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Shiren the Wanderer: The Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island Review

Although I’m not usually a fan of roguelike dungeon crawlers, Shiren The Wanderer has always been an exception for me. I find the franchise to be one of the few that manages to make the formulaic experience enjoyable. The developers have now released a new game, The Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island, which is the best adventure so far for Shiren The Wanderer.

Shiren The Wanderer: The Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island takes place in a new location where Shiren and his talking weasel Koppa decide to explore an island that they had previously dreamed about. Rumors suggest that the island houses a monster with a treasure inside. The monster’s lair is located at the top of the island, which fits perfectly with the theme of a roguelike dungeon crawler. They also notice a girl who appears to be calling for help from within the monster, which piques their curiosity and motivates them to unravel this mystery.

If you’re new to Shiren The Wanderer games or similar roguelike dungeon crawlers, you might find it difficult to get started as the game doesn’t provide tutorials to explain most of its gameplay systems. You’ll be thrown into the game world with little guidance, and it’s up to you to figure out how everything works. However, this doesn’t mean the game is overly complex, as the gameplay is quite simple. Your goal is to guide Shiren through various dungeon floors, collect useful items and equipment, and reach the top of the Island. Each playthrough will take several hours, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to reach the top of the Island on your first attempt. To succeed, you’ll need to learn from your mistakes and figure out how to navigate each dungeon without running into major problems.

The appeal of this game lies in its short gameplay sessions, making it a perfect fit for portable consoles like the Nintendo Switch. You can play for 1-2 hours and try to reach the next level. You can choose to explore each dungeon floor in detail, fight enemies to gain experience or rush to the next point of interest. Skipping floors makes the game much more challenging unless you have powerful items and equipment.

The game comprises 30 floors, each with a unique topography and monsters. Once you pass a certain milestone, there will be a shift to a different topography and new monsters to beat. Rare and powerful monsters exist on certain levels, making it harder for you to progress. You can recover your health by wandering around, but doing so will make you lose stamina and expose you to other monsters. You can also use items like Onigiri to recover your health and stamina, but it’s important to note that Onigiri can get rotten if you leave it in your inventory for too long.

If you die, you start from the beginning with almost no items or equipment, and the level resets. This might seem like a setback, but it motivates you to try harder. Finding powerful items during a run is helpful, but you will lose them if you die. The game has an online rescue system that allows other players to save you, which is particularly useful if you have important items to retrieve. The higher the floor you are on, the longer it takes for others to reach you. While you wait for a rescue, you can attempt to rescue yourself or other players.

I enjoyed how the developers incorporated some narrative elements into the roguelike dungeon-crawler game. Whenever you reach certain floors, you’ll receive updates on the status of certain NPCs. In between the floors, there are stopgaps where you can explore locations such as a town or a hot spring. These areas serve as a great way to heal yourself or upgrade your inventory and equipment. Blacksmiths are available to upgrade your weapons and armor, while the shops offer useful items for recovery or combat.

Additionally, the game now includes a new multiplayer mode called Parallel Play which allows players to challenge others in an online rush to complete the dungeon faster. The rescue mode is the main appeal of this new feature, and the ability to rescue oneself is also a great addition. I found myself using this feature frequently.

I believe this is the best Shiren The Wanderer game and one of the finest in the mystery dungeon genre. Although, unfortunately, the previous Shiren The Wanderer games were never released here, I would be thrilled if any upcoming versions were localized as well as this one. I highly recommend this game whether you’re a fan of Mystery Dungeon or not, and if you’re a Shiren The Wanderer enthusiast, this is a must-play experience.

Shiren the Wanderer: The Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island Game Information

  • Price: $59.99
  • Publisher: Spike Chunsoft
  • Developer: Spike Chunsoft
  • Platform: Switch (Reviewed)
  • Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher


Shiren The Wanderer: The Mystery Dungeon of Serpentcoil Island is an excellent addition to the franchise. It combines narrative and roguelike dungeon crawling to offer a challenging yet rewarding adventure. Unlike other games that rely on tutorials, this game doesn't hold your hand and is enjoyable for both veterans and newcomers. This latest installment introduces a captivating new setting and multiplayer modes, and also refines the gameplay with quality-of-life improvements. Additionally, the game features a dynamic online rescue system, making it stand out in the mystery dungeon genre. It is a must-play for fans and newcomers alike.

Total Rating

Salal Awan

Salal's main hobby is photography but he is also interested in learning the latest about Technology including Smartphones and PC Hardware. He is the co-founder of Twisted Voxel and always on the lookout for the news.

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