Labyrinth Legend Review: A dated and uninspired dungeon crawler

labyrinth legend review a dated and uninspired dungeon crawler
labyrinth legend review a dated and uninspired dungeon crawler

Labyrinth Legend is a seemingly interesting title but it fails to conquer due to repetitive gameplay.

 

Gaming on mobile is a profoundly different world from that on PC and console, governed by different dynamics and frequented by users accustomed to different timing and mechanisms. Labyrinth Legend was born as an experience for smartphones and tablets, and it is evident in every aspect that distinguishes it. The title landed on Switch in fact it represents a transposition of the already existing version for mobile devices, and demonstrates once more that a simple port is not enough to make such a product work in contexts other than those for which it was developed. Let’s proceed in order and review the characteristics of a production that, in the transition to the consoles, failed – in our opinion – to leave its mark.

An elementary action RPG

Labyrinth Legend is formally a top-down action RPG, which recovers some elements of the roguelike structure, using the random generation to create its levels, but without having a permanent death mechanic that forces you to start over from the beginning.

In fact, in borrowing these mechanics he makes a considerable simplification, both in terms of design and in terms of difficulty: the mazes we can venture into, which are actually procedurally generated and organized in plans with a boss ready to wait for us, do not need to be faced again. every time from the beginning, as the genre foresees, but they actually unlock progressive checkpoints. Whenever you get to the bottom of a maze or defeat the final enemy that presides over it, this milestone is saved, and we will no longer have to go back to previous plans, if not voluntarily, perhaps to increase the level of the character a little or obtain additional resources. In essence, the main feature of the genre is completely eliminated, thus transforming the procedural dynamics of the labyrinths into level design poverty. In short, the title mixes a roguelike approach to a more linear structure, giving life to a game that basically does not shine in either aspect. As a roguelike it is extremely undemanding: the dungeon crawling of the mazes immediately becomes a peaceful walk to the next checkpoint.

Not even the taste for pure exploration is able to give great value to the time spent in the dungeons, which present a continuous recycling of structures, textures and enemies, that are constantly reiterating, sometimes with the addition of a few attacks to increase the degree of challenge. Adding to this also the avalanche of weapons and armor that is thrown at us, and the possibility of enhancing them (and strengthening them) to excess, the game never really represents a challenge.

Not even the “RPG” nature, intended only as the development of the character and his equipment, manages to give depth to a rather poor play sector.

In the generic cursed village from which you cannot escape, which acts as a starting hub for the exploration of the labyrinths, we find a blacksmith, a weapons seller and a generic merchant, from whom we can buy weapons and armor and then increase their power with minerals to be crafted in the dungeons or possibly bartered with a miner present in the village. We will also have the ability to purchase upgrades at the shop, such as slots for potions, larger backpacks or even new skills for the types of weapons available.

Gameplay and storyline

The action part is all in all the most successful, albeit extremely simplistic. Slashing with the various weapons available, close and at a distance, really embodies the best part of the game, despite being structured in a poor model of playful possibilities. There are no shields, dodges or parries: you can only attack and move to get around the enemies and their assaults, a bit as if the team had turned back the clock, on a playful level, at the time of The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past.

Yet, despite everything, the feeling of the clashes in the work of Shinobi Games it is somewhat satisfying, and combined with some rather varied and in some cases even successful boss fights, it is by far the best aspect of the production.

Finally, it is a pity that there is no solid plot to support the playful scaffolding. Labyrinth Legend offers a virtually non-existent story, with characters and dialogues just sketched, unable to provide a stimulating narrative push that entices you to proceed in the adventure. The setting refers to a completely generic fantasy, without any flicker or deepening.

The motivations behind the curse that prevents the villagers from leaving are never really explored, as well as the reasons why adventurers continue to consciously choose to enter and get stuck, except with the banal justification of the presence of priceless treasures. . An almost untold story, and which in any case has little to tell.

 

Labyrinth Legend
Labyrinth LegendNintendo Switch Analyzed VersionLabyrinth Legend’s conversion to Nintendo Switch does nothing but show the limits of a product designed for the mobile market. In fact, we are faced with an action RPG hybridized with roguelike elements with little playful and narrative depth, whose progression becomes monotonous and repetitive already after the first stages of the game.