Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City DS

  • Publisher: Atlus
  • Release Date: Sep 21, 2010

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
Buy On
  1. 60
    Etrian Odyssey is a tribute to original role-playing games, but there's a reason that those games don't exist anymore – the genre has evolved.
  2. The fierce foes and expansive dungeons of Etrian Odyssey III welcome all those with a love for a good old-fashioned challenge.
  3. Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City requires a level of commitment that few RPGs dare to ask of players. You will struggle to survive and you will curse the hours of grinding to restock your supplies, but the victorious satisfaction of beating the odds and reaching the next floor makes it all worthwhile.
  4. Traditional as all get out, Drowned City won't really wow you with its innovation. But it's got an addictive quality anyway, particularly when exploring the ocean.
  5. 80
    A wholly enjoyable if gruelingly difficult dungeon-crawler, Etrian Odyssey III is a worthwhile improvement on its predecessors, offering a variety of new features, options for customization, and fresh challenges to face.
  6. Oct 21, 2010
    While everyone feels a certain sense of accomplishment after completing a game, Etrian Odyssey III's exploration and incredible challenge make it rewarding throughout.
  7. 70
    This is one game that you can't just pick up and play. It takes a large level of commitment to get into. The small story that is there is forgettable, but it does try to explain what's going on.
  8. It's a ridiculously challenge old-school RPG experience to be sure, and you can expect to have your party wiped out frequently amidst streams of curses and a few rage quits. But even so, it's a dungeon crawler we heartily stand behind.
  9. It's certainly an enjoyable game, and it's one that dungeon crawler fans and Etrian Odyssey followers will instantly be drawn to, but everyone else needs to know that this is a game that puts a focus on planning, pre-battle equipment choices, and character strategies over action. I'd call it a thinker's dungeon crawler.
  10. games(TM)
    Jan 11, 2011
    Atlus believed that it could push the series that little bit further, however, and discover something special within the Etrian Odyssey formula. In The Drowned City, it has found it. [Christmas 2010, p.122]
  11. Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City is for hardcore RPG fans only. Those looking for a challenging title that will deliver 50 to 80 hours of gameplay will not be disappointed.
  12. Feb 1, 2011
    Old school RPG junkies will have a good time, even if it's marred by repetitive mechanics and an extreme difficulty!
  13. If the first two games left you wanting more, more is exactly what the third game in the series offers.
  14. Hardcore dungeon crawling that somehow manages to make repetitive combat and scrawling on virtual graph paper addictive and satisfying.
  15. Nintendo Power
    The new character classes are a blast to play. [Nov 2010, p.91]
  16. Aside from the misstep of the stunted co-op mode, every other aspect of Etrian Odyssey III has been vetted and manicured to ensure that the game provides the highest quality dungeon-crawling conceivable.
  17. Story and presentation take a backseat in favor of an incredibly intricate class-based role-playing experience.
  18. Though it is quite the challenge throughout, when the class systems, party mechanics and questing all pull together, this becomes one RPG that is nothing short of brilliant.
  19. Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City is a huge step in the right direction of the series and it's made me nothing but excited for the already announced forth game in the series that will be coming out on the 3DS.
  20. 75
    If you want something fast and full of action, this probably isn't the game for you. However, if you like turn-based games that reward you for putting a lot of thought into your skill choices and are willing to put up with a significant amount of (game-assisted) level grinding, it's likely that you'll appreciate Etrian Odyssey III.
  21. This latest game in the Etrian Odyssey is going to be a lot of fun for the fans of the series, or of the dungeon-crawling genre in general.
  22. It's a decent way to earn some money to gear out your party, but overall, the movement-based puzzle game is much less fun than killing weird monsters underground.
  23. 80
    Considering the game sets out to recreate a classic experience, it's hard to find any real faults in Etrian Odyssey III aside from the graphics and music.

Awards & Rankings

#24 Most Discussed DS Game of 2010
#33 Most Shared DS Game of 2010
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 5
  2. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. Oct 16, 2010
    I love the Etrian Odyssey series, and this is a good game, but I think it slightly misses the mark and doesn't quite scratch my Etrian OdysseyI love the Etrian Odyssey series, and this is a good game, but I think it slightly misses the mark and doesn't quite scratch my Etrian Odyssey itch.

    The good:

    The game's basic classes have gotten a complete overhaul, and those looking for the traditional niche classes won't really find them here, but the basic tank/healer/damage dealer archetypes are still present. What's new with the EO3 classes is that each has a class skill only available to that class. Each is different and assists in different ways; the gladiators' class skill allows them to do more damage, Ninja's class skill lets them attack from the back line with lower TP, etc etc. What you'll also find different from the previous EO games is that each class is more developed for a utility role. While the pure damage dealers can do what their trade is known for, even the Arbalist and Zodiac have some party assisting skills: blinding status effect and TP reduction respectively. Before you had to consider what classes you'd have, now you have to consider how the classes interact together (for better or worse).

