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Zelda meets Stardew Valley in stunning Steam game you can check out free now

Zelda meets Stardew Valley in stunning Steam game you can check out free now

This upcoming action RPG is not one to miss

A few years ago I was lucky enough to visit Austria - more specifically its capital Vienna and nearby city Salzburg. It was the latter place I fell in love with, as visiting Fortress Hohensalzburg that towers over the city like a stone sentry, I was able to get my first glimpse of the Austrian Alps. They surround the fortress and stand toe-to-toe with it like man vs nature coming together and although I didn’t get to step foot on the Alps, I was able to explore them in this upcoming action RPG.

Dungeons of Hinterberg is an action-adventure RPG/social sim set in a beautiful alpine village nestled within the Austrian Alps. Developed by Austrian-based developers Microbird Games, it has nods to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with its dungeon exploration, Stardew Valley with its close-knit social sim aspects and The Witcher in the way that it draws on European folklore.

Although Dungeons of Hinterberg won’t be fully released until 18 July, players can get a little teaser by diving into its Steam demo. The one hour demo gives players access to their first dungeon, the ability to explore the town of Hinterberg, meet some of its residents and even choose one to hang out with during the evening.

Dungeons of Hinterberg /
Microbird Games

The demo starts off as we meet our protagonist Luisa who is armed with just a sword and a tourist guide as she reveals she has plans to conquer the nearby dungeons. Before we have time to wonder what this entails, we are given the option to choose a dungeon (technically there is only one available for now) and head straight over.

One short loading screen later and we have arrived on the crisp white Austrian Alps and we must use our sword to battle enemies and reach the main dungeon. Along the way we can solve puzzles to unlock the hoverboard and laser blaster, both of which help us greatly with navigation and puzzle-solving. The hoverboard allows us to navigate using the map’s “skate ramps” and the beam can be used as a long-distance weapon.

I will admit that I am terrible at puzzle games and will usually stay away from them so I don’t have to feel stupid. However, the puzzles in Dungeons of Hinterberg were just fun and although I’m sure they’ll get a lot harder as the game goes on, I can still see myself enjoying how well the environment and Luisa’s skills are embroiled in the puzzles.

Luisa’s skills, you say? Yes, Luisa will be able to learn magical abilities that will help in combat and exploration and although we got a small taste of them in the demo, I already know they will prevent combat from getting stale. From dive-bombing the ground to turning herself into a human beyblade, the possibilities are endless. Additionally, Luisa carries a sword that can be used for light and heavy attacks but it can be levelled up in the town. More on that later!

Dungeons of Hinterberg /
Microbird Games

The one dungeon I got to explore was trippy but architecturally amazing. The puzzles were ingrained effortlessly into the exploration and when I finally reached the dungeon boss, I was feeling on top of the world.

As always, there are chests to explore with the majority of them needing you to solve some sort of puzzle to get to them. Chests will reward you with armour, weapons and materials in typical RPG fashion and any materials you discover can be used in Hinterberg town.

In between your dungeon-crawling, you will be able to spend the evening in the alpine town. Here you will be able to spend time at the cinema, supermarket, spa, flower shop or a souvenir shop. Additionally, you can rent a boat or eat out at a restaurant. However, spending time doing any of these activities will speed up time and you always have to leave enough hours in the day to explore those dungeons.

If you don’t want to spend the evening alone, you can hang out with one of the town’s many residents. Not only will you have fun but they each have a unique skill they can teach you such as how to pick locks and there is even a journalist who will teach you the photo mode skill when you befriend them.

Dungeons of Hinterberg /
Microbird Games

The demo allows us to meet some of the helpful townies including Kai, a German influencer, Sam, a pro celebrity dungeon slayer, Marina, a Spanish student and Hannah, the local weaponsmith. However, not everyone will accept you straight away and characters such as formidable dungeon slayer Renaud will not talk to Luisa until she makes a name for herself as a fellow slayer.

Levelling up friendships will reward you with perks and abilities and making friends with NPCs such as Hannah will see her enchant your weapons with discounts. Pretty cool, huh?

Overall, Dungeons of Hinterberg managed to capture my heart in just one hour of gameplay. The alpine town of Hinterberg took me back to my travels in Austria and the dungeons and its puzzles challenged me but kept me entertained the entire time.

This is definitely a title you need to keep on your radar when it releases on 18 July for PC and Xbox Series X/S.

Featured Image Credit: Microbird Games

Topics: The Legend Of Zelda, Breath Of The Wild, Stardew Valley, Steam, PC, Xbox