Over this past weekend, Wayne Karo from Free Range Games sent us an email to tell us about the Labyrinth Kickstarter, which is now entering its final two days. It sounds like one of our regular readers pledged to support Labyrinth and during the campaign suggested to Free Range Games that they should ask us to help spread the news about the Kickstarter. Thanks for the vote of confidence to whoever that was!
I guess I should apologize that I didn’t notice the Labyrinth Kickstarter sooner, but I haven’t been digging through the Kickstarter site as much as I used to (real life has been rearing its ugly head as of late). Anyway, Free Range Games has now made me aware of it, and were even kind enough to give me access to a short gameplay demo over the weekend so that I could try it and record some footage, which you can check out below. After trying the demo and reading about the vision for the game, I think that this is definitely a game that all of you should check out. Do it quickly though, because time is of the essence.
At it heart, Labyrinth is a happy hybrid of an online CCG and an RPG. You assemble a small party of heroes, assemble a deck of ability and spell cards for each of them, and then attack dungeons. Each dungeon is populated by one or more bosses that also have access to cards in the form of minions and spells. Thus, during combat, the game plays out in a turn-based tactical format with heroes and monsters moving around the battlefield to get into position while playing cards to attack or heal or whatever. Now, I know that right now you are thinking that this doesn’t sound all that novel as compared to some other games out there, and you are right. There are other similar games out there right now that combine card decks with turn-based tactical gamplay, and we have covered a few of them recently here on DBB. It doesn’t sound much different at all.
What IS different is the bigger scope of Labyrinth, and it is here that the game really starts to sound interesting. Players not only set up hero parties to raid dungeons, but they also set up their own dungeons that can be raided by other players. As you play the game, you will gain access to monster bosses and their associated cards and you use these to populate dungeons to challenge other players. Here is the official description from Free Range Games to give you a better idea:
“In Labyrinth, players are both Adventurers and Dungeon Masters. As Adventurers they must assemble a powerful deck of Heroes and then invade rival dungeons and engage in epic player vs. player 3D battles to capture loot. As Dungeon Masters, they will use the loot from conquests to customize their own dungeons and put together a powerful deck of Bosses, Monsters and Trap cards to defend their riches at all costs.”
That sounds really fun, and as you can imagine will potentially add a huge amount of lifetime to the game in terms of content given that players will be endlessly creative in setting up dungeons to keep others out. And one great thing is that this form of PvP is asynchronous, meaning that you won’t have to be online to defend your dungeons. You set up your bosses and the minions, decide the order of their decks and how they are played, and then leave them to it.
I asked Wayne about what happens if players defeat your dungeons, and he told me that any loot that you have collected is completely safe and can’t be captured. Dungeons do rewards victorious players with loot, but it won’t be any of yours directly. However, dungeons are a source of Stardust, which seems to be the primary resource within the game. Players will collect Stardust daily from dungeons that remain undefeated. But, if they are defeated three times in a day then you won’t collect anything from them. This should give players plenty of motivation to make their dungeons as secure as possible.
Taken all together, Labyrinth sounds like it could be a really great game with a lot of depth. I highly recommend that you read over the Labyrinth Kickstarter page for more information. The game demo didn’t dive into any of this larger metagame stuff, but the mini-dungeon that I tried gave me a small glimpse of the combat. It seemed good even at this stage and if you like turn-based tactical games then raiding dungeons should be a lot of fun for you. Personally I think that trying to set up crafty dungeons to keep other players out will be even more fun, and I am very curious to see how that part of the game develops.
As I write this, the Labyrinth Kickstarter is sitting at just under 80% funded with 50 hours to go. Hopefully they see the final flurry of activity that is common with Kickstarter campaigns, and they could certainly use everyone’s support to push beyond the finish line. I am very intrigued by the game and I hope they make it. If you do decide to support that game then you will be happy to note that early access testing is included with every tier that matters. Alpha access is also available but it starts really far up into the quite expensive tiers and is probably out of reach for most of us casual backers. Nonetheless, it is there if you really want to get serious about the Labyrinth Kickstarter.
So there you have it! Check out the Labyrinth Kickstarter while you still can and help make this interesting CCG/RPG hybrid game a reality!
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