Last Labyrinth is the first game from a group of seasoned developers who decided to try something interesting on the PSVR. The result is puzzle driven gameplay that hits the extremes of frustrating and easy with dire consequences for failure. That overall gameplay is good, but the narrative and structure are the most puzzling parts of this game.
The story starts with you waking up and finding yourself handcuffed to a wheelchair. Your only company is a young girl who speaks in a language you cannot understand. As she pushes you from room to room, you will direct her to perform tasks such as push switches and move items to solve puzzles. Despite our language barrier, she communicates emotions very well, and her animations are good. Even for all her “conversations” with me, I wasn’t able to connect with her.
The controls are thankfully simple. You can use the laser pointer attached to your head to point out places you want for her to go or tasks you want her to perform. She will point to some objects and ask if you want her to do something. You can shake your head up and down for “yes” or side to side for “no”.
I used the PS Move controllers, and, although you are required to have two connected, I only used one for 99% of all interactions. (You can use a DualShock 4 controller as well.) If she was blocking a puzzle or clue, I could shake the other controller to make her come closer to the chair and out of my line of sight. There is a slight delay to recharge after you use the laser pointer, which is probably good, but it felt like I had to tell her to do something more than once.
The puzzles are the core of the gameplay. I’m an average puzzler on my very best day, and I found some of them really challenging. On a scale puzzle, I was writing equations on my trusty legal pad outside the game to find the right substitution for weights. It was straightforward, but the hints for other puzzles were more obscure or only showed up after you failed. Another puzzle gave you zero hints, and I was trying everything before something worked.
Last Labyrinth punishes failure with death, and it’s spectacular. Every puzzle room had an ingenious way to kill you and your young companion. In one room, you helplessly watch as machines move a guillotine to give you a final cut. Another room has giant spinning, spiked columns that grind you into bits as you fade to black. You will also meet your end by living things too. The game is not gory, but it doesn’t pull punches either. It made some of my failures sting a little less because I was curious to see how the developers would kill me this time.
If you are looking for a story in Last Labyrinth, you’ll need to work hard to find it. After solving a puzzle room or two, you’ll see a story fragment of you outside the mansion. I think there is a lot of symbolism for you to parse and create your own ideas of what it’s supposed to mean, but that’s not for me. After seeing many endings and watching the credits play again and again, I can’t string together a cohesive narrative that actually gives an answer for all the times I said “Why?”. There are tense and interesting scenes such as a recurring game of Russian roulette over what looks to be a child’s game, but I can only guess at the truth.
The structure of the events and story are not necessarily in sequence, or at least I don’t think they are. If you want to see everything, you’re going to need to replay the game and choose to go through a different door to a different puzzle to a different ending. The game will put you back into some old rooms with new items, but there’s going to be some backtracking through puzzles you had already solved.
It would have been a lot better to have the puzzles and narrative be linear, even if that narrative still confused a less literary and symbolic guy like me. It takes away some of the player interpretation, but it doesn’t seem to have a solid reason to be structured this way. After I overcome the initial challenge, replayability in a puzzle game doesn’t interest me at all.
If you play Last Labyrinth for the puzzles, it’s good, even if it can be a little stingy on the clues at times. Its traps for failing those puzzles are great and are my favorite part of the game. If you play it for the story, I think you’ll be disappointed, and it may be trying to be too smart and obscure for its own good.
Last Labyrinth PSVR Review
Overall - Not Bad - 5/10
Although Last Labyrinth has some good puzzles and creative ways to punish you for failing them, the jumbled narrative, lack of clues for some of the puzzles, and need for replayability keep it from reaching its true potential.
- Variety of puzzles
- Creative ways to die after failing a puzzle
- Young girl is well animated
- The narrative is left to the player to piece together
- Some puzzles need a clue
- Disjointed structure
- Replayability is not fun in a puzzle game
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using PS4 Pro.
For more VR reviews, be sure to check out our Reviews section, as well as our friends over on VR Game Critic.
Also available on:
Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality, HTC Vive, Vive Index
November 13th, 2019 (All supported platforms)