Take a free 'slaycation' in the demo for an indie action RPG where you can fight monsters with a snowboard

The developers of Dungeons of Hinterberg describe main character Luisa's trip to the Austrian alps as a "slaycation" because she came prepared to battle monsters. But she didn't just bring a sword; she has a snowboard that leaves a trail of magical fire in its wake.

In the demo, which is out now on Steam, you can circle enemies on your snowboard before going in for more traditional hacking and slashing. Enemies won't go down in just a few hits, however, so you'll need to dodge-roll out of their attacks and stun them with your sword to defeat them. Dungeons of Hinterberg isn't a soulslike, but it seems to punish mindlessly spamming attacks without having a plan first.

When the fighting is over, you can take the rest of the day off to chill with the other people who came here to explore Hinterberg's many dungeons or visit a lodge to buy healing potions. Chair lifts can drop you off in small areas to explore (on your snowboard of course) and find new powers, like a spinning attack or a long-range beam attack. Much like a Zelda game, the monsters and puzzles you'll face change based on which one of the four zones, or overworlds, you're in. 

The trailer at Wholesome Direct takes place in the marsh overworld, called Brünnelsumpf, and shows off puzzles that involve setting up paths for an orb to follow and using a jiggly cube to reach a ladder. I'm impressed with how well the game's cel-shaded art style can shift the mood from the sky-high peaks of the snowy mountains to mossy stone rooms of the marsh. The screenshots on the Steam page hint at other locations, like a sunny mountain range and a traversal puzzle where you can rotate entire chunks of the level.

The newest demo for the game will take place in the glacial region and will send you into an ice cave to fight off enemies as you search for new magical skills. Developer Microbird has been playtesting different parts of the game through Steam demos and said this one will have some changes and new features that weren't available before.

And if you like the demo, it won't be a long wait for the real thing, because Dungeons of Hinterberg will fully launch on July 18.

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.