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NDS: Deep Labyrinth


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Deep Labyrinth

Deep Labyrinth is a first person dungeon crawler for the DS with full
touchscreen control presented in 3D engine, it comes with two "games" built
in, an adventure targeted at kids and a more sinister and difficult one.

Presentation/graphics 6

Being in full 3D won´t save this one, the open grounds are
enclosed, at the maze the wall, floor, ceiling and door textures keep repeating themselves, there´s not much enemy variety aside from different colorings and the draw distance is way too close giving you fog even in a small four walled room with no enemies in it.

All the presentation seems rushed or worst, homebrewed, the menus are ugly,
there´s a reticule that aside from ugly is pointless, the magics lack polish and
"woomp", the entire game lacks polish by the way, even the FMV in the beggining leaves you wanting a better treatment.

I gotta hand it down to the bosses though, they stretch themselves on both screens being both menacing and good looking but they side with the regular enemies when it comes to dying, all enemies have no death
animation at all, they go about their business till they blink to death.

Music/sound effects 7

The songs are nice with a medieval fantasy ring to them besides the extremely
annoying NPC song, you see, every time you encounter an NPC, any NPC, the same small song plays over and over till you toos yor DS out from a window, there´s nothing wrong with the sound effects and nothing particularly good as well.

Gameplay 6

You move yourself wtih the D pad or the buttons
for the lefties and use the touchscreen to tap icons to change
from sword to magic, pocket or shield.

The sword movement follows the movements you do on the touchscreen,
nice but only a gimmick since it has no combos, enhanced damage or anything
that will make you do movements instead of tapping the baddies.

The magics are the same as "Tao adventure" or "Lost Magic",
you´ll get a grid to draw your magics in realtime but
the fact is that whether you have the baddie "locked on" by tapping
on him once from a set distance or you have to center it with the grid
and it is not very easy with the PS1 Tomb Raider like controls it got.

Drawing said magics are also a pain, you see, you don´t get a form to draw,
you get a form created over parts of each component of the grid, so even if
the overall form is correct if you didn´t nailed all the little squares, you miscast.

The shield is meaningless since all you have to do is get a "lock on"
and sidestep yourself around the enemy slicing till the death of it,
i haven´t seen a single time i thought, "God, i wish i had a shield now."

The pocket is kinda like the belt of the "Diablo" series but way
slower since you have to tap it´s icon, rendering you defenseless,
and than tap the item you previously set there, yes set it beforehand
because you may not tamper with your inventory while fighting.

Aside from this clunky gameplay mechanics, the game consists in going into room after room with the same decoration till you find a key that will lead you to another room previously locked, a "room" is a map that fits
the upper screen, all maps have a number of exits, some are doors to other rooms, some lead to learning a magic that is required to open a door,
some to keys to open doors and some to your dog that find leads
to magics or keys that open doors, a nice addittion are
small puzzles required to open some doors and shouting or
blowing on the mic helps open doors that could not be opened otherwise.

Now talk repetitive.

DS factor 9

As said before, it uses the touchscreen as the main interface of the game,
you may also blow or scream into the mic to clear some puzzles.

Learning curve 6

As all highly touchscreen dependant games it may
take a while for you to master it, though i highly doubt you´ll want to.

Lasting appeal/game modes 7

Two games in one, Woo-hoot!
Seriously, there are the two campaigns but they are
very brief and after that you prolly will never play it again.

Final considerations

A good idea and a poor execution, the way it is now,
Deep Labyrinth passes as a good demo or a very elaborate homebrew,
Clunky controls, repetitive gameplay and a cliched story makes this one
a rental to kill out you curiosity, nothing more.

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