Adventure Labyrinth Story - Deep Look

Not Enough Time at the Bar
by Sam Wachter

Adventure Labyrinth Story
Platform: 3DS
Developer: Rideon Japan
Publisher: Circle Entertainment
Release Date: 07.21.2016 (EU) / 09.01.2016 (US)
" While Adventure Labyrinth Story isn't going to turn any heads, it is a fun little game to take on the go, but it's not without some glaring faults. "
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   Circle Entertainment has been publishing some great budget titles as of late. One such game is Adventure Labyrinth Story, a sidestory in the Adventure Bar Story universe. While roguelikes RPGs tend to offer intense challenge, they often aren't the greatest for pick-up and play scenarios, or aren't on handhelds enough. While Adventure Labyrinth Story isn't going to turn any heads, it is a fun little game to take on the go, but it's not without some glaring faults.

   Adventure Labyrinth Story doesn't have much of a narrative to speak of — players are tasked with going into the mysterious dungeon in search of royals and riches. Throughout the dungeon, the player can find new weapons, accessories, and cooking ingredients (although who'd want to touch those considering how long they've been down there? Ick.). Much like its sister game, Adventure Bar Story, outside of the dungeon delving, players can cook ingredients found, create recipes and bring one of these creations into their next dungeon run. However, herein lies the first problem: while Adventure Bar Story allowed cooked items to grant stat bonuses or give extra experience points, in Labyrinth the only thing food does is allows for the player character to feel fuller and have slightly more stamina. It also doesn't last very long either. Since bread is plentiful, however, this seems quite redundant, and it's disappointing that they didn't keep the system that was present in Adventure Bar Story — though admittedly that system likes to reward players, something roguelikes are not keen on.

   Movement and combat are completely turn-based, as each step brings enemies closer to the player. Leveling up happens when an enemy is defeated, and equipment is randomly generated. In fact, randomly generated equipment and items are a large part of this game, for better or worse. On some runs players will have better equipment than others and it's purely based on luck. If the player dies, they are sent back to the bar to recover, and all their gold, items, and equipment are lost in the process, while players are reverted back to level one. Escape Ropes do exist to help players duck out of the dungeon early, which means those items found in the dungeon can be kept. The problem is knowing when to use them. That being said, Adventure Labyrinth Story tries to maintain the feeling that every dungeon run should feel fresh each time, and while the game isn't punishing, it's not the most dynamic either.

   In fact, even though it's a fun game to play on the go, the overall package is fairly bland. For hardcore rogue fans the game will be way too simplistic, and for newcomers it suffers from being too classic, with no bells or whistles to make it stand out in a crowd. Frankly, there's nothing special about Adventure Labyrinth Story, especially when you compare it to how refreshing Adventure Bar Story was. However, this game does provide that feeling of "just one more run" and it was great to play on my commutes to and from work, though I never felt the itch to make it to the final area or unlock the bonus dungeon.

    Adventure Labyrinth Story is a hard game to recommend. On the one hand, you get a lot of value out of it being a budget title, on the other hand, if you aren't big into roguelikes this game won't feel very fun for you. On a whole the game feels like such a hollow effort compared to the charm that is Adventure Bar Story, and it's a shame given Circle's track record for sharing some fun budget titles. I wanted to like Adventure Labyrinth Story so much but in the end it's just too plain and uninspired to make it worth a recommendation.

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