Chaos Rings is a dungeon crawler published by Square Enix and developed by Media.Vision for iOS and later Android, marking the company's first original RPG for mobile platforms. The original iOS version was released in April of 2010, while the Android version was released in the summer of 2012. On August 12th, an iPad release followed featuring optimized graphics for the device.
Paired up with a partner, you find yourself in a mysterious dwelling, home to a combat arena known as the Ark Arena, and a portal to several dungeons of varying difficulty. Trapped there with four other couples, you're tasked with growing in strength and defeating your fellow "prisoners" with the reward being immortality. Failure to do so, naturally, is death. Chaos Rings is a dungeon crawler at heart, having you focus on taking your characters into several different dungeons from a main hub to engage in battle, increase your strength, and learn new abilities, though a smattering of story and dialogue is provided throughout your travels.
The gameplay is similar to classic japanese roleplaying games like Final Fantasy VII, VIII and IX, with random encounters, 3D animations over 2D backgrounds, and the traditional rock-paper-scissors fighting system.
Players traverse through dungeons and engage in traditional turn-based battles against a variety of foes. Battles occur at random, although this can actually be disabled.
During a battle, the player can decide to attack in a pair with their partner or have each person do an individual attack. The benefit of a pair attack is increased damage, but when the enemy's turn comes up their next attack will affect each member of the pair, increasing the risk factor. Genes are essentially magic attacks, made available to your character when s/he equips "gene plates".
Gene plates can be thought of as templates that correspond to different families of enemies. If you successfully learn an enemy's special ability when defeating it in combat, it becomes available on that enemy family's gene plate. Since your character can equip up to three gene plates, this system allows you to mix and match the various families of abilities you've learned, while limiting the breadth / quantity of what you have available to you in any given battle (naturally requiring you to think about what you want to equip each individual character with).
To break up the fighting and dungeon crawling, there are puzzle rooms scattered throughout the game that the player will need to complete as they come across them to advance. These puzzle rooms require the player to either navigate around a room of blocks to collect gems, or to shift blocks around to reach the exit, or to lit all candles in the room.