Children of Mana head into DS dungeons

Drop the plot, this Japanese roleplayer's all about underground action

Children of Mana head into DS dungeons
| Children of Mana

The title suggests Children of Mana will be the sort of cutesy, colourful game that granny buys you for Christmas, which remains in its wrapper only to be hawked through eBay as soon as her back's turned.

And if you're not a fan of the sort of rambling roleplaying games Square Enix is known for, maybe that will be your copy's fate come Boxing Day.

But there is something harder lurking at the heart of Children of Mana. Sure, it comes with all the cutesy, colourful graphics you'd expect, but in terms of the action part of roleplaying, this is one dungeon-based combat fest.

Ditching the prolonged stories that characterise Square's Final Fantasy series of games, here you'll start out in a village hub where you can equip your group with weapons, armour and various other bits of kit to help keep them alive. You're then transported straight into the depths of a dungeon to cut and thrust your way – using sword, whip and bow – to each area's boss. You must defeat these bosses in order to gain a talisman that will allow you to return to the surface, re-equip and then find another dungeon master to overcome.

Happily you won't be alone, as you can choose one of eight elemental spirits to accompany you and provide some magical firepower when things get tough. You'll also be able to buddy up with three mates and co-operatively battle your way through using the DS' wi-fi link.

Right now haggling over the price of a long sword in some distant village armoury, Children of Mana does not yet have a release date.

Jon Jordan
Jon Jordan
A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon can turn his hand to anything except hand turning. He is editor-at-large at which means he can arrive anywhere in the world, acting like a slightly confused uncle looking for the way out. He likes letters, cameras, imaginary numbers and legumes.