Puzzle Labyrinth is a very bare bones puzzle game.
There isn’t anything flashy in the Nintendo 3DS eShop game. Like sitting down to do a crossword or a Sudoku puzzle, this game feels the same way. Each puzzle is independent of the rest in the book and can really be done in any order. There is no connecting story to bridge the puzzles together and no character narrative to bring you from one to the next. It’s just puzzles, but set up with deductive logic and set in a three dimensional environment.
Puzzle Labyrinth has sixty stages to play through, with twenty unlocked at the start of the game. Well, they’re not entirely unlocked. Actually they’re all locked. Let me explain. When the game starts you are given five keys to unlock puzzles, and you get to choose from the first twenty available. You can choose any ones you’d like, though of course starting with the first few make the most sense as these will introduce you to the different puzzle elements.
The goal in each puzzle is to escape, plain and simple. When you start a level the door will lock behind you and you can only escape once you fulfill a requirement laid out for you on the plaque on the wall. You’ll need to explore each labyrinth and literally read the writing on the walls to figure it out. And even this can be kind of difficult to do.
To make the level more challenging the text written on the walls is cryptic. You’ll have to not only figure out what to do, but also what the clues really mean. While some of them can be fairly straight forward, others may only give you a series of numbers or a bit of poetry. Some levels can really leave you scratching your head.
But that can be good. No one likes a puzzle that is too easy to solve. Where’s the fun in that.
Moving around in the labyrinth is done with the directional pad, with the circle pad used to select from items you’ve found in order to use them. And like the classic point and click adventure games, you can press the (A) button at any time to check or interact with your surroundings. Also in many of the levels are monsters, however the goal of the level isn’t always to fight them. They may also ask you for favours where the correct course of action might be to flee or give them an object you’ve found.
After you complete a set number of puzzles another twenty will unlock until the full sixty are available. Each completed level will also grant you a key, thus allowing you to challenge even more labyrinths.
The music in the game is catchy and reminds me a lot of Parascientific Escape: Cruise in the Distant Sea. The 3D visuals in the game are also very well done, as are the monster designs and animations.
Overall Puzzle Labyrinth is a fun little puzzle game, however really challenging at times. If you’re looking to be stumped and have a love-hate time as you try to figure it out this is definitely worth checking out.