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Labyrinth Legends
Developer:
Creat Studios
Price: $10
Platform: PS3 (PSN)
a download code for Labyrinth Legends was supplied to us

Labyrinth Legends is a charming dungeon exploration lacking precision controls and engaging combat but contains compelling level mechanics with plenty of secrets to explore.

The game starts out with your wedding day getting ruined and your bride to be has been taken by omnificent cloud of evil. Players must fight creatures through different dungeons while solving different puzzles in search for their stolen bride.

The first thing that really stood out was the charming, almost LEGO feeling the art style conveys. Characters have squared bodies with round heads and single piece hands. The music does well to keep the tone consistent. Playful medieval melodies evoke a sense of carefree exploration within the dungeons. Unfortunately the tone is not kept throughout the combat.

There’s a disconnect, however, between Labyrinth’s gameplay and its playful tone. The character movement is sloppy at high speeds. This wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for several of the dungeons having sections where the player can fall off. The angle at which the camera is fixed makes it unclear how close to the edge a player can stand before falling.  Luckily falling off doesn’t yield a mission restart, it instead just sets players back onto solid ground. However, with sections of levels requiring quick movement over a narrow path the imprecision in controls often result in unnecessary frustration.

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The simple combat system doesn’t offer a lot of variation. Heavy & light attacks are all controlled using Triangle and Square, while block and dash are mapped to L1 and R1.  Enemies attack in groups and with multiple enemies attacking simultaneously damage indication is not always clearly represented. In addition to the standard enemies some levels also have tedious boss fights. These boss enemies soak up a lot of damage and require simple pattern recognition to take them down. Dying during a boss fight while figuring out its patterns will cause you to start the level over, losing any progress made. The combat does this game a disservice. Exploration and puzzle solving within Labyrinth Legends is very compelling and should have been a larger focus.

Each level starts the player in a corner of a dungeon with a top down angled view. The sections the player explores become lit, while unexplored areas are simply hidden in darkness. Players navigate and search for the exit, but new levels are unlocked based on how many stars are found in a single play through of a level. A maximum of five stars can be earned per level. To get all five a player needs to pick them up in one play – for getting the star for completing the first slide puzzle and finishing the level you will need to also solve that puzzle again and pick up the other four stars again to get them all. The fun within Labyrinth Legends comes from collecting all the stars, solving the puzzles and discovering all the secrets.

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Some secret areas can be discovered by simply walking through an unperceivable doorway, while others require multiple complex puzzles to be solved . These puzzles and hidden areas usually give the player access to a better star rating at the end of the level and access to tons of treasure. Sometimes the game rewards the player with a visible armor upgrade which permanently raises a players starting health.

A lot of the puzzles are based on block navigation and button pressing, but the depth and complexity of the game quickly rises. Some puzzles require quick reaction, knowing exactly what needs to be done and when to do it, which will require multiple tries and some experimentation to figure everything out.

 The Final WordLabyrinth Legends takes a typical dungeon crawling game and adds interesting puzzle and exploration mechanics, however it’s not enough to make up for the loose controls and unsatisfying combat. While the game does have competitive multiplayer (local only) it is combat focused which is uninteresting. The game could have benefited from a cooperative puzzle solving mode.   If you manage to overcome the issues with the combat the game does offer some pretty fun puzzle solving and exploration.

- MonsterVine Rating: 3.5 out of 5 – Fair