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What if Persona was an action RPG set in a sleepy alpine village? That’s the topline pitch for Dungeons of Hinterberg, a gorgeous new indie game from Microbird Games, backed by the marketing might of ID @ Xbox.

During the Xbox conference, I got a cheeky look at the game in a behind-closed-doors showcase, where the developers walked us through some dungeon battles with long-necked goats (the Krampus) and some of the game’s social features.

Every day in Dungeons of Hinterberg begins with a choice: where will you go? You select from a range of hand-crafted and hand-painted open-world environments and explore them on the hunt for one of the mysterious dungeons that have sprung up around an idyllic town.

Battle your way through a dungeon, solve puzzles, and then head back to town to socialize with the locals, as well as the people like yourself, who have come to see these monster-filled wonders peppering the landscape.

The main character fights goblins in Dungeons of Hinterberg.

You play as Luisa, a burnt-out law trainee who’s left behind a hectic life for, well, a hectic life, armed with a cool sword and the gift of the gab. Much like Persona, you spend your time between dungeons chatting to various people and filling up social bars by telling them what they want to hear, hanging out with them across different spots around the Alpine village.

It’s not particularly choice-heavy and there are no social minigames planned for the moment – it’s all about getting to know an eclectic group of characters, making them like you, and unlocking special moves by filling up social meters. The character I meet in the demo is a hipster journalist who’s a bit fed up with the backwater town and its cringe nightlife, but there are also locals, adventurers, and more to discover.

One cool feature is how each region you explore has its own magical spells tied to it. In the ice biome, you can skate around on a magical snowboard. In the forest, you can call in a mini tornado to lift up enemies and yourself, either for combat or puzzle-solving.

The main character rides a tornado in Dungeons of Hinterberg.

When it comes to the puzzles, think old-school Zelda – nothing too taxing, but enough to make you pay attention to the environment in between combat encounters, taking advantage of the biome’s unique powers to bypass various blockers.

Combat also seems pretty chill, with light and heavy attacks, as well as a dodge button and the ability to use those magical abilities to do big area damage or take down magical shields before going ham with your sword.

For the most part, the action takes place from behind the character, with the player fully in control of the camera. Occasionally it flips the script and offers up side-on combat sections and even the bird’s-eye view of a classic dungeon crawler.

I don’t think I’ve ever looked at an action RPG and thought, “This looks relaxing.” But Dungeons of Hinterberg does – it looks like a lovely, chill time, whether you’re getting the local gossip, wandering around a gorgeous landscape, or whacking long-necked creatures with a big sword. It’ll be like a little vacation when it launches in 2024.