Dungeon Encounters - With Mistress Square Enix

Despite its appearance, I’m pretty sure the dungeon is hand-drawn and the same for everyone, and I even have an idea of how many floors there may be.

Awesome. I’d enjoy it regardless, but I do like knowing there’s a fixed end to eventually reach.

I got my first party wipe (around dungeon level 30, I had to try something!), and the game handled it like I hoped: the old school way of dispatching a rescuer, or even a rescue party (although the logistics are complicated). It made me appreciate some of the… things the game offers anew.
I’m enjoying how each enemy type is different, although their attacks are undocumented. You fight a bunch of stronger version of some, although the change in numbers make them very distinct. The unique weapons you find also truly are unique, and start to shine where I am, while they felt useless early on.
The interface doesn’t lend itself very well to weapon switching, although it definitely is becoming a thing.
I’d love to discuss more, but that’s spoiler territory, as I think the game is itself an expansive light puzzle to crack open on one’s own.

In handheld mode on the Switch, the game is a bit hard to read for me if I turn on the expanded view ability, while that same ability makes the framerate stutter a bit in docked mode.
I learned while playing handheld that holding B+direction is the way to move in the game. There is also quite a nice “intuitive” feel to it, given how convoluted some areas are. Ah yes, areas are distinct in their architecture, very much so, which is something you wouldn’t expect from looking at the drab screenies!

Could you expand on this a bit? For me, if I get this game, I imagine playing it almost exclusively in 30–60-minute sessions on handheld, so that’s a bit concerning. For reference, I didn’t have much trouble with the text in Fire Emblem in handheld and I remember that being an issue for some.

The game isn’t hard to read at all. But the things get small, and there is another aspect, a huge aspect of the game actually that wasn’t discussed (dare I say, revealed!) in the thread yet which is tied to it.
Here, look at those screenies:


As you can see, everything is getting a bit smaller on the zoomed out view.
Which leads to the aspect I was mentionning earlier, the map.
The map is all laid out in front of you, but walking those barren corridors would be boring, and pay little respect to the mapping process of CRPGs of old. So the game asks you to colour every single tile with your own colour. Like the Skweek game of old!
There are some catches to it, which I won’t discuss because of not wanting to spoil the discoveries that the game got, although they may be few.
In any case, it’s a very rewarding process, at least for me, and absolute fills in the need to map. But the low contrast of the tile, associated to the zoomed out view and the small screen can make things a bit tough to see. It’s rare though. Mostly, it’s just don’t let you appreciate the esthetics (I’m not joking) of the game’s maps properly.

That doesn’t look too bad, but I see what you mean.

This is looking like a strong candidate to be the game I spend an inordinate amount of time with over the winter holidays.

EG likes it. It’s been bubbling at the top of my ‘itching to play something new’ list.

I’m about 30 hours in and the game is really good, but a word of warning: the level 2 and 3 (they are split into three difficulty levels) numerical riddles are absolutely insane.
I looked up one that seemed super easy, yet couldn’t solve, and it turns out I didn’t even understand the explanation of the solution. So I looked at a couple of others I couldn’t make sense of, and they are so nearly impossible to solve it is hilarious.

It’s a bit sad that those enigmas are so much into “have to be in the writer’s brain to solve it” category, because everything else is very good. The game… got surprises, to say the least. It’s quite a fun beast!

Oh boy, this music is not great.

Enjoying my early dabbling with this otherwise though.

I turned the music off almost immediately, but I do that is nearly all thinky-type games as I find it distracting.

I only got to third floor, but yeah - this is kind of compelling. I’m liking it.

I like the stripped-back focus. How everything is listed in logs. Exploring a layout to try fill bestiary a bit before triggering any encounters. How the combat/stat interactions are simple and you have a choice between known fixed damage, or higher random damage. The two shield bars are neat, with no resistance percentages or anything like that to think about. I like how the shields regenerate between battles for the player. but hp doesn’t. It hits me with a slow drip-feed to the dopamine.

Early map design is nice in the way it gates you through the mechanics, though I spent an age wandering that first level before the stairs down seemed to appear.

The thing I’m wishing for is a way to quickly zoom right out, to more easily see the location of somewhere you’ve been and path there. As pathing somewhere is basically busy work (so far).

Seeing @Left_Empty’s spoiler screenshot above, seems there is some kind of zooming made available, possibly as an ability you can equip.

It is one of the first abilities you’ll get (and the most inexpensive). A bit weird that it isn’t the default view option, or maybe for the handheld reason spoken earlier.

The various systems of the game are very smart. I can’t talk about it, but they are :D

Oh cool, I am glad it’s not far off. I only have the first two so far.

Almost 40 hours in, and nearing the end, I am done, even though some stuff still leave me curious. But there is a little mechanics, implied by one of the others, that makes the game a bit painful to recover from a specific hazard, and I don’t see me spending all that time getting to the bottom (ho ho) of it.
Great game!

I’m still enjoying it but at a much slower pace. I think I’m on level 12.

Lost a party member to petrification, so guess I’ll have to figure out how to deal with that. And remember to go back to find her, eventually.

I have not found any enemies that do that yet, but I did run across the solution on an earlier floor. I’m sure you must have seen it there too, if you’re exploring every tile. It’s a Gorgon Altar at: 7,32,33 I don’t think that kind of stuff is randomised each play-through?

I think I know what you mean, there were two things that often came up as big complaints when I skimmed the Steam reviews before buying and that was one of them, on the final floor I think, that makes the entire party ‘wandering’, and you have to send a fresh party to recover them! The other was an enemy that puts you in massive debt.

I’m nowhere near that far and don’t know if I’ll ever get there but it sounds kind of intriguing. Really like this game.

Ah, I was on floor five when it happened. I’ll keep an eye out as I keep going.

Oh wow! Haha, maybe I just missed those enemies so assumed you were further, since I’m not very deep myself. I think I revealed info for most of the enemies so far…

Huh. Ran into a Ninja on floor 13. One hit wiped the whole party. That was sudden.

Yeah, I’m not sure how it happened? I might’ve had a few glasses of wine during that session so I don’t recall the particular enemy that did it. But I’ve since found the remedy and haven’t yet reencountered the condition.