Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
iPhone Integration [rating:5/5]
User Interface [rating:5/5]
Re-use / Replay Value [rating:4/5]
If you ever got the chance to play Labyrinth by Illusion Labs, you'll have probably noticed how polished and rounded off it actually was. Using the iPhone built in accelerometer the game brought those age-old wooden maze puzzles with the metal ball-bearing, to life! The original aim of the game was to get the ball-bearing from point A to point B, without falling down any holes - it was great and felt like a real, true classic, but at the same time a lot of people thought it could do with something more.
At the start of December Illusion Labs released Labyrinth 2, and wow was I impressed this time. I can only sum this feeling up in a sentence; forget everything you ever knew about the original. Labyrinth 2 is a rustic modern take on the original, and contains a ton of new features! For starters, this new version introduces a mirage of new obstacles that you'll have to overcome in order to reach that that all important end point.
These new obstacles are as follows:
- Cannons and Bumpers - You'll want to avoid these cannons like the plague, as your ball-bearing touching a cannon-ball will result in restarting the level! Bumpers on the other hand will just knock your ball around a little, but they can also be deadly when there are holes afoot!
- Multiple Balls - Throughout the game you'll come across a variety of situations, one type of which will see you having to press multiple levers at one time. In Labyrinth 2, you can now split your ball into 2 (and even 3!), to help you complete the level.
- Door, Magnets and Fans - If that wasn't enough to contend with, you'll come across all of these, too! Doors are pretty straight forward and mostly relay on you completing a puzzle for them to open. You will however encounter levels where you have to use levers, or things on the puzzle floor, to make it to your exit point, though. Magnets on the other hand are just plain evil, and dependent on the attraction they're set at, will draw you in or push you away with speed. Fans will just make your journey through previous puzzles look like a piece of cake, and they always seemed to be placed in the right position to knock you down a hole! Okay, you try and guide a ball while its being blown by a fan - I tell you, it's not easy!
- Merry-go-rounds, Duplicators and Lasers - Merry-go-rounds are your friends .. but only if they're moving. If they're not moving, they can stop you from being where you want to be. Merry-go-rounds are usually activated by various buttons on the puzzle floor. Duplicators are also you friends, and unlike Merry-go-rounds, they have no dark side. Duplicators are simply there to help you switch a combination of levers at one time, but careful, you think controlling one ball is hard. Try three on for size!
There are in fact probably more than those listed above, but that will give you a taster of what to expect. Alongside all these new obstacles though is an even bigger improvement. The integration with an online level creator. Yes, in Labyrinth 2 you can now create, save and share levels with your friends. To do this you simply tap 'Create' at the top of the main menu. Here you'll see you're given a user ID and pin code. This is for levelpack.com. Once you've entered this information the site will ask for a username, and what you'd like to name your first level pack. From there out you can create as many levels as you like, simply by dragging obstacles and in-game objects onto the puzzle floor.
Again, this level creator is web-based, and so isn't accessible on your actual device, but once you've finished just hit save and the levels you've created will become available to play almost instantly. There is one restriction and that is if you'd like to share a level pack, the minimum requirement to publish a pack is 5 levels. People will then be able to download, play and rate your level pack.
But it gets better. Labyrinth 2 also has multiplayer over both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This allows you to play against up to 4 players on any level you wish to battle on. Or, maybe you don't fancy playing with other people, maybe you'd like to beat yourself? With the game's 'Ghost ball' option turned on, you can play and replay a level to try and beat your previous progress time.
Overall, I honestly can't fault Labyrinth 2. As one App Store review said: "Take note developers. This is how you make an iPhone game." - and I totally agree. They listened, and the result is a fun, enjoyable and feature packed puzzle game. With gorgeous graphics (which when tilted take on a 3D-like form all on their own), realistic ball and wood like sounds and huge re-playability, Labyrinth 2 is highly recommended.