icon Author: Alexkayl
Labyrinthatory Review

Beyond the unfathomable name of Labyrinthatory lies a charming puzzle adventure with emphasis on everything that involves using your brain. The pixel art and retro warmth may not be the most accurate or eye-catching that you will ever see, but when it comes to what matters, the puzzles, this is a game that delivers in spades. Prepare yourself for some head-scratching and mental exercising, a delight for fans of the genre.

Puzzles From Beyond the Grave

The adventure springs to life as your uncle, inventor Steven Wernicke, passed away. During the funeral, Roxanne – the player character – gets a strange invitation to find a place filled with puzzles and solve the inherent mystery. Since there’s no way of passing out on this offer, Roxanne starts her journey through over 80 unique puzzles with countless variations.

Designed in the style of an RPG straight out of an 8-bit console, Labyrinthatory sees you controlling Roxanne through fairly contained areas crammed with puzzles of different types. From trivia to logic, math, reaction time, scouring the area for clues, or even the most complex requiring you to grab pen and paper to take notes, it’s normal and expected to be stomped by a certain puzzle every once in a while – the great thing is that you often have several options in front of you, allowing for some breathing and to move to another challenges instead of facing that roadblock and letting frustration overwhelm. Tips can be used in most puzzles in case you really can’t work your way around them, but these are limited to a certain type of item that you pick up.

Puzzles come in different difficulty levels, but your aim is to beat them in normal mode and reap the rewards, leaving the hard and super hard for later, just for fun – if that’s the appropriate word. You will recognize some popular challenges and variations, from anagrams to sudoku, even the crossing the river on a raft one. There’s a vast display here and the game did keep surprising me with varied options, making it feel fresh in spite of the subject matter.

Between puzzles, Roxanne will navigate the areas in search of keys and batteries, which allow her to unlock further locations. Opening gates, paying close attention to the surroundings, finding subtle hints that give you the answer to certain trivia and so on, there’s a lot going on behind the deceitful tranquility of each place, along with some humor that is of the hit or miss kind. Occasionally you’ll find some vending machines where you can use the many coins you pick up, purchasing items allowing you to pass through some obstacles, such as a sledgehammer to tear down walls, or a scuba gear to breathe underwater.

Despite the retro charm, Labyrinthatory can’t shake the worrisome feeling of a low budget production, and it could do with some polish and more exciting visual design. The maps are on the simple side, almost leaning to the stock graphics side of things, showing a bit of amateurism in this regard. The same goes for the puzzle UI which is raw, somewhat confusing at first even though there’s a nice tutorial showing us the essential steps, but the visual appeal really isn’t the highlight of the game. Thankfully, in terms of functionality and mechanics, they couldn’t be any easier, never getting in the way of the process of identifying the solution.

One thing that I can’t quite wrap my head around is the odd selection of noises that are supposed to represent a character’s dialogue. Particularly annoying is Roxanne’s constant moaning, a jarring oddity that made me wish there was an option to deactivate this altogether. On another occasion, the game suddenly went silent, no music or sound effects out of the blue.

Brain Food

First impressions on Labyrinthatory may not be terribly exciting, but as you uncover the first puzzles and find your way into the larger locations, things open up and the amount of challenges ahead of you are enticing and healthy nutrition for the brain. This is not a game for anyone looking to capture the essence or the graphics of retro RPGs; instead, it’s a succession of mind teasers smartly disguised as an adventure, and surely a great way to spend a few hours while taking a break from the umpteenth battle royale game.

Come for the puzzles, forget the outdated visuals and interface. Flawed as it may be, Labyrinthatory is more user-friendly than appealing to the eye, and a few minutes per day solving enigmas may give you the sense of reward and achievement that you just needed to get your mind in the right place.


  • Dozens of puzzles of varied types
  • There’s an adventure tying the riddles together
  • UI is practical…


  • … But very raw and unappealing
  • Graphics swing between retro charm and low-budget effort
  • The text sounds are extremely annoying

Rating: 6/10

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