• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Mar 4, 2008

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
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  1. By hooking up to the Internet or a nearby friend, a fallen Shiren can call for help. If another player hears his plea and pulls off the rescue mission, Shiren is revived, goodies intact.
  2. Shiren the Wanderer doesn’t coddle its players, but those willing to invest enough effort into the game are rewarded with a game that’s intricate, deep, and infinitely replayable.
  3. 87
    This is a game for the most hardcore of the hardcore. Though, on another level, it is a surprisingly casual game if you want it to be.
  4. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Success is 30 percent planning, 30 percent persistance, and about 80 percent luck--making for a challenging, infuriating, but deeply rewarding experience. [May 2008, p.89]
  5. 83
    It's far more demanding than its fellow DS-based roguelikes, lacking, say, the cuddly mascots of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon or the cumulative experience-building of Izuna. But it's remarkably well crafted, with streamlined gameplay that belies its impressive substance.
  6. 80
    Between the cute 2-D graphics, the comfortable, nostalgic soundtrack, and the super addictive "Just one level further!!" game flow, my wander-lust is on full blast. Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer is a great way to dip a toe in the rogue like pool.
  7. 80
    It may not be a game for everyone, but those that can truly immerse themselves in Shiren the Wanderer will discover one of the most enjoyable experiences the DS has to offer.
  8. Shiren the Wanderer is the most brutal of the above games in every sense, with severe punishments for slight miscalculations.
  9. With various side quests,puzzles and bonus dungeons, there's a lot to keep you busy with.
  10. Not everyone is going to take a liking to Shiren - it's a game where you need to actively seek out its pleasures, and other than some occasional advice from wandering NPCs, you'll need educate yourself by reading FAQs or interacting with other Shiren players.
  11. 70
    Shiren is absolutely and utterly a game for the hardcore. Being flung back to level one for dumb luck or a simple error is infuriating, and Shiren lacks the storytelling polish that many gamers expect from their titles regardless of genre, but the core game is very well done.
  12. It certainly won't be to everyone's tastes but deep within the dusty catacombs of Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer resides a unique and impressively addictive game.
  13. 70
    I haven’t made it to the Lair of the Golden Condor yet, but I'll give it a go every once in a while. It's a great way to kill some time and enjoy a style of gameplay we don’t often see anymore.
  14. Thankfully, there’s a rescue function, or else Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer would be endlessly difficult for many. Instead, it’s simply a tough, deliberate RPG that’s still worth the time for its challenge aspect.
  15. Games Master UK
    A journey that's littered with pits and troughs that's rewarding if you persevere. [June 2008, p.83]
  16. It's a very difficult game simply because the prospect of death is such an overpowering force in the game that it literally changes the way you play.
  17. Official Nintendo Magazine UK
    Some will loathe it and some will love it, although you can be sure that the former will be in the vast majority. [May 2008, p.74]
  18. Nintendo Power
    Starting from scratch every time you have bad luck will be frustrating, but if you can get past the setbacks, you'll enjoy a solid DS adventure. [Mar 2008, p.86]
  19. 65
    The random dungeons are oftentimes poorly laid out, and the turn based gameplay can lead to a slow, jerky experience. Still, Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer is a game that will certainly give players a run for their money, if only due to the fact that it takes forever to beat.
  20. 65
    While some will be turned off by the challenging gameplay and the less appealing visuals, those seeking an old-school gaming experience should look no further.
  21. We're also sure the majority of today's gamers will find it nasty, plodding, and archaic.
  22. If you're not put off by the idea of an RPG in which every death returns you to the start of the game, Shiren the Wanderer can be a lengthy, satisfying experience.
  23. Edge Magazine
    Shiren The Wanderer still has its own charm and deep and lasting individual value that, for all its abstract irritations, surpasses many more modern gaming experiences. [May 2008, p.96]
  24. An above-average dungeon crawler.
  25. Mysterious Dungeon is the anti-Zelda doppleganger, cute and unthreatening in its top-down stylings, but as potentially punishing and old-school as lurking demons come. Once again, the question is begged: Do you feel lucky?
  26. The worst flaw in any RPG is the lack of a decent save system, and in that respect, Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer is guilty as charged. This frustrating trait, combined with the mediocrity that's prevalent in the rest of the title, makes for a pretty poor showing.
  27. Shiren the Wanderer was a nice concept back on the Super Nintendo. It's not that the game is unplayable, but it ruins your joy when you lose all you have accomplished when you're killed. The game doesn't make much use of the Nintendo DS functions. It would have been better if the game was released on the Gameboy Advance.

Awards & Rankings

#22 Most Discussed DS Game of 2008
#21 Most Shared DS Game of 2008
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 24
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 24
  3. Negative: 3 out of 24
  1. Nov 23, 2012
    A wonderful roguelike! This masterpiece is filled with various enemies with intriguing and sometimes hilarious (turned into a riceball!)A wonderful roguelike! This masterpiece is filled with various enemies with intriguing and sometimes hilarious (turned into a riceball!) abilities. An old-fashioned roguelike, yet with good and pleasant graphics!
    I have beaten the game, finished the kitchen god's shrine and the scroll cave (two bonus dungeons)
    and I am still trying to win fay's final puzzle (a 99 floor dungeon of awful difficulty), and so far so good!!!!
    My favorite game. If you hate difficult games and permanent death though, then stay away!
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 21, 2011
    Holy crap!
    This is amazing!
    Sooooo amazing. Graphics: On my way in from Angband the graphics are heavenly. They aren't to much and they're not
    Holy crap!
    This is amazing!
    Sooooo amazing.
    Graphics: On my way in from Angband the graphics are heavenly. They aren't to much and they're not shiny or anything.
    They're simple sprite sheets and they work for the type of game.
    Gameplay: The controls are simple
    A: attacks.
    Y: open inventory.
    Crosskeys/ touch screen: Move shiren.
    You think its all easy then you die lose everything and have to navigate the dungeon with no weapons shields or healing items.
    Sound: The music and sounds work but nothing flashy and over the top.
    The game gets a nine out of ten for effort and succeeding in making a new Rougelike game for the DS.
    If you enjoy Rouglikes go buy it.
    Go buy it now.
    You were supposed to have bought it tree lines ago stop reading.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 25, 2012
    Mystery Dungeon: Shiren The Wanderer is a DS game that is a remake and translation to a japan exclusive Super Famicom version of the game. TheMystery Dungeon: Shiren The Wanderer is a DS game that is a remake and translation to a japan exclusive Super Famicom version of the game. The game is a retro Roguelike Strategy RPG, and an extremely difficult and unforgiving one at that. Its a genre that is not for everyone. Trust me, you will die FREQUENTLY! The point of the game is to learn from your mistakes, replan accordingly and try again to get a little bit farther the next time, it feels extremely rewarding to finally pass an area you where struggling with earlier. For the people who are into these kind of games will find a fun, difficult and replayable Strategy RPG experience. The music and graphics are absolutely beautiful and fit the atmosphere of the game perfectly. and a large variety of different items and enemies for you to learn about and find a way to get as far as possible with the knowledge you gain. I'm not sure if this is a problem with my specific copy of the game, or all of them, but it appears the online server for doing Wifi rescues seems to no longer exist or function which is somewhat of a disappointment. Overall, its a fun yet difficult experience. If you have ever played a Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game and want to play a much harder variation of the game, try taking a chance with this game. It seems to be fairly cheap as I had bought it in used condition for 5 dollars in Canada. Full Review »