Sometimes a functional game strikes me as bland or forgettable. Dungeon Encounters appeals to me, oddly. I look at this game about exploring 99 levels of a dungeon, fighting enemies using an iteration of Final Fantasy's Active Time Battle System, designed by the man who created it, and I think: yes, you should be called Dungeon Encounters.
It's out now, and there's a new launch trailer below.
Dungeon Encounters is directed by Hiroyuki Ito, who previously directed Final Fantasies VI, IX and XII. The rest of the development team is filled out with Final Fantasy veterans, too. The character design is from Ryoma Ito, who worked on Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, and the musical director is Nobuo Uematsu, who composed music for nearly every Final Fantasy.
There is something compelling about these folks doing something stripped back, and the game sounds like what you imagine from the name. You manage a party of adventurers as they solve puzzles and fight monsters and decend deeper into the labyrinth. The battles you fight are originally hidden on the map, but there is an ability that lets you reveal them if you really hate random encounters.
The labyrinth map is extremely functional and not going to win any art awards, but I do like the look of the character portraits. My fear is that, like most Japanese dungeon crawlers, this game is probably too hard for me to enjoy it. But I'm intrigued.