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Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
RPGFan (Jan 30, 2011)
In the end, Away: Shuffle Dungeon is certainly worth a playthrough. Without rushing, there's a good twenty hours worth of content even before the NewGame+ option. For the weirdness of plot and uniqueness of gameplay, it is certainly worth trying to find and play a copy of this game. Too few games try to mix things up as much as Away: Shuffle Dungeon does.
AWAY: Shuffle Dungeon is bound to surpass people’s expectations, if they give it a try. Unfortunately, Majesco, the publisher, seems determined to sell this game to the RPG crowd, which is going to be in for a surprise once they realize it’s not what they were looking for. The mash-up of the different genres works quite well for the game, keeping the gameplay fresh from one section to the next. The only thing that I didn’t enjoy was that after all the shops have been collected and many of the villagers saved, AWAY starts to become repetitive and moves at a considerably slower pace. Although, in the end, I have to say that the game surpassed my expectations and provided hours of enjoyment.
Shuffle Dungeon also features a Dark Cloud-esque overworld builder, but just like the combat, it leaves you wanting more. Shuffle Dungeon just doesn't dive deep enough.
Away: Shuffle Dungeon can best be described as a title with an identity crisis. It doesn't know whether it wants to be a dungeon crawler or action adventure title, and sadly, it doesn't do either particularly well.
GameZone (Dec 08, 2008)
Away: Shuffle Dungeon has a lot of charm and a great central gameplay system, but the gameplay is too shallow and simple to ever really draw the player in. It’s a cute, simple dungeon crawler with a great gimmick, but unfortunately it never really becomes anything more.
Game Chronicles (Nov 30, 2008)
This would be a nice alternative to Zelda games and if you liked those games, then this one will be a nice addition to your collection. You might not feel too much originality in the gameplay and story except for the shuffling, but priced at $29.99, it’d be a good idea to wait on this one.
70 (Jan 22, 2009)
Away Shuffle Dungeon is rated E for Everyone and I can see it as a solid game marketed for both boys and girls. Though the genre appears to be geared to younger players I admit to having fun with it as well. I rated this game a 7 out of 10 due to its innovative design and interaction. Also the twist in the story where everyone is whisked away with the exception of the main character, Sword, made it interesting. Especially when you began solving clues, finding pieces of the puzzle, and navigating the timed and constantly shifting mazes, and finding people and getting them back to their homes. I felt this was a perfect game for the Nintendo DS, light, affordable, and fun without a lot of overhead.
Worth Playing (Jan 06, 2009)
Away: Shuffle Dungeon for the NDS is fun, but not much else. It grows repetitive and lacks replay value, and the game is short enough that it is difficult to recommend over longer and better games on the same system. Furthermore, the incoherent and goofy plot casts a pall over the entire experience, and it's a lot harder to justify traipsing through identical dungeons when the reason for doing so is dumb enough to almost be offensive. However, despite all of that, the game is fun and provides a unique and interesting experience you can't get anywhere else, and the shuffle mechanic and Fupong magic system work very well. If you're willing to overlook the silly plot and short length, Away: Shuffle Dungeon is a pretty good addition to your DS library. If you're looking for something to satisfy your thirst for a Zelda-like title on the go, you could do a lot worse than Away: Shuffle Dungeon.
Away: Shuffle Dungeon is great idea that turns out to be little more than an alright game. The core concept is solid, but the surrounding mechanics don't support it. Hardcore dungeon crawler fans will be able to look past or deal with the deficiencies, but most players probably won't.
1UP (Nov 18, 2008)
Shuffle Dungeon is a conceptual riff on the notorious recurring timed dungeon in fellow DS title The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, demanding smart play by making the dungeon itself a hazard. Each labyrinth is spread across the DS' two screens -- every few seconds, one of the screens shuffles, shifting to a new configuration. Linger too long and you'll be injured -- and worse, sent back to the beginning of the current floor.
This isn’t to say that AWAY Shuffle Dungeon is a bad game. There are flaws to be sure, but this is more an experience which won’t suit every gamer than one which is just poorly made. If planet-busting firearms and gobs of greasy ghoul guts feed your gaming habit, safely skip this in favor of more violent pastures. If, on the other hand, you’re don’t mind a Puzzle Quest alternative which serves up a little more action-RPG and a little less puzzle, AWAY Shuffle Dungeon will keep you busy for many commutes, lunch hours and mornings in bed to come.
