Reviewed by Thomas
- Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
- Publisher: NIS America, Inc.
- Release Date: 28/05/2019
- Price: $29.99 / £26.99
- Review code provided by NIS America
Prior to seeing any screenshots or videos of Lapis x Labyrinth, I assumed another dungeon JRPG was crawling its way onto the Nintendo Switch. As more details emerged about this unique adventure I couldn’t deny my curiosity and skepticism. Following the NISA Showcase in March of 2019 my excitement for Lapis x Labyrinth grew and my skepticism waned. Continue reading below to see if the hype for Lapis x Labyrinth paid off.
Money Money Money Money, Money
The story of Lapis x Labyrinth is pretty straight forward. A bankrupt town is in need of revitalization. Sitting atop an uncharted labyrinth of untold treasure it was bound to beckon hearty adventurers. The town flourishes the further these brave heroes delve below. Upon conquering each level, more shops open to support the growing town with added benefits to the party of explorers. The main objective is to grab as much coin and loot as possible. At times you feel like you’re in a pinball machine or more appropriate, a casino where luck is always on your side.
Dollar, Dollar, Bills Y’all
It wouldn’t be fair to stick with one label when picking a genre for Lapis x Labyrinth. Action RPG, platformer, hack and slash, side and up and down scroller? Ok, I think side-scrolling action RPG would fit best. You assemble a party of four to take on each quest. There are a total of eight classes ranging from hunter to bishop and my personal favorite, maid. Who wouldn’t want a maid alongside in a brawl who literally mops up the enemies? One of the more unique aspects to Lapis x Labyrinth is the party layout. Based on a popular Japanese dessert called dango, the party members stack atop each other. The full body of the current party leader is shown while the other members heads are stacked upward. Almost like a cute anime kebab skewer. Throughout battle you can call upon the other members to fight or switch between them on the fly. Strategically swapping party members on harder levels becomes necessary to deal with certain opponents. Combat is smooth and fun. Especially when you use the entire party to deal with a swarm of enemies covering the whole screen.
Each dungeon is made up of six areas plus a boss section. The areas have two or more floors and it takes roughly two to five minutes per floor to clear an area. This allows for gaming in short bursts for any time deprived players. Once you enter a zone, you’ll notice a treasure chest at the top of your party stack. With all the loot you’ll carry out in a single run you’ll be happy to have this chap along for the ride as it carries out all the goodies and can even revive one ally if the party falls. Battles are fast and frantic. Gold and loot fly all over the screen. Treasure chests are littered throughout. You can even accumulate massive points by triggering Fever Time. Fever Time allows you to become invincible as you thrash troves of fiends and fill your coffers. The pacing of this vibrant event is granted often enough to satisfy and reward the player but not at the sacrifice of making the game too simple. Ultimately the gameplay is fast, fun and gratifying.
The art is highly detailed and gorgeous. Each character class has their own animations and sounds. Watching your maid bash monsters with a frying pan then mopping across a row of baddies was always fun to watch. The hunter class has circular attacks which can be chained to soar around the board while the gunner can drop enemies from far away. Each dungeon is beautifully detailed and offers a lot of variety in the compact maps. Multiple enemy types pose numerous threats and look fantastic on screen. Whether playing on the television or in handheld mode, Lapis x Labyrinth is stunning. The music and sound effects add to an already complete package and cue you in to important transitions. I didn’t experience any technical issues or bugs during my time delving for loot.
Though I didn’t spend hours at a time in Lapis x Labyrinth, it is a perfect title to pick up and play in short jaunts. There is a lot of content on offer and any level of gamer can find joy in the vibrant world with flashy loot filling the screen. No matter the type of genre you enjoy, I’m positive Lapis x Labyrinth with be well worth your time and money. I have haven’t had this much fun soaking up loot and customizing my party in a long time. This gem will certainly shine at the top of my playlist for the foreseeable future.
- Loot Galore
- Colorful Character Kebabs
- Chaotic Combat