Labyrinth Legends is a top-down dungeon crawler (technically) full of solving puzzles, slicing apart enemies, and finding secrets all in the name of L-O-V-E. The game begins with two lovers about to get married on their wedding day. Everything seems to be going well until a giant cloud of darkness sails downward into the ceremony and snatches up the bride (hate it when that happens). This naturally sends the groom off to find his main squeeze and put a stop to whatever entity wronged him.
The game is set up simply enough. A world map is presented to you with various levels and/or dungeons in need of traversing and looting. Getting to the exit will end the level and technically count as a “win,” but it’s impossible to progress without going the extra mile. New levels won’t unlock until you have a certain number of Stars that are hidden amongst your travels (5 possible for every level). This encourages, or rather requires, you to explore and scrutinize every room in order to complete the game.
Careful exploration will also net you a few pieces of equipment to better handle the hazards in every dungeon (shields adding extra health, more powerful swords, etc.). These obstacles come in the form of flying buzz saws, undead enemies, and precarious puzzle solving. The improved equipment will mostly help with the blood thirsty baddies gunning to kill you, but some pieces of equipment are temporary and make other aspects of the game easier.
Certain puzzles are set up to be dangerous while you contemplate the solution, like a collection of switches in a poisonous, gas filled room. It might be possible to find the right combination of turning and cranking while still leaving the room with functioning lungs, but a little exploration will earn you a gas mask in a nearby chamber. This aids in the game’s constant theme of “explore more, suffer less.” Unfortunately, you do suffer less, but not exactly enough that it’s comfortable.
The mask expires after a certain amount of time forcing you to go back and forth recollecting the item if you don’t accomplish the puzzle in time. This happens with quite a few other brain teasers as well. You’re almost always on some kind of time limit and rarely are allowed to simply sit and think. It’s meant to add an extra layer of challenge but ends up being needlessly frustrating and would play better without it.
The game comes off as difficult in general but it isn’t always because of the deliberate design choices mentioned before. A few nasty glitches will prevent every action from going as smoothly as it can and is exacerbated by a few A.I. characters with some very questionable thought processes. The game will sometimes force you to rely completely on these computer controlled companions that will have trouble following you, let alone help you. These characters are also very vulnerable and always know exactly where to stand to absorb maximum damage. If they die, as with any death in the game, you’ll be sent right back to the beginning. No checkpoints.
The campaign is also strictly single player so there’s no way to let a buddy hop in and save you from the trials and tribulations the game’s A.I. throws at you. However, this doesn’t mean there’s no multiplayer. Up to four players can participate in three multiplayer game modes: Domination, Treasure Hunt, and Survival.
Domination is a competitive game mode forcing players to fight over possession of a certain object in order to gain time as points (think Halo oddball). Treasure Hunt has players avoiding obstacles to see who can collect the most randomly spawning gold on the map. And Survival is exactly what it sounds like, fight off waves of enemies co-operatively for as long as you can.
Every mode stays fun for the first few rounds but quickly loses its luster thereafter. It’s a simple and fun way to kill time if you have friends over but you won’t be itching to plan another get together to satisfy any kind of addiction. The lack of online functionality is (as always) a shame and would bring value to the multiplayer offering, but doesn’t fix its middle-of-the-road quality.
Labyrinth Legends proves to be fun sometimes but is frustrating and dull just as often. For every clever reference or intentionally funny moment, there’s a frustrating glitch or an arguable design choice to follow. The silly yet grim art style is extremely creative and probably the best part of this flawed game, but you’ll barely notice the work that went into it when playing multiple levels over and over again hoping you get lucky with some well-behaved A.I. or a puzzle that won’t instigate needless timers or backtracking. It’s a fair price point for the amount of content that’s there, but it isn’t the best content in the world.
Creative art style and humor
Nasty glitches and A.I. | Frustrating level repetition
Little David Galanter grew up in Orange County, CA loving videogames and anything else that repelled girls. After getting his Bachelor's Degree in Theatre Arts, David decided to start contributing his soft silky words to the world via online media. He currently owns a website with a weekly podcast (www.drgman.com) and is a reviewer for Default Prime!
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