Skip to main content

Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer review

An old school, turn-based dungeon crawler, for better or worse


  • Intense
  • strategic gameplay
  • Intriguing "puzzle" dungeons
  • Quirky characters


  • Random generation can be stupid
  • Dying makes you lose everything
  • WiFi feature isn't too useful

An update of a Super Nintendo Entertainment System title, Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer is an old-school, turn-based dungeon-crawler. It's slow, intense, and unforgiving - all of which might be a turn off to gamers weaned on modern titles - but for those that appreciate old-school sensibilities, Shiren the Wanderer offers dozens of hours of slow-burning fun.

Gamers control a wandering adventurer named Shiren, who is accompanied by his mouthy weasel Koppa. The two are on a quest to the Lair of the Golden Condor. This is all a good excuse to explore randomly generated dungeons, fight monsters, and snatch items. Players will explore caverns (that look like dungeons), forests (that look like dungeons), and mountain ranges (that look like…wait for it…dungeons).

The action and movement in this game are completely turn based, which makes for a slow game. The deliberate pace is somewhat necessary, since players have to be mindful about every step they take - a zig in the wrong direction can make the difference between escaping a dungeon and being devoured by a monster that's way too powerful to defeat.

More Info

GenreRole Playing
DescriptionFor those with old-school sensibilities, Shiren the Wanderer offers dozens of hours slow-burning fun. For the rest of us: death and burning.
US censor ratingEveryone
UK censor ratingRating Pending
Release date4 March 2008 (US), (UK)