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Labyrinthine (Early Access) Review

Valko Game Studios

Survival horror games used to be practically ever-present. Inspired by the likes of the Outlast and Amnesia series of games (as well as Resident Evil for all of the zombie-lovers out there), people were excited to get the bejesus scared out of them as they played this games, or watched others play them. Since games such as Amnesia: The Dark Decent were a little too tension-inducing for me to personally play, I’ll admit right off the bat that I was part of the latter group.

Perhaps because people spend more time indoors more these days and so survival horror games seem to be on a resurgence once again. While more mainstream fare has been offered in the form of Frictional Games’ Amnesia: Rebirth, dark horse indie titles have grabbed some of the spotlight as well, such as Kinetic Games with Phasmophobia. One of the main differences between these two games is that while the former is strictly a solo experience, Phasmophobia allows you to get freaked out while playing it with friends.

Labyrinthine – Dev Blog #11 - Valko Game Studios

Co-op survival horror games haven’t always been that common to find, but hot on the heels of Phasmophobia is another cooperative diamond in the rough; Valko Game Studios’ Labyrinthine. Just as its title would suggest, players must make it through a large walking maze. As you navigate through the tall, sculpted hedges, you’ll come across little notes left here and there and find out more about the lore of the place, as well as clues that can help you find your way out of the maze.

My very first game of Labyrinthine consisted of joining a three-person server and spawning in right outside of the maze’s confines. Through the darkness that loomed over the first footpath (this is a very dark game) I could see the other players since they were all holding light sources, such as flashlights and lamps. So, I grabbed a nearby electric lamp and joined up with them. The game does feature a built-in voip system and I attempted to speak to the others so that they could bring me up to speed on things, but for some reason they didn’t reply. Either they didn’t have mics, didn’t feel like talking, or perhaps I had a technical error on my part.

Labyrinthine - Dev Blog #1 - Valko Game Studios

We did manage to find some items that fit into a metal table and thereby opened a series of large iron gates. Soon after that we realized that we’d unleashed some type of malevolent entity. It sort of resembled a demonic witch-looking thing and made some very disquieting moans and growling noises as it lurched around through the darkness at us. There are other entities that are equally creepy but I’ll just leave that for people to discover on their own.

As we navigated further throughout the maze, the puzzles that we were presented with became more and more difficult to figure out. This was partially due to the fact that we couldn’t talk to each other about them (I’ll make sure to get on Discord next time until I figure out what is wrong with the game’s voip). I did have a lot of fun getting lost among the hedges and trying to hide from the game’s monsters—all the while trying to collect clues and solve puzzles.

Labyrinthine – Dev Blog #11 - Valko Game Studios

Since Labyrinthine is currently in its Early Access phase there are (understandably) a few bugs present. But the game is fully-functional right now and quite capable of entertaining those with brave souls. While it does have a few jump scares, they are organic and not of the cheap variety I see in other games within the survival horror genre. It’s also only $9.99 so is a good deal for the amount of content on offer. In all, I’m excited to see how Labyrinthine develops further down the line and will be keeping an eye on it.

RATING: 8.2/10

Labyrinthine has some pretty good looking graphics that make its survival horror gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:

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