Hyakki Castle, as we saw in September, is a grid-based dungeon crawler—think Eye of the Beholder if you're old, Legend of Grimrock if you're not—that trades conventional D&D-style fantasy trappings for the 18th-century Edo period of Japan. Today publisher Happinet revealed the launch date of November 15, and also a new trailer that showcases some of the monsters and puzzles you'll encounter in the castle's haunted halls.
One of Hyakki Castle's most interesting features is the ability to split your party into two separate groups. As the trailer demonstrates, this enables you to flank enemies, attacking them from two directions simultaneously, and also opens the door to some potentially interesting opportunities for two-part puzzles.
But the drawback is the possibility of being engaged by two separate monsters simultaneously: Not only will your party have to deal with both of them at half-strength, but you'll have to manage each battle independently. Given what a song-and-dance grid-based combat can be at the best of times, tackling two at once will probably end up as a full-throated gong show in very short order.
The video also offers some insight into character creation. Characters can be male or female samurai, ninja, sohei, or shinkan, and of the human, oni, tengu, or nekomata races. Stats include HP and MP (hit points and magic points, I suppose), attack and defense values, and HG—no clue on that one.
It looks like fairly standard stuff for a dungeon crawler, but I really dig the unusual setting and the promise of more than just hack-and-slash fights in tight, boxy corridors. If the gameplay is up to snuff and it brings some legitimately clever ideas to the table, Hyakki Castle could prove to be a very novel and interesting addition to the genre. More info on the game is available from Steam (although it's not available for purchase yet) or at asakusastudios.jp.