Lapis X Labyrinth nails its combat loop and reward system to provide a dungeon-crawler that both veterans and newcomers will adore. Minor technical hiccups could do with being fixed, but otherwise this fully deserves a place on your Switch.
Nippon Ichi Software has hit a great formula that avoids the worst excesses of repetition or frustration. An addictive mix of 2D exploration and combat, Lapis x Labyrinth is a cavalcade of colour and complex systems that doesn’t outstay its welcome through a sizeable 20-hour campaign.
Set in a small city that has long been forgotten, Lapis X Labyrinth is a 2D side scrolling dungeon delver. You control a party of four adventures that has accepted the invitation to explore the dungeons under the city that have been long abandoned. Treasures are waiting to be found and will help bring the city back to its former days of glory. Let’s dive right in to find out what lies ahead!
As stated above, Lapis X Labyrinth is a dungeon crawler where you are sent out to find as much treasure as you can. What is unique about this game when compared to other dungeon crawlers is that your party that you create has all the characters stacked on top of one another. The bottom character is the “leader” and you control their actions. However, you have the ability to send out any of the party members to do attacks that will help you on your quest, or you can build up your party’s special attack to do more damage. But be careful, leaving one behind could cause them to take damage and die. There is strength in numbers and in Lapis X Labyrinth, the farther you go into the dungeon, the more likely you’ll need your entire team.
You can create up to eight different classes (but are only able to take up to 4 with you into the dungeon). Each character has their own unique ability and unique equipment that they can wear. The different classes are as follows: hunter, necromancer, shielder, maid, gunner, witch, destroyer, and bishop. When you create a new character, you have the option of giving them a name and doing some modification (albeit minor) to the characters.
After you complete a very short tutorial, you’ll be able to create your party. Once your party is established, you need to go and get a quest from the quest board. The quest board is more of a level selection - each level will have several different sub-levels and then a final boss in that level. The level will show what the suggested level your characters should be, but that is just to be used as a guide. You could go back to previous levels and grind until you reach the desired level, but that isn’t really necessary. With the proper loot and equipment, you should be able to complete levels that are much higher than your current rank.
And there is a lot of loot in this game. Each dive into the dungeon you’ll come across treasure chests which will contain weapons, armor, or artifacts. You accumulate gold and gems as well which are used to purchase different items in the city. As you continue your quest for treasure and continue to defeat enemies found in the dungeons, you will build up to a “fever”, which makes you invincible. When you are in fever mode, the music changes, the game becomes more colorful, and gems explode everywhere with each monster defeated. During our interview with Erin Kim from NIS America, she stated that the developers wanted you to feel like you won the jackpot when you are in fever mode, and that’s exactly how it feels. It’s so satisfying watching all the gems explode and seeing your treasure combo go up (the amount of treasure collected without getting hit). And with all the crazy action that is going on in the game, not once was there ever a performance issue.
After you complete a level, you will be given a rank. You get a number of keys depending on the rank you get. You use the keys to open up treasure chests which also contain artifacts, weapons, and armor. The more powerful items require more keys, so the higher your rank, the better equipment you can get in the chests.
The progression of the game is handled by unlocking different stores as you advance through the game. The game really opens up after you unlock the blacksmith which allows you to create different enhancements that you can add to the loot that you find in the dungeons. Once the blacksmith is unlocked, you can take some of those ultra rare items found in the dungeon and make them into some really powerful weapons and armor that allow you to take on dungeons that are much higher levels than your current level.
As mentioned earlier, you earn a treasure combo by collecting, you guessed it, treasure. The more treasure you get without getting hit by a monster the higher your combo, which seems to play into the rank you get at the end of the level, although it isn’t entirely clear what all plays into your rank. There are times though that you just can’t avoid being hit by an enemy, especially in the cases where you can tell that there is a trigger event that will cause the enemies to spawn, and you can’t avoid having the enemies spawn right on top of you - at times you just walk right into a spawning character. While this isn’t a game breaking issue, it is annoying when you have a really high treasure combo and then an enemy spawns right on top of your location.
Im totaly surprised by Lapis x Labyrinth. I wasnt so sure about what i should expect from it. I went into it without readong that much reviews. All I was sure about was: its a looting game. And hell i have fun with it. It has an awesome flow. But its totaly a niche game. If your into strange concepts and looter - go for it!
Despite the absence of a multiplayer mode, Lapis x Labyrinth is an original and colorful dungeon crawler that will delight all those who enjoy defeating hordes of enemies while creating a powerful team of adventurers.
If the thrill of collecting loot and the joy of upgrading your party is enough for you, then definitely make sure Lapis x Labyrinth is on your radar. If you hope for a little depth in terms of narrative development and refined combat, you won’t find it here. But you will find a lot of chaotic fun. With its bite-sized levels and constant rewards, it’s the perfect game to pick up and play in short bursts on Nintendo Switch.
Loot-driven action RPGs can find themselves in a pattern of being repetitive, relying on the desire for the next shiny piece of armor to keep players engaged. Lapis x Labyrinth certainly falls into that category, but unfortunately despite the huge number of items you earn, many tend to be downgrades. However, the diversity in each character type works to its advantage, promoting mixing and matching party members to help reduce the feeling of grinding in this outrageously stylistic 2D Action RPG.
It’s fun, but I’m not sure how much I’ll come back to it. The repetition can’t be avoided when playing for any real length, both in gameplay and level design. Lapis x Labyrinth has too many concerns that prevent me from giving it a broad recommendation at $29.99. But I can’t deny that it offers some short-term, if shallow, fun, so bookmark this one for a future sale if it sounds interesting to you.
Way too repetitive and dull in its level design and gameplay mechanics, Lapis x Labyrinth fails to be as engaging as it looks. So unless you're a loot-addict, this dungeon-crawler from Nippon Ichi Software is not worth the try.
Lapis Labyrinth is a flashy, bashy, rogue-like, loot-rush type of game that's filled with endless delicious eye candy.
The repetitiveness & simplicity of it many have touched on, in my opinion is actually its beauty; you can just turn on the game, jump in the dungeon, and get a bright, flashy, beautiful light show filled with cute, intense, colorful anime-esque gameplay that is extremely satisfying & even orgasmic in a total sensory overload type of way.
My only two dislikes is that during the fever mode, the game tends to get a little laggy so that kinda kills the vibe [maybe this is a Switch issue]; and also I wish they made a simple Dash/Dodge button ala Dead Cells so you can avoid those PESKY FIREBALLS & other simple, easily avoidable enemy attacks. But other than that, I would definitely recommend this game to someone who likes games with heavy eye candy & sensory overload, are quick & to the point without a whole lotta fluff, and even someone who enjoys the feeling of collecting ridiculously large amounts of loot & beating the crap out of large hordes of bad guys with your leveled up, customized cute-as-hell killing machines, i mean, characters..
8 out of 10 :a little laggy during Fevers & could use a dodge/dash button to avoid simple enemy attacks. Would LOVE to see this game get more installments.
SummaryStack, raid, and GET PAID. The dungeon-diving action RPG Lapis x Labyrinth puts you at the center of a high-octane treasure-hunting quest, where the danger is great and the rewards are even greater! Do you have what it takes to smash through hordes of monsters and traps to gain riches beyond your imagination? When a struggling village fa...