Originally a tabletop board game where you move a marble through a course full of holes by tilting it, the first Labyrinth offered limitless digital content. Labyrinth 2 successfully builds on this formula with major changes, while still keeping that classic feel. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t come without some new problems, though.
While Labyrinth 2 comes loaded with a decent number of level packs, ranging from easy to hard, the bulk of the game comes from downloading the endless supply of user-created content available. These are available right through the app and can be downloaded in a second. Users can then rate the packs on a five-star scale and choose which of the three difficulties they feel it falls under.
It’s like marbles went to the circus.
There are some downsides to the downloading experience, though. Downloading each level individually is extremely tedious. We would have liked some way of downloading an entire group of them at once, or getting a set amount of new levels every time you open the app. Also, searching for a certain creator’s levels is a pain. You must have their unique ID to be able to look up their levels, as opposed to simply typing in their name. We understand some of the reasons for this, but a user name/password system would have worked better. These issues aside, the interface is still slick and easy to use.
What isn’t as easy to use is the online level editor. While it is possible to drag and drop, many users will turn away once they see all of the measurements and angles. However, if you are willing to sit down and perfect your level, this depth is great.
Testing your levels is pain-free. Your phone automatically downloads your latest saved edit so you can play it before posting online. Each pack must have at least five levels to publish, which we feel was a good move to prevent a flood of single layouts.
Where previous Labyrinth games had nothing but walls and holes, this iteration brings in loads of new features. Buttons, magnets, fans, ball shrinkers, lasers, cannons, and spinning wheels freshen up the gameplay, and it is always a pleasant surprise to see how people incorporate them together to make new challenges. The possibilities seem endless.
Frickin’ laser beams!
There are no online leaderboards, but you can always try to beat the creator’s time or your previous times. For the latter, a ghost ball replicates your best run. This leads us to the achievements, which vary from beating creator times to maneuvering around obstacles a certain number of times. Collecting enough of these unlocks special award skins for your ball. Finally, local multiplayer allows you to test your ball-rolling skills against up to three nearby friends. This mode is also time-based.
So if Labyrinth 2 has so much to offer, what is stopping us from giving it our highest score? It’s mainly due to the game’s lack of friction. For those who have taken physics before, one of the facts drilled into your head was that everything in the world has friction. Unfortunately, the ball seems to disregard that it is rolling on wood (naturally a somewhat rough material) and moves extremely far with a slight tilt. A calibration can fix the controls, but as it stands the original game had better physics than this.
If you can get used to this, there is an endless supply of content available in this package. We can foresee a community forming around the user levels alone.