Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective caught my attention from the very moment it was revealed in the ‘Nindies Showcase’ earlier this year. Exploring beautifully crafted mazes whilst tracking down the enigmatic Mr X, all with a Where’s Wally-style twist to the formula? Yeah, count me in. I didn’t even know that it was based off an actual book franchise back then, which is something that has also caught my eye in the meantime.
After a successful launch on PC, the game has now made its way to the Nintendo Switch – giving gamers the chance to enjoy this labyrinth-fuelled escapade on the go. Is it actually any good though, or should this adventure have just stuck to the pages of a book?
Check out a gallery of screenshots for the game down below:
Taking on the role of the titular maze detective himself, players venture across Opera City as they hunt down the villainous Mr X. He has stolen a powerful artefact known as the Maze Stone, which allows him to apply a cryptic maze-like transformation to his surroundings. Everything looks ordinary enough, but there are all sorts of everyday obstacles (and I’m using that term loosely) blocking off pathways to prevent the authorities from hunting him down. Seems like the perfect job for a maze detective, really…
Gameplay-wise, Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective isn’t particularly complex. Players will navigate the game’s selection of beautifully crafted levels, with the correct path to take requiring some clever thinking and interactions with different characters to unravel. Whilst it’s never COMPLETELY obvious what route you need to follow, a general indication of the location of the folk you need to reach as well as some environmental clues ensure players won’t get lost for too long. Sure, you’ll hit a few dead ends, but it never feels frustrating. There are funky little wizards who offer a bit of guidance along the way too, so players shouldn’t get too overwhelmed during their journey.
A lot of the fun of Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective comes down to just how wonderful each level is to explore. They’re all jam packed with detail and bring with them an abundance of minor interactions, with each level feeling like this living and breathing locale that’s bustling with life. Each level is based off scenes found across the books too, so those familiar with the franchise might recognise a handful of sights along the way.
“A lot of the fun of Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective comes down to just how wonderful each level is to explore.”
The sheer level of interactivity found within Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective’s levels just made me want to explore more and more, so getting lost never felt like an issue. There are collectibles to find across each level too, so those who do take the time to explore their surroundings will be rewarded for their efforts. I never felt like I’d quite completed a level in the game until I found EVERYTHING, so it certainly adds to the runtime of the overall experience – especially since some of those collectibles can only be found by interacting with different objects in the environment. There’s even a small memory-based mini-game to be found in each level, showing that the game is built around more than exploration alone.
Exploration is the crux of the experience though, so it’s a good job that it feels so good in Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective. It helps that the levels themselves are varied and beautiful to look at, with the likes of a lively city, a castle full of odd monsters, a peculiar forest, and more fantastical environments to explore. Uncovering all of their little secrets was always a treat and I never grew tired of taking my time to explore each one.
“The levels themselves are varied and beautiful to look at, with the likes of a lively city, a castle full of odd monsters, a peculiar forest, and more fantastical environments to explore.”
I had a REALLY fun time playing Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective, with its gameplay perfect for both younger players and adults (I’m not revealing my age!) like myself. Everything is relatively simple, but it constantly keeps the player busy with its adventurous sense of exploration. The only real issue I had was that there was always a clear path marked out to follow, with little detective work required when trying to figure out where to go. Put it this way: I never got stuck when playing the game, with the difficulty certainly on the easier side.
It’s worth noting that some gamers might have a bit more trouble making out some objects when playing on the Nintendo Switch’s handheld mode. Whilst I didn’t really have any big problems, there are some things which will certainly look a bit small when looking from a zoomed-out angle. Just expect a bit of leaning in and squinting here and there.
Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective is a unique and charming experience that’ll appeal to both younger and older gamers. I had a whole lot of fun exploring its selection of beautiful environments, whilst the sheer level of interactivity each one offered ensured there was plenty for players to discover. The only real problem came with how easy the game could be, though it’s hard to hold that against Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective too much – especially since the gameplay itself is meant to be simple and appeal to all ages.
With the gorgeous visuals, abundance of collectibles, and charming world, there’s plenty to love about this whimsical adventure. Whether you’re looking for a fun little game to play with your kids or just fancy exploring some mazes yourself, Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective is definitely worth adding to your Nintendo Switch library.
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PC