Dungeon Encounters – Review
Follow Genre: RPG
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch
Tested on: PS5

Dungeon Encounters – Review

Site Score
Good: The minimalistic approach works to a certain extent
Bad: Very much a niche game
User Score
(1 votes)
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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Over the years the site has covered many games. We have seen a clear evolution in many genres, and we have noticed that a lot of developers love to take inspiration from tried-and-true formulas, to eventually create their own original games. The RPG genre has come a long way, where pixilated turn-based battles have now been replaced with action-packed free battles for many top titles. Often these games still rely on their story and setting to draw in a big crowd. What would happen if a game was released that threw everything in the bin and focused itself solely on its mechanics? Ito Hiroyuki, the creator of the ATB system, was very curious to create such a game. This now brings us to the release (and our review) of Dungeon Encounters, a very minimalistic approach to an RPG.


In terms of story, Dungeon Encounters does not have that much going for it. A labyrinth filled with monsters appears next to a town, and due to this, an academy is founded to train the finest adventurers and warriors the world has ever seen. It’s up to you to put together a balanced party and destroy all the monsters within. Other than that, the game only offers short character bios for the characters you’re able to pick from, and that covers the story portion of the game. The designer wanted players to imagine a bigger story themselves, and that’s something that may work for certain players, but others will probably just be interested in the game’s solid mechanics.


The graphical design is very simple, as is intended by the game’s developers. You’ll be treated to fairly monotone settings on the different floors, where tiles you can walk over are clearly marked. When walking over these titles, they’ll change color, making it clear you have charted them. On the map you’ll see numbers, which represent battles and events. The only somewhat standout feature here is your party leader, who is represented by a 3D model.

The menus are very basic, and they make sure they offer you what you need. The battles are similar to this, as you only see your party members and the enemies’ stats, which are all accompanied by a small avatar picture. Battle effects are equally simplistic, but they make sure you recognize what is going on. Overall, this is a style you can either appreciate or probably downright hate. We do feel that this game feels more like a mobile experience for phones or Nintendo’s Switch.


Again, the game aims to keep its minimalistic approach intact. We get a fairly simple soundscape for the duration of the game, and this actually works fairly well. We do have to mention that the battle music becomes very grating after a while. We get that it was probably an effort to create something catchy, and to make you form an attachment to the game, like is the case with the Final Fantasy games, but it just becomes very annoying. After a while, we would just choose our own music over the game’s soundtrack.


Dungeon Encounters is a very minimalistic RPG experience where it’s all about the genre’s base mechanics. The game will have you traverse 100 floors, where each tile can be individually mapped, all while going through basic events and battles. As the game progresses, the battles become increasingly harder, and you’ll have to start using your wits in order to come out of battles (nearly) unscathed. Having your complete party wiped by enemies may mean you have to recover them by the usage of another party, which might not be an easy task.

The game is very straightforward in what it requires you to do. You’ll have to wade through the labyrinth’s different floors, and fully charting every floor will reward you with ability points, that allow you to equip more abilities. More battles also mean more experience, so it is wise to keep track of where healing and resurrection points are, in case one of your party members falls in the heat of battle. Battles are also very straightforward, especially for those who are familiar with the ATB system, where your turn order is decided by your characters’ speed stats. The biggest strategic component will be the part where you choose between physical or magic damage, as you’ll first have to whittle down your opponents’ defense. This defense can either absorb physical and magic damage, and when one type of defense is destroyed, you’ll be able to permanently damage the opponent by dealing damage of the type of the destroyed defense. Overall, things never get too complex in how everything works, but you’ll have to keep track of your party’s condition, the items you collect, and there’s also a bit of inventory management present.


Dungeon Encounters is an interesting experiment, and it does work to a certain extent. We loved the solid mechanics, the charting of the different floors, but we would have loved a slightly better soundtrack and perhaps something more tangible in the story department. We understand that story, graphics, and sound were designed with a minimalistic approach in mind, but for the big screen, we require a bit more to get more invested in a project such as this. Nonetheless, we think this one would be great on Nintendo’s Switch. We quite enjoyed our experience, but we’d want to see a slightly lower price tag on this one to fully recommend it.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Dungeon Encounters - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Aspiring ninja.

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