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Microsoft has given the world a new Minecraft spinoff this year, one that was eagerly awaited by Minecraft and RPG fans alike: a dungeon crawler called Minecraft Dungeons. Unfortunately, it was not the game most RPG fans would’ve wanted.
While Minecraft Dungeons is, indeed, a fun game, with great visuals and atmosphere, it is way too simple for seasoned RPG players. As some critics put it, the game is great for those taking their first steps in the world of dungeon crawlers but it’s not challenging enough for a more experienced player.
Luckily, Minecraft Dungeons is not the only game in the genre set to be released this year. Here are some titles to look forward to if you want to try something more challenging.
Vaporum: Lockdown (Summer)
Fatbot Games, a Slovakian indie game studio, released its first game called “Vaporum” to rave reviews back in 2017. The game, a steampunk grid-based dungeon crawler, was praised especially for its visuals, level design, engaging enemies, and its great voice acting for an indie game. The story may sound a bit familiar - the hero ends up on a piece of land in the middle of the ocean that has nothing but a massive metallic structure - the Arx Vaporum. Inside, they have to explore its mysteries, survive its traps, and defeat enemies that become tougher with every step.
Vaporum: Lockdown will be a prequel to the game, telling the story of a scientist struggling to survive the disasters that happened in the Arx Vaporum tower. The game will come with features like real-time first-person combat, a gadget-based RPG system, and a mysterious story filled with secrets to explore.
Exanima (Early Access)
Exanima is the first step of the UK-based Bare Mettle Entertainment to create a massive, immersive, and brand new high fantasy universe through their game called “Sui Generis”. The game is sort of like a prequel, set in the underworld of the above-mentioned universe - but it gives players a taste of what to expect.
Exanima has a great combat system that’s truly physics-based, taking into account force, momentum, and collisions. Its visuals are stunning - in their dark and pressing way, of course. Some reviews already call it an “underrated masterpiece” that offers no handouts - it is a challenging game that’s not easy to learn… but at least it’s hard to master.
UnderMine (Early Access)
UnderMine is an action-adventure-RPG-dungeon crawler with pixel art visuals and a fun and engaging gameplay. The player takes on the role of a Peasant that has to mine gold and gems for a greedy superior. During his runs through the mine, the Peasant encounters various baddies, rescues NPCs (that return to the mining hub, set up shop, and provide upgrades, powerups, and such), uncovers powerful relics, and discover brand new areas to explore.
The game currently has three zones, four major bosses, 10 special characters, 30+ enemies, and hundreds of items to collect. It is a fun game with very positive reviews that will soon reach its final stage.