Puzzle Labyrinth (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Camilo Aránguiz González 19.08.2016

Review for Puzzle Labyrinth on Nintendo 3DS

Puzzle Labyrinth has an interesting idea behind it: mixing dungeon crawler mechanics with room escape/puzzle gameplay. Coming from Circle Entertainment - a publisher of numerous Nintendo handheld titles - is this a great enough idea that it has developed into a good game? Cubed3 finds out.

Dungeon crawler, puzzle and room escape games aren't exactly scarce in the 3DS library. The first interesting aspect of Puzzle Labyrinth, though, is the blending of those three genres in one game. That blending is the whole game: the player has to confront sixty stages where the protagonist is trapped in a room, and has to use brains to get out.

The first stages are entertaining enough because of these mechanics, which are fairly fun: following the instructions, finding one or two items exploring the small dungeon, uncovering the trick of using them and exiting the level. Pretty basic and approachable, while being rewarding enough. The presentation is nice, with good-looking - but very few - character models, the interface is intuitive, and a catchy track for the levels will have the player excited while he or she's deciphering the stage's answer.

Sadly, those are the only interesting aspects of the game. After the first stages, the puzzles start to become very strange and capricious. The items have weird uses and the objectives are baseless. Why would giving a recently cooked fish to a gargoyle open a door? Why are dragons sometimes nice and sometimes attack the character? There're too many questions like these, giving the feeling that the puzzles were designed by a child with too much imagination.

Screenshot for Puzzle Labyrinth on Nintendo 3DS

After playing a while, the presentation becomes extremely repetitive and unappealing. The character models are just palette swaps, the environment is always exactly the same, and the catchy song of the levels slowly turns into an annoying track. Thus, after some levels passed, the - at best - decent presentation, which had the task of keeping the player interested in the game - besides its own determination - considering the lack of plot, fades into a monotonous and unpleasant surrounding.

Correspondingly, the gameplay starts, at the same time, to become unpredictable and frustrating because of the aforementioned lack of intuitive direction, which builds an overall sensation of instability. The hints scattered on the stages don't do their basic job of helping, either, making the acceptable experience to decay furiously fast.

All in all, Puzzle Labyrinth fails without question in the execution of a good idea. Its lack of a lasting appealing presentation, plot, properly directed puzzles, and good level design, makes its charm vanish quickly.

Screenshot for Puzzle Labyrinth on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

Puzzle Labyrinth's only redeeming aspect is its idea of combining genres. The presentation is dull, and the direction is too disjointed and arbitrary, which makes the experience fade quickly into a frustrating and unattractive one.

Developer

Circle

Publisher

Circle

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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