Swedish studio Mojang has announced Minecraft: Dungeons, a PC dungeon crawler with a cinematic trailer. While the trailer may or may not have been made in-engine, no gameplay has yet been shared. According to the announcement, Minecraft: Dungeons will initially launch exclusively on PC, much like the original Minecraft, and will be available for download in 2019.
Other gameplay details confirmed so far include that Minecraft: Dungeons will feature cooperative multiplayer for up to four players, as shown in the trailer. It’s a bit scaled back from the huge number of players that Minecraft servers typically hold, but for a focused experience like Minecraft: Dungeons, four players should be plenty. Especially so going off of what kind of game Mojang says it’s trying to make:
“What exactly is Minecraft: Dungeons? It’s an all-new action-adventure game inspired by classic dungeon crawlers, where you’ll constantly discover new weapons and items that will help you defeat a ruthless swarm of new-and-nasty mobs. You’ll fight or flee through canyons, swamps and – of course – mines!”
Mojang’s reference to “classic dungeon crawlers” is perhaps the biggest hint towards how Minecraft: Dungeons will play. “Dungeon crawler” has historically been used to describe a wide range of games, typically RPGs from a variety of perspectives that involve battling enemies while acquiring loot and some form of more complex progression. Minecraft: Dungeons could take an approach like Gauntlet or Diablo, but either first or a close third-person perspective.
The unprecedented success of Minecraft over the years has resulted in an array of unique modes, mods, and spin-offs. With Microsoft’s purchase of Mojang in 2014, fans were understandably curious just where the huge publisher would take the franchise next. Mojang has experimented with other games, such as Caller’s Bane (previously Scrolls) and Crown and Council, as well as with the Minecraft adventure game Minecraft: Story Mode. But Minecraft: Dungeons could be indicative of the franchise’s future.
Minecraft: Dungeons appears to be Mojang breaking off a facet of Minecraft that works well on its own. Taking the adventuring aspect of Minecraft and turning it into a Dungeon Crawler, given the success of similar Minecraft mods, is certain to be popular. And who knows, if Minecraft: Dungeons proves successful then perhaps some of its gameplay could be brought back into Minecraft to make it even better. Perhaps Minecraft: Dungeons is a sign of things to come, so long as it’s impressive in its own right.
Minecraft: Dungeons releases in 2019 on PC.