Developed by Mistwalker and Artoon, with the game scenario conceived by RPG creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, characters designed by Naoto Oshima, and the main theme song composed by Nobuo Uematsu, AWAY shuffle dungeon lets players take control of the young hero "Sword" who must rescue kidnapped townsfolk from a strange unknown.
A mysterious force has plagued the people of Webb Village for the past century by routinely abducting its residents and destroying their homes. Two years ago, Sword came to the village to settle down, but it wasn't long before the occasional disappearances sparked his curiosity. When he suddenly becomes the lone remaining villager, he embarks on a quest to rescue its citizens, rebuild the town, and forever solve the enigma of AWAY.
As Sword, players must find the villagers' personal items left behind so he can access the 'shuffle dungeons' where they're held captive. Within these caverns, the floors randomly reconfigure at timed intervals; should Sword be caught in the shuffle, he will lose his life and the lives of any rescued villagers in his care. Fortunately, help can be found in the form of 'fupongs,' small dungeon creatures that follow Sword and provide powerful magic spells to help combat underground enemies and bosses. As citizens repopulate the town, they reconstruct Webb Village with a variety of stores the Sword can frequent to stock up on weapons, armor, health, food and other necessities that will aid him in his quest between the 2D shuffle dungeons and the 3D village.
AWAY shuffle dungeon also lets players fight cooperatively in 2-player Raid Battle Mode. By defeating multiple bosses together, players can unlock special weapons and armor for use in the main single player mode.