Square Enix, better known for its epic RPGs like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest (though it did work on puzzler Yosumin), announced a surprising collaboration with casual game studio PopCap for what looks like a more polished Puzzle Quest clone, releasing for Xbox Live Arcade and PC.

In Gyromancer, you line up three or more gems on a puzzle grid by rotating a square of pieces, similar to Bejeweled Twist. Clearing pieces enables you to execute attacks and cast spells against enemy creatures. The puzzle/RPG hybrid includes ten game stages, more than 50 summonable beasts, and an online ranking system.

The plot is kind of wackadoodle:

"Rivel, leader of the rebel faction Temperance and sorcerer vessel of the Godseye, follows Qraist, the countslayer, into the enchanted Aldemona Wood. The wood whispers to the two. For Rivel, the wood holds the key to his locked memories. For Qraist, the wood holds his calling - to be its master.

Unbeknownst to either, the nefarious Everett watches quietly from the shadows. Within this enchanted wood, severed from the outside world by ritual, lie mysteries and answers, knowledge and wonder. Each enters in search of something - but what is it they will find?"

While it's unfortunate that there isn't a portable edition for Gyromancer, a convenience that attracted many gamers to Puzzle Quest when that series first debuted, it's great to see the puzzle/RPG hybrid's formula dressed up with such detailed artwork instead of Infinite Interactive's simpler designs.

Gyromancer is a cool puzzle/RPG hybrid that uses Bejeweled Twist’s game mechanic at the heart of its battle system,” says PopCap's chief creative officer and co-founder Jason Kapalka. “We’ve worked with Square Enix as a distribution partner in Japan for several years, and it was fun to collaborate with them in a more creative way on Gyromancer.”

Neither Square Enix or PopCap announced details on pricing or an expected release date, though they revealed that the PC edition will appear on Valve's Steam service.

[Via GamerBytes]