Developed and Published by Square Enix, the aptly named dungeon crawler, Dungeon Encounters was released on October 14, 2021 for Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Steam. Despite it being by Square Enix, a major game company, this game seems to be made with a smaller budget rather than the blockbuster ones they use for their AAA games.
The story thus far…and pretty much it for a while.
You can only select a few characters from the whole list at first. Others like the very strong ones listed have to be found at specific coordinates while wandering in the dungeon. Sometimes, they are afflicted with a status ailment and a certain square will allow you to heal them before they can join your party.
Each member comes with a backstory should you want to learn more about them. Don’t worry about second-guessing picking the ones who want as you always swap out characters by returning to floor 00.
Home is where the crossword looking thing is.
Floor 00 is considered the home base as that is where the academy, shops, healing station, ability stations, and other places are. It also happens to be where you start out. Do not get too worried about trekking back up to floor 00 should you require services there. There are two-way teleporters located in the dungeon on certain floors that can help you fast travel.
Dungeon crawling with an almost completely visual absent environment
Every ten levels come presents a different title for the set of floors you are about to embark on. This is it visual-wise until you battle. Every time you walk over a tile, it fills in gray. Completing each floor gives 3 Ability points. The numbers on each floor are coded. Here the black-colored numbers represent monster battles while the white ones signify events. This ability is not innate. However, it is gotten very early.
Learning one to ten all over again
Dungeon Encounters uses a hexadecimal number system for its event and battle logs. Each number will signify the same event as listed in the log. Getting used to what means what isn’t really necessary for battling but can be very helpful for events. Memorizing the numbers for ascending and descending stairs, as well as various healing stations, is beneficial and saves time.
Final Fantasy’s signature battle system with a twist
Dungeon Encounters uses Final Fantasy‘s Active Time Battle system with the signature bar it uses to signify time. You can change it to either “wait” or “active” in the game’s menu settings as well as the general game speed. There are three things you should look for every battle. HP (hit points), PD (physical defense), and MD (magical defense). With the exception of some abilities, magical defense or physical defense must be reduced to zero before hit points can be taken away.
You do not have to do both, just one. However, let’s say PD is depleted and MD is not, and you use a physical type attack, it will not affect HP. Only attacks that have depleted the defense of an attribute can affect HP. Sometimes enemies start out with 0 for a certain defense, so it doesn’t always mean you have to attack the enemy at least twice to defeat it. After a battle, PD and MD are automatically replenished for the expedition party although HP is not.
Similar to a weight system some games use, Proficiency Points are like an over total of how much good equipment you can equip. Naturally, the better something is, the more proficiency points it requires. Each member is allowed to equip two weapons or spells, one helmet, one piece of armor, and one accessory. Take note of the attributes each one has like whether it is magical or physical, fixed or random damage, or single or multiple target, etc.
Hidden paths and floor reversals
There is more than what meets the eye when dungeon crawling. The smaller blocks indicate a hidden passage commonplace in RPGs. Also, there are times when you can be on one floor and ascend using an ability to another floor and end up at a previously inaccessible place. Look for key patterns to tell you where.
“Dungeon Encounters includes puzzles. Some are of the treasure map variety and other involve numbers or some form of math. The solution is on the same floor as far as I am aware.”
The solution is a set of coordinates. First number = floor, second number = x coordinate, third = y coordinate. None of those I’ve solved have been on the same floor, and the one in the image is on floor 6 while your party is on floor 3.
If trying to find suitable encounter levels, more difficult ones will have higher values or letters in the first digit. So if you’re running around and most of your battle numbers are in the 20s and you suddenly find one that starts with a letter, odds are that fight will squish you like a bug.
I could have sworn the treasure map picture ones not coordinate math ones were on the same level.