Minecraft Dungeons finally released last week, and it received pretty average scores across the board. After playing it for myself, I can see why. Minecraft Dungeons doesn’t really have any depth to it. There are no character classes, and item upgrading is limited to randomly rolled enchantments. Combat is differentiated mostly by weapon type and special items, with very little in the way of specializing for playstyle. Little is done to take advantage of the Minecraft license too. All that said, I’m having a blast with it!
Quick point of clarification: I’ve never played a proper dungeon-crawler like Diablo or Path of Exile. Minecraft Dungeons’ lack of genre features is kind of lost on me, since I really have no idea what I’m missing. I’m about as casual as casual gets when it comes to these kinds of games, so it’s enough for me to just have tons of enemies to fight and loot to chase. I’m also not playing this game alone. No, this is a strictly cooperative affair for me.
I’m certain that the overall lack of depth in Minecraft Dungeons makes it pretty unappealing to fans of dungeon-crawling games, but it’s absolute boon to those who are just looking for a game to hang out in. Like me, my friends aren’t all that familiar with dungeon-crawlers. We don’t know how to properly build characters, don’t want to quibble or percentage points and don’t what to have to spend time learning how to figure out how a character class is supposed to be played. We don’t have to do any of that in Minecraft Dungeons. It was just pick up the controller, play through a tutorial and on we went to good times smacking around hoards of skeleton archers.
Minecraft Dungeons hits the cooperative game sweet spot. It’s simple enough that you don’t have to concentrate too much on it while talking to friends, but it’s engaging enough to be fun. It’s also a game that’s easy to put away until the next time everyone’s available. I think there’s a story in the game complete with some big evil that needs to be smacked down. But….I really don’t care. I don’t need to see how things turn out. I’m not jones-ing to try out a new weapon ability, I’m no rush to see the next dungeon. I’m perfectly fine seeing all of that later, when everyone else can play. It’s actually quite nice.
Now, this doesn’t mean that Mojang shouldn’t have tried to put more game into their, uh, game. It’s perfectly reasonable to criticize Minecraft Dungeons for not having things like character classes, more weapon variety and a more in-depth upgrade system. I don’t blame serious fans one bit for being annoyed at the game’s shallowness. Even so, their loss is kind of my game, because it’s this very shallowness that makes Minecraft Dungeons such a good, casual co-op game. Give it a try if you’ve been looking for something to share with your friends!