Due to shoddy collision detection and a dearth of content, this Labyrinth just isn't worth solving.
- Tilting mechanic is kind of interesting, if a bit unoriginal.
- Collision detection problems abound
- Single-player is over before you know it
- Bland presentation
- Multiplayer is dull.
All the mall goths of the world can just go ahead and settle down: This isn't a new video game based on that goofy David Bowie movie from 1986. It's just a generic and crummy puzzle game that's heavily based on a wicked obscure Taito arcade game called Cameltry. In the game, you navigate a perpetually falling ball through one of several mazelike worlds by rotating the scenery. A few of the puzzles are legitimately interesting, and there's four-player single-card multiplayer. But you can breeze through this game if you're dedicated enough, and frequent collision issues make that sort of dedication nearly impossible.
Gameplay is very straightforward. You can use either the D pad or the DS's shoulder buttons to rotate a given stage in either direction. The idea is to keep your ball moving through the level and get it to the goal at the end before time runs out. Along the way, a variety of obstacles aim to screw you up, including blocks that cost you time when you touch them, blocks that hang you up, arrows that start pushing you in the wrong direction, and the like. You can push past some of these obstacles using a spin button that breaks certain blocks and lets you move through the arrows. But beyond that, the game is all about tilting, tilting, tilting until you figure out the various mazes.
Figuring out the mazes isn't usually the tough part. The level designs are all reasonably straightforward, and while a few provide a bit of brain twisting, it's rare to get hung up for more than a couple of tries on any individual level. The only thing that makes the game legitimately frustrating at all is an issue with the game's collision detection. There are times when your ball will simply get hung up on a block or section of the scenery, and no matter how much you tilt, you just can't seem to get it off there without turning the whole thing upside down...only to get it stuck again the next time you try to pass through that section. Because you're on a timer, these lengthy hang-ups are a real pain. There are also sections where you'll be banging away on the spin button to bust through some blocks, but they just won't break for whatever reason--even when you spin around to try to get some momentum on the hit.
In some capacity, those moments of frustration are almost welcome because they pad out the experience a bit. As long as you don't run into any serious issues, you can beat the single-player in perhaps an hour or two at most. There's some motivation to go back to certain stages to unlock new ball designs, but that's about it. Given the frustrations of the collision detection, that motivation is slight--at best.
At least there's a multiplayer mode, albeit a somewhat uneventful one. Up to four players can play on a single card, and the mode itself is simply a race to get your ball to the finish line first. The game randomly selects levels, and there's no real score tracking in the mode. Someone wins, you start up another race, someone wins that one, and so on and so forth. It's nice that the mode is there, but it's unlikely that anyone will enjoy it for especially long.
Presentation is another point of contention. The graphics are bland as bland can be, with stages that are primarily gray, brown, or a combination of the two. There's almost nothing in the way of visual effects or tricks to try to spice things up as you spin around. Sure, there are some different ball designs and colors, but that hardly makes up for the dull level designs. Audio is merely some overly cheery music combined with clicks and clacks of balls hitting stuff, while the occasional voice sample of some infuriatingly enthusiastic Japanese girl shrieks at you to let you know if you won or failed.
Again, Labyrinth's tilt-based gameplay is sort of interesting, but the collision issues and the fact that you'll basically be done with it after an hour or so suck away whatever appeal existed in the game design. The DS is rich beyond imagination with far better and more interesting puzzle games than this one. Stick with those.