons full of weird mythical creatures suddenly popped up in the mountains nearby. You’re there to explore them, just because, solving puzzles and bopping goblins with your sword – but also, this is a holiday, so you’re also there just to noodle around town for a bit, chatting with locals, going to bars, decompressing amongst the high-altitude air.

During the short-ish demo, guided in turns by Austrian developer Microbird’s co-founders Regina Reisinger and Philipp Seifried, we saw a few different dungeons in action. The first was a kind of crystallised, popping-candy blue-pink world, where you’ll unlock a snowboard for Sable-like traversal through its open areas and for use in some combat as well. Each region has its own unique group of abilities that you’ll be able to use in its dungeons, so with our board we rode a kind of magic grind rail up to a little combat arena.

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