Jumping into the world of Labyrinth Legend felt exciting due to an appearance of hardcore fantasy elements, thrilling boss fights and an interesting loot system. I was able to pick a starter class, ranging from a powerful wizard to a hardened knight, and a character skin before beginning my journey into the alternating dungeons that surround the very nature of the game. Our protagonist must venture into the depths of the ever-changing labyrinth in order to escape the village of Kanata and defeat the queen who has cursed the village, preventing its residents from leaving.
A Mysterious Door Lies Ahead…
Once the tutorial dungeon was completed, I entered the game’s main hub world and soon found myself surrounded by an enchanting but cursed village. There were plenty of NPCs available to aid me on my quest, including a blacksmith who can upgrade my weapons and armour and a general store filled with items necessary to progress through the labyrinth. Using this little hub area frequently is vital for players who wish to go far in the game as it becomes apparent that Labyrinth Legend throws everything it’s got at you in the further stages of the game. Also, the village offers players a ride on a boat to the Monster Island, complete with creatures who will aid the player throughout their dungeon travels as long as the player has the necessary funds to purchase said creatures.
With a Wave of My Wand
Weapons can be assigned to four separate buttons in Labyrinth Legend, helping players to mix between different moves and maximise effectiveness in combat. As a wizard, I always made sure to stay far away from enemies and use spells at a distance, compared to other classes that may prefer close-quarter combat. When used, players can see the cosmetic design of the weapon quite well as shown in the player’s inventory. However, armour has no cosmetic look, and I was disappointed that I was unable to see my character wearing the armour I had equipped in the inventory. Combat in itself is also incredibly basic due to the game’s control scheme. Wizards mainly use staffs as their weapon of choice, infused with effects like fire, thunder and ice. Each spell has its own cast design, but I couldn’t help but notice that the actual attack animations are the same for each and every staff; being a simple swing to the right of the character.
You’re Too Familiar…
Fantasy RPGs have the advantage of being inventive, allowing designers to really bring to life their own imaginations of monsters and creatures to terrify the player. Sadly, Labyrinth Legend fails to really invent any unique enemy ideas for itself. For example, the player will encounter ghosts, zombies, bats and a plethora of foes that you’ve probably fought a hundred times in a hundred other video games. Sure, the boss fights have all different movesets and can be tough to battle, but fighting an evil tree literally named “Evil Tree” makes me wonder what the developers were thinking. There can also be times where the game spawns in one too many enemies, and you’re left button-mashing whilst 15 generic slime creatures chase you down a dark hallway and gank you to kingdom come.
Ooh, a Piece of Candy
The hub area and the several dungeons you face are filled with destructible plant life that can be farmed for coins to be spent at the various shops back at the game’s village area. Defeated enemies will also drop coins that will increase in amount depending on which level the player is going through. For instance, the first dungeon will probably contain enemies that drop up to ten coins, whereas the third dungeon can have special elite enemies that drop a hefty 100-200 coins. Chests can also be found throughout the stages of the game that contain loot, like rings, armour and weapons, which can help to improve the player’s stats, like attack damage and defence. Playing on harder difficulties will make farming and upgrading the best weapons possible a necessity because enemies and bosses will become bullet-sponges, like trying to blow up a tank with a water pistol.
I Walk a Lonely Road
I started my playthrough on Veteran difficulty, and I don’t recommend it unless you are already halfway through the game on a lower difficulty. Enemies hit like trucks, and it can be difficult to implement the dodge mechanic at the perfect time. I’ve never experienced co-op play, but I do believe that Veteran difficulty would be made less challenging with a friend. Enemy mobs are fair enough to handle until you meet a dungeon filled with more zombies than George Romero’s backlogs, but the bosses, on the other hand, seem to take less damage than attempting to drown a fish by holding it underwater. Feeling the urge to spam as much as possible whilst panicking on 1HP after taking a hit that depleted my health from maximum is annoying and bad difficulty design. Even on Normal, some bosses are just frustrating to deal with and made me feel forced to repeat dungeons over and over until I was a higher level, making my gameplay experience begin to feel repetitive and boring.
Labyrinth Legend is an uninspired slog of a game that fails to really maximise its potential. Boiling down to repetitive mechanics and mediocre combat, it’s an experience best left to players who just want a quick game for 30 minutes before moving on to something else. The game offers very little to be enthusiastic about, minus the option to play with friends, but I can think of many other fun titles to be spending your time with. Sadly, it’s a rogue-like formula that doesn’t feel riveting enough to keep on coming back to.
Developer: Shinobi Games
Publisher: Shinobi Games, NIS America
Release Date: 18th January 2022 (Nintendo Switch), 21st July 2021 (PC, Android, IOS)
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, Android, IOS