It’s an immersive storytelling atmosphere brought together with a calligraphic art style. This is how I’d describe Labyrinth of Zangestu, an up-and-coming turn-based dungeon RPG currently in development by KaeruPanda. Sounds good, right? We’re keen too.
This is a significant departure for the team, which was previously best known for GO Series: 10 Second Run, an incredibly minimalistic side-scrolling platformer back in 2018, with some further miscellaneous releases between then and now.
Originally announced some months ago by producer Acquire, it had seemed like Labyrinth of Zangestu was only getting a Japanese release on Switch this coming September 29, but with new developments announced today, it looks like there’ll be an English localisation early next year. And it will be on more platforms too, as it will also release on the PS4 and PC. All of this is thanks to PQube, a British video game publisher widely known for its efforts in localising Asian titles in the west.
Now, in this day and age, any regular old dungeon RPG can be shrugged off and forgotten in the vast sea of other releases, so developers have to add their own flick of uniqueness if they’re looking for an inkling of success amongst the gaming community. So, what does KaeruPanda have to bring to the table?
One of the main selling points we’ve been given relates to its environmental storytelling. In addition to background narratives and dialogue, among the six scripted, playable characters, the game is centred around the idea of an ink-themed, bleak corruption spreading across the lands, allowing KaeruPanda to make full use of the extensive monochromatic art style, incredibly reminiscent of traditional Japanese calligraphy, as stated by the publisher.
While the western release date is not yet set in stone, we can breathe easily that it is going to happen, and there’s a great trailer depicting some gameplay features to keep us occupied.