You know there’s something up when even Famitsu says, “What the hell’s this?!?!” Well, we certainly can’t fault Square-Enix for trying their hand at anything and everything to see what new IP sticks.
Occult Maiden is their latest smartphone game, a “battle photo” RPG which stars players as Tsuchimikado Chikage, the elder brother of Shinto maiden sister Yui. Fighting alongside Chikage is game-fan Rengo and well-mannered Kurahashi Rikka. Together, you’ll have to beat down Aramitama ghosts and demons plaguing the lands of Kyoto.
To do so, players roll dice to move along the overland map—think the board game portions of Mario Party or any other dice-rolling board game like Monopoly—before going into battle against foes. Occult Maiden’s unique selling point is its twist on battles. While yes, it’s a full-3D fight between your female attendants and foes, Chikage has the traditional Shinto talisman of photography.
Because, magic… who cares? photography is a pretty recent invention anyway, right?
Anyway, by hitting the touch screen at just the right moment, a la rhythm titles, players can take the perfect picture, which unleashes the true power of his Shinto talisman and augments his ally’s weaponry to deal damage to foes, sealing or banishing them.
Of course, the game doesn’t end there. There will be some 150-160 different weapons and armor to collect to gear up your woman as they travel the land, and almost all of the game will be rendered in 3D (Note: Bring a spare battery or portable charger and expect the game to be a battery drainer) with voiced dialogue, interactive conversation moments and more.
Occult Maiden’s music is done by EXIT TUNES, while the scenario is written by smash light novel/anime Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukinai’s (I Don’t Have Many Friends) Hirasaki Yomi for added talent. Square-Enix is betting pretty large on this with that lineup to make Occult Maiden a Japan hit, with a manga serialization also announced for Young GanGan magazine. There’s even an iPhone cover already announced.
Occult Maiden will be out for iOS this month, while the Android version is slated for a 2014 release.