Posted on January 7, 2013 AT 02:17pm
Creat Studios’ latest game Labyrinth Legends takes just about everything we love about dungeon crawlers and crams it into a little adventure. Just be prepared to throw the controller at the TV in some places.
After a happy marriage ceremony, an evil being takes your new wife and kidnaps her in one of many tricky dungeons. In order to get her back you must travel from spot-to-spot to find her location, while at the same time defeating evil zombies, ghouls, skeletons, and the occasional mummy. As the game progresses you earn a couple new upgrades, as well as a few new powerful moves.
Labyrinth Legends features sixteen single-player levels, each one with their own unique puzzles, treasure, and in a couple occasions an AI partner to help defeat the evil monsters. In some occasions you’ll find yourself having to search for secret doors in order to find everything there is to grab; other times these secret doors will guide you to the actual exit. You’ll find some boss battles here and there, too, which can be tricky to defeat due to such obstacles as poisonous gases and a plethora of minions trying to kill you at the same time.
The dungeons can be tough in Labyrinth Legends, but fortunately the difficulty gradually rises as the game progresses instead of just spiking out of nowhere. You are given a bountiful of hearts in each level, but depending on where you are located you might find those hearts dwindling. Sometimes it’ll be caused by the enemies, other times obstacles like buzz-saws, spikes, and even trains will be the cause of your blood splattering everywhere. (Or you can be like me and keep falling off the narrow paths down a dark, bottomless pit.)
Once you’re dead the level has to restart, which can be a major pain in a few areas. I understand if it was to increase the difficulty in some areas, but if you are in a boss battle — and you die just as soon as you’re about to take that final swing — you shouldn’t be forced to replay the last fifteen minutes of the game. It would’ve been great if there was even a save system in some parts of the dungeons, as having to start right from scratch can (and will) throw your game off, especially if you find yourself perfecting a strategy that goes haywire when you least expect it.
Despite this flaw Labyrinth Legends has some fun elements for the most part. Its animation style is wonderfully cartoonish, with a look that’s reminiscent of Kubrick toys being brought to life in a cel-shaded form. Combat and controls are solid, though there were a couple times where my character went one step further than I wanted him to. (Again: those narrow walkways!) The renaissance-styled soundtrack helped fit the mood as you played, though I can’t really say the same for the minimal voice-acting. Every 20 seconds a ghastly Vincent Price-like voice would utter “Beware!” as you played through the dungeon, and after the fifth time of having to hear that I wanted to find said voice actor and smack him across the side for being more annoying than scary.
The other downside of Labyrinth Legends is its single-player length. While it may take some time to gather all the stars to unlock the final level you can expect to beat the game at around four and-a-half hours. Once it’s over there are a few multiplayer modes for you and your friends that take the routes of treasure-hunting and battle modes. They’re fun, but they can run on the short side, as well.
- Great cartoonish look
- Dungeons have plenty of variety
- Good multiplayer modes
- No checkpoints will cause plenty of angst
- Single-player mode on the short end
- That damn “Beware!” voice gets annoying fast
While the game runs a short length for a $10 title the folks at Creat Studios still have managed to make it fun in many places. With its cute cartoony look and challenging modes Labyrinth Legends has enough going for it that it’s worth giving a go-around at least once. Make sure you have a stress ball in arm’s length during the tougher levels, though, as you’ll finding yourself giving it a good squeeze when you die near the end of a level.
FINAL GRADE: 7.5 (out of ten)
Review copy provided by Scott Hyman of Creat Studios, Inc.
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