Dungeon Encounters is a minimalist RPG from Final Fantasy veterans

Dungeon Encounters is a new game from Final Fantasy 6 director Hiroyuki Ito, and it’s a pared-down take on the fundamental RPG concept of a dungeon dive.

Dungeon Encounters was announced during Square Enix’s Tokyo Game Show presentation today, and it’s headed to PC, PS4, and Switch on October 14. The reveal trailer breaks down how exploration and combat work in this minimalist world: these dungeons look more like crossword puzzles than your typical subterranean chambers, with each square filling in as you explore it, but they’re just as packed with traps and monsters.

Battles are built on the familiar Active Time Battle system which Ito originally created for Final Fantasy, and they play out as clashes between portraits and stat blocks on either side of the screen. You’ll be able to fill out and customize your party with new heroes you find as you delve deeper and deeper into Dungeon Encounter’s 100 levels, all to the tune of a soundtrack overseen by Final Fantasy series composer Nobuo Uematsu with a “modern take on classical tracks.”

It’s an unusual take on the classic RPG experience which seems to streamline out anything that doesn’t directly involve dungeoneering, keeping the focus solely on walking that grid and slaying those monsters. Together with Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars, which was announced at the September Nintendo Direct, Square Enix’s new lineup is reimagining RPG history in some fascinating ways.

See even more takes on the venerable genre with our guide to the best RPGs you can get lost in right now. 

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