IGN (Oct 29, 2008)
As a game critic, I want to encourage developers to try new ideas. On the other hand, I also have to point out when those ideas don't exactly work. Away has an interesting premise, nice visuals, great audio, and an original take on an established genre. That original take isn't strong enough to carry the player throughout the entire game, though, and eventually the gimmick wears thin. Rather than being excited about the next dungeon, you may find yourself thinking, "Do I have to?" Still, I bet more than a few gamers out there will be won over by Away's high production values and charm.
60 (Apr 17, 2009)
Die Mischung aus Dungeon-Raubzügen und Städtebau funktionierte bei Titeln wie Dark Cloud zwar schon wesentlich besser, aber Away hat letztendlich auch seine Qualitäten, auch wenn diese leider viel zu selten und wenig attraktiv verpackt sind. Puzzlefans mit einem Faible für klassische Action-Rollenspiele können ruhig einen Blick riskieren, mehr als solides Mittelmaß hat Mistwalker aber auch dieses Mal nicht zu bieten.
60 (Apr 24, 2009)
AWAY : Shuffle Dungeon est un jeu de rôle/action englué dans un sacré paradoxe : celui d'être à la fois original et terriblement classique. Car passées les premières heures de jeu, où l'on s'émerveille devant le principe des donjons en mouvement perpétuel, l'ennui finit par poindre. La faute à un gameplay qui n'évolue jamais, à une dimension RPG trop peu poussée et à un cruel manque de challenge. Susceptible de plaire au jeune public, le titre de Mistwalker peinera donc à convaincre les initiés, pour qui il restera comme une curiosité dénuée de l'aspect addictif propre au genre.
Hooked Gamers (Nov 11, 2008)
I’m going to be honest, I had high expectations for Away: Shuffle Dungeon. But when I finally got the chance to sit down and play the game, the end result was a rather disappointing experience. I walked away thinking about how great the game could have been. If you buy this game, expect to be a little disappointed.
GamePro (US) (Oct 21, 2008)
All in all, Away: Shuffle Dungeon is a fun and quirky, if ultimately repetitive dungeon crawler. If you're a fan of the hack-n-slash gaming in general, Away: Shuffle Dungeon is definitely worth a try; Just keep in mind that even with its innovations, Shuffle Dungeon doesn't break nearly enough new ground to truly carve out its own niche in the RPG genre.
GameSpot (Oct 30, 2008)
Away: Shuffle Dungeon is a decent, technically proficient dungeon crawler with an interesting shuffle mechanic that adds some spice to dungeon exploration, but ultimately provides little depth and almost no strategy or challenge. The interesting shuffle mechanic may draw a few diehard dungeoneers into the fold, but most players will be better off staying away.
RPGamer (May 10, 2009)
Away: Shuffle Dungeon is a game that failed almost as soon as it debuted in the US, and the reasons for this failure are evident upon playing it. The storyline seems promising, but has so many unexpected plot twists that it never feels cohesive. The gameplay is an exercise in tedium, with a difficulty that never really feels challenging and combat that's not quite comfortable. While the soundtrack is well done and the dungeon crawling is a novel take, Away: Shuffle Dungeon as a whole is a subpar game. For fans of 2D dungeon crawlers looking for an interesting take on the genre, or for someone who wants an easy and quick romp on the DS, Away: Shuffle Dungeon is a nice choice, but it is certainly overshadowed by many better games on the system.
Random Access (Aug 03, 2013)
I would have expected more from a creative team that included Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of the Final Fantasy series; Naoto Öshima, the original designer of Sonic the Hedgehog, and Nobuo Uematsu, one of the most notable video game composers of all time. But instead, we get Away: Shuffle Dungeon, a bland action-RPG that has failed to capture my heart. It had promise -- its dungeon-shuffling idea is novel -- but in practice, it fell short. If you want a solid dungeon crawler or action-RPG on the DS, there are plenty of more tempting options to try.