Anyone wanting to know how good game design is done should look at Dungeon Explorer.
The game is balanced perfectly to keep you progressing through. There are no points in this game where you are not making progress. But that is not to say you are not punished for your deaths.
Basically, if you are on a quest and you die in the depths of the dungeon, you get to keep all your loot and experience, but you are punished by being placed back in the city. You also have to pay again to get the quest. If you do not have enough gold, you will need to go in the dungeon and work for some.
If you are not on a quest, however, you will die AND lose all your loot and experience. This perfect balance keeps the game moving at a great pace and never leaves you feeling that you are not making progress.
The graphics are suitable dark and gothic and each dungeon looks unique with a great deal of detail in the surroundings. The animations are also very well done and everything looks fluid and realistic.
Imagine an old school RPG game with multiple levels of depth and strategy in the statistic, complete with several party members that you must also manage, weapon crafting, coop magic, etc... Now imagine the old school arcade game Gauntlet. Dungeon Explorer is a beautiful collision between the two.
I love RPGs, but not necessarily the cutesy whimsical style that appears often on the PSP. Dungeon Explorer is darker, rich, and well worth your time if you share similar tastes.