This modern fantasy action RPG has you take a break from corporate life to crawl dungeons

You've heard of a staycation? Well, upcoming action-adventure RPG Dungeons of Hinterberg wants you to go on a "slaycation." That's where you don your matching jacket and hiking boots along with your cool sword and go adventuring for a bit. Not as a serious profession, mind you, just because protagonist Luisa really needs a break.

"Welcome to Hinterberg, a new tourist hotspot in the idyllic Austrian Alps! You play as Luisa, a burnt-out law trainee taking a break from her fast-paced corporate life to conquer the Dungeons of Hinterberg. There are plenty of dungeons to find and adventures to be had in Hinterberg—will Luisa be sent packing on her first day, or remain to become a Master Slayer?" asks the Steam page.

It's a quirky looking bit of game, just announced today during Xbox's showcase, that seeks to combine the charm of a life sim with the more serious puzzle dungeons of your Legends of Zelda and the punchy, abilities-rich monster fighting of the broader action RPG genre.

I have to say that the pitch is pretty appealing when you see it in action. Your character will have sword and magic skills, but those are also used to explore the world. There's mention of snowboarding down glaciers, ziplines through forests, and mountain climbing in search of the eponymous dungeons to delve. Those seem promising, too, as they're slated to be full of neat looking puzzles—one of the examples shown is a very Monument Valley-esque perspective tweaking puzzle.

When the exploration is done it'll be time for some good old life sim story stuff. "Spend your nights forging friendships with the locals and other adventurers! Some of them will help you get stronger or teach you new tricks, others are just here for excitement and selfies," says developer Microbird Games.

Dungeons of Hinterberg is now, also, a third entry in the burgeoning nameless genre of games set in extremely mundane worlds very like ours but with some weird magical or technological twist. The first, for me at least, was 2020's Going Under, which was about unpaid interns "exploring the cursed ruins of failed tech startups" for sweet loot and/or office supplies. The second entries are Coffee Talk and Coffee Talk Episode 2.

You can find Dungeons of Hinterberg on Steam, where it will launch in 2024. It's the first game from Microbird and will be published by Curve Digital.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.