Labyrinth Legend – Review
Follow Genre: Roguelike, dungeon crawler
Developer: Shinobi Games
Publisher: NIS America
Platform: PC, Switch, Android
Tested on: PC

Labyrinth Legend – Review

Site Score
Good: Streamlined gameplay experience
Bad: Underwhelming pixel art visuals
User Score
(2 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Few publishers are pumping out new games at the same rate as NIS America. It seems like only yesterday since we reviewed BLUE REFLECTION: Second Light, and already a new game is waiting for our honest opinion. Typically, NIS releases feature scantily clad anime girls but occasionally the publisher strays away from this selling point to deliver a completely different experience. Labyrinth Legend falls in the latter category, offering an old-school roguelike dungeon crawling experience. Join us as we delve into the labyrinth to see what the game is like.


Upon booting up the game for the first time, a text crawl greets players, providing them with all the exposition they need to understand what is going on. Labyrinth Legend takes place in the fantasy kingdom of Kanata, a place that has to deal with a rather nasty labyrinth, located next to a small village. The evil queen of Kanata has placed a curse on the inhabitants of the village: they can only leave the village to enter the labyrinth, and are unable to go anywhere else. The logical decision would be to stay away from the village then, of course, but the promise of treasure lures would-be adventurers to the labyrinth anyway. One such adventurer is the unnamed player character, a silent protagonist, who finds himself with nothing better to do than to take on the challenge of the labyrinth. Should our brave hero defeat the labyrinth, then the curse is lifted and the villagers are free again.


Compared to other NIS releases, Labyrinth Legend looks a bit underwhelming. Art direction is typically one of NIS’ stronger suits, although they might tend to focus slightly too much on enticing players by putting attractive female characters front and center in their marketing material. That’s not the case at all here, however, with Labyrinth Legend employing a pixel art aesthetic. It works for what the game wants to be, although we feel like the pixel art style is overdone in 2022. The character sprite customization options could have been fleshed out a lot more as well. Additionally, character walking animations don’t look all that convincing, adding a feeling of sluggishness to moving the protagonist around. The bland colors of the visuals and lack of overall detail hurt the game’s appeal more than help them. We wouldn’t be surprised that the game doesn’t quite reach its intended audience simply because the graphics don’t stand out enough.


Contrasting with the bland visuals is the game’s music, which is vibrant and catchy. The audio quality is crisp and really makes the OST pop. As the game lacks voice acting and relies on ambient sound effects for the rest of its soundscape, the music really takes the front stage here. Thankfully, what’s present here musically is really good -our personal favorite is the game’s boss theme- and compensates for the bare sound design elsewhere.


With Labyrinth Legend, Shinobi Games presents players with a modern take on the well-established dungeon crawler genre. Players take on a series of increasingly difficult randomly generated dungeons with a character that they create themselves. With different classes available to choose from, each of which with its own attack style, it’s fair to say that Labyrinth Legend has a decent amount of replay potential. Of course, before you’re looking at how replayable a game is, you need to make sure that the core gameplay loop is worth playing to begin with, but thankfully, Labyrinth Legend delivers on that part, and how!

Gameplay is divided into two distinct sections. The meatier part of the gameplay lies in the dungeon crawling of course. The titular labyrinth is presented as a series of dungeons, filled with enemies and treasure chests containing money and equipment. Once you’re in a dungeon, you’ll need to track down a specific monster that carries the key to the next floor. Beat it, get the key and move to the next floor, rinse and repeat. Because dungeons are randomly generated, every dungeon run feels somewhat fresh, though the core gameplay loop can get a little repetitive. Given that Labyrinth Legend is a fairly short title, it’s best suited for short pick-up-and-play bursts rather than lengthy gaming sessions. It helps that the game’s controls are fairly simple, so even if you take an extended break from Labyrinth Legend for a month or so, things will instantly feel familiar when you return.

Where Labyrinth Legend sets itself apart from other dungeon crawlers is in the depth of its secondary gameplay section, which is set between dungeon crawls. After successfully completing a dungeon -which typically involves killing a massive boss- you’ll return to the village near the labyrinth, which serves as a hub area. Here, you’ll interact with the villagers, improve your equipment through crafting, upgrade your items, and are even able to travel to a separate island where you can tame monsters, which can then join you as companions in battle. Combine this with the sheer amount of weapon types, which include everything from a bog-standard sword to whips and boomerangs, and you’ve got a game that you can easily bend to fit your personal playstyle.

Given that Labyrinth Legend has been out on Steam for almost two years, and is significantly cheaper over there, it’s logical to wonder whether or not the Switch port is worth it. The answer to that is a resounding yes. Not only is the Switch version a fantastic port, with tight controls and buttery smooth performance, but it also features a slew of additional content, including a brand new dungeon and an additional player class, the Nightcrawler. Add to this that the game offers a co-op mode, and you’ve got a title that offers a very attractive package for its price. The final ace in the hole is the portability factor, of course, as Labyrinth Legend feels like a perfect fit for your daily commute or during a short break, rather than having to boot up your PC for a twenty-minute dungeon crawl.

All the gameplay elements add up to a roguelike dungeon crawler that is easy to get to grips with but that provides plenty of strategic options and gameplay depth to sink your teeth into. There is an elegance to how the game’s different elements are handled as well: the game eases players into its different mechanics without feeling overwhelming, and it doesn’t push any unnecessary or overcomplicated gimmicks. Instead, you’re getting a very streamlined gameplay experience that provides players with a satisfying feeling of progress, regardless of the difficulty level chosen. Labyrinth Legend isn’t going to blow the mind of anyone that’s ever played a dungeon crawler, as it isn’t innovative enough for that. That said, what it does bring to the table is a well-crafted and fun game that knows what it’s doing.


Although Labyrinth Legend doesn’t fit the mold of previous NIS releases we’ve taken a look at, we were still happy with what ended up on our plate. The game might not bring anything new to the table, but developer Shinobi Games knows exactly what it is doing. Labyrinth Legend provides players with a streamlined experience that is very easy to get to grips with for newcomers, yet provides plenty of tactical challenges for veterans of the genre. The only real complaint we have is that the visuals are a bit underwhelming, but the solid gameplay more than makes up for that in the end.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Labyrinth Legend - Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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