    In addition to dungeon crawling you also can sail a ship. For some it's great, for me I found it exciting at first, then boring later on.

    The quests for this game are fewer, but are fun to complete. I found myself ignoring quests in the last few games because they seemed to be the traditional "go kill X an X amount". In this game the quests are more intuitive, and now that you have fewer, you can concentrate on a handful at a time, instead of being overwhelmed by a dozen.

    New to EO3 you can also customize certain weapons with status effects against the enemy, or increase stats for yourself.

    The dungeons have a few new tricks for veterans of the games while keeping the tried and true essentials untouched.

    Battles are a bit faster in this game. There is less delay in the combat animations, so if you're the impatient type and you don't want to see the same drawn out spell animations for the X'th time, then this game won't hold you up.

    The bad (or not so good):

    I was excited for the new classes at first, but as I played, I noticed that there were very few niche classes. There are no straight debuffers like the Hexers; instead status conditions and debuffs are spread around. Each class has their own utility skills, and it can make team building much less intuitive. Because the same class can do very different roles, it can easily confuse a new player when putting together a team. In the previous games you knew what a Alchemist, Medic, Troubadour, and Protector did, and the strategy came from selecting the classes to fill specific roles. While that strategy remains the same in EO3, there is an additional element of strategy when designing a team based on how the classes interact and support each other. It's good in some ways, but those not familiar might be confused, and I found myself having to completely change the way I set up a team, as I designed my party by previous EO standards.

    The aesthetics of the dungeons seemed to peak in the second game. I definitely admired the scenery and background when walking through a forest in fall, or snow covered lake in EO2. In EQ3 the environments are much less appealing, and while some people probably wouldn't mind, I was a little disappointed as I found myself walking through what seemed to me like a flat Hollywood movie set.

    The sailing is fun at first, but it's the kind of thing that takes 3-4 hours at most to complete, and you have to wait for certain story segments in the dungeon to unlock later areas. It's definitely a fun add on when not exploring the labyrinth, but my expectations were a little let down.

    This was probably the biggest letdown for me. To those who've played EO2: sadly, the geomagnetic poles are gone. However the game definitely puts in many shortcuts to save you time, though I would have preferred, and really miss, those time saving warps.

    Additional notes:

    Those not familiar with the Etrian Odyssey series, know this: the game is fairly hard. Some might like that, some might not, I found it frustrating yet engaging.


    There are probably some things I forgot, but those are the main points. Etrian Odyssey 3 is a good game though it has some faults. If you're a fan of the series and you haven't picked it up, I suggest you do; it will provide some new challenges and train your team building and dungeon crawling skills in new ways. For those who have not played the Etrian Odyssey series, but liked the Dark Spire and dungeon crawling games, EO3 is a decent one to start out with. But in my humble opinion, if you're looking for the best EO experience and have never played the games, I highly suggest trying out Etrian Odyssey 2 first.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 17, 2016
    I loved, loved EO4, but this one, not so much.

    Basically, it's a little too brutal and grindy for me. One unlucky hit and you've got to go
    I loved, loved EO4, but this one, not so much.

    Basically, it's a little too brutal and grindy for me. One unlucky hit and you've got to go back to town.

    I did really like some of the classes though, especially the Prince(ss) and Buccaneer.
    Full Review »
  3. Apr 7, 2013
    Let's not mince words: This game is a purebred dungeon grinder at its heart. There is some fun in exploration to be had, but this gameLet's not mince words: This game is a purebred dungeon grinder at its heart. There is some fun in exploration to be had, but this game revolves almost entirely around a few tense minutes of character building, followed by hours of stomping on random monsters for the EXP. Love it or hate it, this game is all about grinding monsters into a thin gruel of EXP for more levels and character points. As a DS game, this can fortunately be a blessing in the right circumstances. You can design your characters at a time when you can spend all your focus upon them, but then you play the grinding sections while waiting in line at the mall or otherwise just need a simple distraction for a few minutes or a few hours. Still, this is a game where you build your characters around using the same two or three skills over and over again, and then mash those skills out constantly to trudge forward this isn't a game that relies on a lot of higher brain power to get through, and it can feel like advancing through the game is best accomplished by just taping the "confirm" button down while throwing your characters into a loop with the auto-walking feature. Even if you wanted to have different strategies to fight many bosses, you really can't, since your characters are forced into being min/maxed to doing just a couple things very well at the exclusion of everything else. Doing those anything elses requires the Herculean and ultimately rather thankless task of building and grinding up another character (or de-leveling an existing one) to do that new thing you wanted, and it's oftentimes just too painful to even consider. I'm just ultimately not the sort of player who really wants that kind of grind, so I can't be satisfied, but anyone who, for whatever reason, does like hours upon hours of grinding will certainly find everything they could ever ask for in a game like this. Full Review »