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Minecraft Dungeons’ Jungle Awakens DLC is a Welcome Addition

Mojang recently released their Jungle Awakens DLC pack for Minecraft Dungeons, the first of two planned packs offered as part of the $30 Hero Edition of the game (the packs can still be purchased individually).

Even if you don’t buy the DLC, there’s a free level, Lower Temple, on the main map.  That map has also been updated to show other hidden levels you may have missed along your playthrough.  On top of that, you can join a game hosted in any of the three new jungle levels without owning the pack.  Considering the reasonable price of this DLC, it’s quite a generous proposition.  The only thing you’re missing by not buying the DLC is being able to host your own game in the new jungle levels.


These levels (and the Lower Temple level) are a welcome addition to the game.  While the Lower Temple is the most “more of the same” of the bunch, additional content is always good, and the new double crossbows introduced by this level are pretty fun.  The jungle levels are a departure from the norm though.  They give a completely new look and feel to levels, introducing a variety of new enemies.  Some, like the vines that sprout out of the ground to act as barriers in small arena fights with powerful ape-like creatures, are pretty clever.  Some others are just remixed enemies, like zombies or skeletons that now have the ability to poison you with their attacks.  These are more of an annoyance than anything, but the poisoned archers did get me experimenting with enchantments I hadn’t used much of before, like the ability to deflect arrows back at their shooter.


The levels are long, and I’m not positive, but they felt like they were all longer than anything included in the base game.  A single run through of the levels could take three and a half hours or so as some of the branching paths of the main questline extend quite far, into a variety of caves and further branches.  Exploration is the name of the game in an experience like this, and the Jungle Awakens DLC has plenty of it.  The developers seem more confident and comfortable with the level design, leading to levels I’m eager to replay despite the abundance of enemies that can poison you.


The update also adds new artifacts, weapons, and armor, which are fun to use, and also fit well into the vanilla version of the game.  Returning to the Desert Temple to unlock the new Lower Temple with a whip in my hand was a delight.  I didn’t feel overpowered, but loved having another long melee weapon to fight shielded enemies with.  The ability to seize and poison enemies with vines also quickly fit into my repertoire.

This first batch of DLC is a great sign of things to come and was delivered in such a way that I’m sure everyone will be happy with it.  From not excluding those who didn’t buy it to the large new levels, it’s a no brainer for anyone who is a fan of the game.


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