One of the very first games I wanted to cover here on Indie Game Mode is “Dungeons of Hinterberg,” a new indie title in the works that offers a unique blend of action RPG and social simulation elements. As someone passionate about forging friendships and building relationships in games (see my game Hometown Hero!), this is right up my alley! Created by Microbird Games, this game is set in the picturesque Austrian alpine village of Hinterberg, and the dev’s X posts have me itching to explore!
Delve into dungeons, discover puzzles
Explore dungeons, solve puzzles, and take on massive bosses, all while getting to know the local people and other visiting slayers. It sounds like a perfect blend of hack ‘n’ slash action and immersive simulation with non-linear exploration. You’ll dive into the four vastly different biomes all inspired by Austria, which, as a stupid American, gives me distinctly Midwestern Portland and Washington vibes.
Embrace the holiday-from-hell vibe
The setting and context of Dungeons of Hinterberg is quite the hook in and of itself, actually. Hinterberg was once a quiet ski resort, but everything changed when 25 magical dungeons appeared out of nowhere. You’re not “the chosen one” or anything, but rather you’re just Luisa, a burnt-out law trainee on vacation to try and catch a break from her corporate lifestyle. I can’t help but love the holiday-from-hell vibe, complete with a ski lodge environment and a cast of colorful characters.
Unleash your magic, slay monsters
Intriguingly, the game also explores the themes of ethics, capitalism, and the commercialization of magic while you play through it. The gameplay mechanics involve rail grinding, building relationships with townsfolk to level up, and combat in walled-off arenas. You can mix magic and swordplay however you wish, and it’s literally my kinda game!
It’s as I said – I love social features in games, and I’m addicted to the idea of ‘simulated social’ features, or interactions with NPCs that seem like real players. By interacting with townsfolk and other adventurers, you can unlock new abilities and improve Luisa. This will definitely add depth and a more personal touch while larger games have you saving the world and the universe and being the only one who can do it.
Fantasy and Modern elements with a comic book art style
Visually, the game is a feast for the eyes and was really the first thing that grabbed my attention as I was scrolling through X. With a style inspired by European comic artists, the game resembles a vibrant Saturday morning cartoon. I’m particularly taken by the comic book-style shading, known as Ben Day Dots. It literally looks like you’re playing a gorgeous comic book!
One of the standout features for me is the game’s juxtaposition of fantasy and modern-day elements. As someone creating my own game, “Hometown Hero,” that also incorporates a mix of fantasy in a modern-day setting, Dungeons of Hinterberg is a great source of inspiration. In fact, right after I finish writing this, I’m going to fanboy and see if I can talk with the devs about some of their tactics for creating the game.
How you can support Microbird Games
If you’re as eager as I am for the release of Dungeons of Hinterberg on Xbox Series and PC next year, you can show your support by wishlist the game on Steam using the widget at the top of this article, and by follow Microbird Games on Twitter, or ‘X’ for updates and news about the game (like the one below!)