So long as players don't go in expecting the depth and complexity of a traditional dungeon crawler or the freedom and creativity of Minecraft, there's plenty of fun to be had here. Minecraft Dungeons does a brilliant job of streamlining typical dungeon crawler play to make it accessible to players of all skill and experience levels. Combat's blissfully straightforward (just press a button to hack with your melee weapon or pull a trigger to fire an arrow), and little time is wasted sorting through heaps of gear in complex menus. Just about anyone can pick up the basics and start having fun hacking away at monsters in a matter of minutes. And it's even more fun in groups, especially since the developers have wisely headed off any potential loot sharing conflicts by reserving important gear drops for each player. Fans of more advanced dungeon crawlers will likely pine for features such as classes, crafting, and more sophisticated loot management, but they already have games like Diablo III. This one's meant to be much more accessible and kid-friendly.
Some Minecraft fans are bound to miss the mining and constructing elements of the original, but there's no mistaking this for a Minecraft game. From its classic blocky graphics to an endless array of quirky Minecraft flourishes -- pickaxes, mine carts, redstone blocks, and Endermen, to name just a few -- the aesthetic is distinctly Minecraft. That said, there's room for improvement. The maze-like dungeons are pretty to look at and fun to explore, but they -- and the combat that takes place within them -- can become a little repetitive. A few more complex puzzles and traps would have made for a nice change of pace. Keep in mind, too, that while randomly generated dungeons provide good incentive to replay, it also makes for some needlessly confusing level architecture and pointless dead ends. You can tell these dungeons weren't handcrafted by humans. Minecraft Dungeons is wonderfully easy to jump into and play, loads of fun with family and friends, and keeps the combat family friendly. So long as you don't go in thinking you're getting a dungeon crawler with the intricacy and depth of a full-priced game, you're bound to have a great time.