Away: Shuffle Dungeon is a dungeon crawling action-RPG exclusive for the Nintendo DS developed by Mistwalker and Artoon (Blue Dragon) with the talents of Hironobu Sakaguchi (Final Fantasy), Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy), and Naoto Oshima (Sonic the Hedgehog).
Away revolves around the adventurer named Sword who is on a quest to save the inhabitants of a town imprisoned in a mysterious dungeon. Sword must travel deep within the dungeon, find the kidnapped citizens, guide them safely out of the magical shuffle dungeon, and find out what is responsible for their kidnappings.
Away follows the story of Sword, an adventurous musician who has been shipwrecked at the Webb Village, a village with a dark history of having its citizens spirited away. Saved by his girlfriend from being spirited away like all the others, Sword is determined to rescue her and all the villagers from their fate, and traverses into the dungeon to set them free.
Away: Shuffle Dungeon is an action-RPG with an emphasis on dungeon crawling. FirstSword must find the dungeons in which the villagers are held by collecting various musical instruments. Once the location has been found, Sword must traverse into the magical shuffle dungeons and rescue the villagers.
Once you locate the villager deep within the level, he will follow you throughout the dungeon and you must safely guide them back out towards the entrance. Utilizing the DS’s dual screens, the 2D dungeon will be mapped out on both screens with a unique twist of shuffling dungeon maps of the bottom or top screen.
A timer will count down, indicating when the dungeon map will shuffle into a new terrain. When that timer appears, the player must quickly get him and all his followers out of that screen, or else he’ll receive damage and lose the followers he once had with him, making you rescue the villager all over again.
When you successfully save villagers, their town will naturally expand and provide new items, story elements, and services such as a general shop, a weapon shop, an armory, blacksmiths, doctors, restaurants, and fortune tellers.
General Store: A little pricey, but this place has everything. This is the first store you can reopen.
Weapon Store: Buy/Sell basic weapons that can be brought to the Blacksmith for upgrades.
Armor Store: Buy/Sell basic armor that can be brought to the Blacksmith for upgrades.
Blacksmith: Bring your weapons and armor in for upgrades.
Doctor: Buy various potions and remedies to help you on your adventure.
Restaurant: Stop in and buy food to replenish some of your health.
Fortune Teller: Drop in for some hints to help you find your way.
While the dungeon maps are in 2D, boss fights and the outside world will be presented in 3D. Typically, there will be obstacles and enemies in the dungeon that will hinder your movements, so it is up to player to use his wits and strengths to survive. Not only will previously saved villagers personally support Sword’s quest by accompanying him, Fupongs will as well. These Fupong creatures found in dungeons possess elemental properties such as Fire, Ice, and Lightning. Sword can store up to six Fugpons to use in the dungeon against monsters, but the Fupong Pod enables you to store even more.