Last Labyrinth is by far one of the most unusual and challenging games I’ve played on the Quest. Developed by Tokyo-based Amata, those of Antique Carnevale and Tenkahyakken -Zan fame, Last Labyrinth is an escape room game where you solve puzzles in order to move from one room to the next. So what’s so unusual about this? Well, for a start, you’re strapped to a wheelchair with your hands tied and the only way you can interact with the game is via a laser pointer strapped to your head. During the game you’re accompanied by a pre-teen little girl called Katia who speaks something that could be an Oriental language but probably isn’t.
Katia acts as your hands and legs, moving objects that you point to with your laser pointer. And, before she throws an important switch or pushes an important button, she’ll point at it first to make sure she’s doing the right thing. You either confirm or change your mind by nodding or shaking your head.
The puzzles in Last Labyrinth vary from the fairly straight forward to the downright befuddling. Some will involve throwing switches, moving blocks, marrying up light projects or some variation on any one of these themes. What makes these puzzles particularly nail biting is the fact that, should you get the solution wrong, you’re forced to witness Katia being killed in all manner of gruesome ways. And after she’s dead, the same fate usually befalls you. In one particularly shocking scene Katia had to direct a couple of model trains along tracks and into the right tunnel. This was done by throwing a series of switches that changed the direction of the tracks. After I got this wrong, Katia was decapitated and I could do nothing but watch helplessly from my prison wheel chair. A few seconds later a guillotine descended and my head was unceremoniously removed from my shoulders. Call me a prude, but watching a child being beheaded in front of me was a little bit hard to stomach. This type of gratuitous violence will probably appeal to fans of the Saw series but, unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on which side of the fence you’re standing on) I’m not one of them.
Stomach churning death scenes aside, the puzzles in Last Labyrinth are among the most challenging we’ve played on any platform. The fact that there’s no help or hint system will leave you resorting to trial and error a lot before hitting on the right solution. As Katia is your only companion in Last Labyrinth, you slowly grow attached to her which makes watching her die because of your mistakes all the more harder to bear.
Graphically Last Labyrinth makes great use of shadows and dark grainy colours which amplify the feeling of desolation and despair in the mansion. The Quest lacks the power of the PSVR but, graphically, Last Labyrinth does an excellent job of creating a very life like mansion filled with deadly and mysterious objects. Katia is surprisingly well animated and radiates a feeling of complete trust in you. A childlike quality very difficult to recreate in a modern game. If we had one niggle with the game it’s with the fact that some puzzles can feel slightly more esoteric than you’d expect. A hint system or perhaps a way of having the computer solve the puzzle for you – and penalise you by deducting points – may have come in handy here.
That one tiny gripe aside, Last Labyrinth is a worthy and very challenging puzzle game that will take you a good ten hours to complete. The fact that you’re sitting down throughout the game means there’s practically zero chance of motion sickness. A huge benefit in my books.
Kizzi Nkwocha is the editor of Business Game Changer Magazine and publisher of The UK Newspaper, Money and Finance Magazine, the net’s fastest growing wealth creation publication. Kizzi Nkwocha is chair of The Ethical Publishers Association and co-chair of The Logistics Association. Kizzi made his mark in the UK as a publicist, journalist and social media pioneer. As a widely respected and successful media consultant he has represented a diverse range of clients including the King of Uganda, and Amnesty International. Nkwocha has also become a well-known personality on both radio and television. He has been the focus of a Channel 4 documentary on publicity and has hosted his own talk show, London Line, on Sky TV. He has also produced and presented both radio and TV shows in Cyprus and Spain.