The magical realism of Dungeons of Hinterberg unexpectedly stole my heart at not-E3

By five pm last Sunday, after two days of Summer Game Fest demos and a third day of bouncing around Xbox appointments, I was ready to go home. I did not expect my second-to-last stop to end up being the game I’d keep thinking about all week, even more so than Armored Core 6. Dungeons of Hinterberg just got its claws into me.

I didn’t see it coming, because at least by the bullet points Hinterberg is a real “been there, done that” collection of videogamey stuff: 

  • A blatantly Moebius art style a la Sable, which threatens to be overused any day now
  • Classic Zelda-style dungeon puzzle-solving
  • Action RPG sword combat in walled-off arenas that looks decent, but not, like, Devil May Cry-caliber
  • Rail grinding, which Sonic made cool, and then kinda un-cool, 20 years ago
  • Character relationships with the townsfolk to level up

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