There’s a distillation that becomes apparent when playing Labyrinth Legends. This is a game that focuses on a some key elements, sprinkles in other familiar aspects of the genre from which it derives, and is light on what takes away from the core. What it does almost feels like a new genre, but Labyrinth Legends is going to have a familiar feel to it – especially for those well-versed in dungeon exploration. While it may be lacking in some ways, these aren’t going to take away from what is an entertaining experience comprised of adventuring and solving puzzles.
As the protagonist, you will be venturing through dungeon mazes, solving puzzles and fighting enemies along the way, until you reach the finish of each level. Your motivation is to save your bride, slaying enemies and bosses with your sword and some assistance along the way. There isn’t much emphasis placed on the story, the setting, or character development, though, it isn’t important. The star of this game are the labyrinths, with their well-crafted level designs, and the challenges within them. What do you get for completing these challenges? Stars are your reward, and they are what will keep you returning to the labyrinths.
In order to progress, you will need to collect stars. Levels have a maximum amount of five stars to collect, based on different goals like solving a puzzle or completing the level under a specified time. This means the game isn’t completely linear. Want to access something else on the map, your means of traversing the lands? It will only be available if you have the required amount of – you guessed it – stars. This makes you want to get them all, aside from the simple challenge of that 100% completion.
Combat is fun, though simple and should not be the main reason to consider the game. Of course, I do like knocking a skeleton into off the edge and into the darkness. You hack, spin, block, and rush. The enemies are varied and colorful, and the bosses present enough challenge to keep you on your toes. You do happen to discover equipment, like a sword, helmet and a shield, which change the appearance of your hero. Maybe I’m used to a bigger deal being made in other games when I find something like a shiny new helmet, but at times I didn’t even notice until I happened to see the new look of my character sporting something he found in the previous level.
Speaking of the character, this game has style. The art style is welcoming, comical and vibrant, and is a refreshing contrast when making your way through tunnels and mazes typically presented in dull palettes. The sound is also fitting, as it keeps it light hearted – even when you find your hero meeting a bloody death from a puzzle trap or swarming of monsters. There’s hordes to fight and lethal puzzles to solve, but it also happens to have a playful air to it which just adds to the fun.
There is something fun that I cannot mention, and that is the multiplayer portion of the game. Despite Labyrinth Legends trimming down other components of the game, it felt that a multiplayer mode – three, in fact – would be a worthy addition. And from what I’ve seen, it looks fun, but it’s local only and my other controller recently decided to turn against me. I’d like to play with some friends, but I’d like even more to play online. The developer is known to add online play post release, so if it won’t come included I hope Labyrinth Legends receives enough support to get online multiplayer added later as the only current online attention is from the leader boards.
If hacking your way through a maze in order to find a key or lever to allow you to progress, or completing various challenges in an arcade-style adventure game packed with a bit of a challenge in order to fully complete the level sounds appealing to you, then pick up Labyrinth Legends. It’s quite the star itself.