Welcome to Wonder Labyrinth, a picturesque world that is full of mysterious creatures. In it, we meet the Mayor of Katz Village who has set his sights on world domination and, after having a stone statue of himself built in the village, has chosen Kulu as the brave adventurer that will set out to recover the seven World Stones that are needed to rule the world.
Believing that the somewhat innocent-looking Kulu will need help on his quest, the Mayor performs a secret ritual to summon the goddess Arika. However, suffering from amnesia, she doesn’t remember anything about herself from before she was summoned. But, promised that the Mayor will return her to her world if she helps to conquer theirs. And so, your time wracking your brain in Puzzle Adventure Blockle begins.
It’s more than a quirky enough set up for a puzzle game, but then I guess that it needs to be to stand out in what has possibly become the fastest-growing genre on the Nintendo eShop for Nintendo Switch.
Simple to pick up and understand, Puzzle Adventure Blockle challenges players to rotate stages using the L and R Buttons with the Left Stick moving Kulu around. Your objective is to help Kulu reach the door to win sometimes collecting a key along the way, but the problem, though, is that rotating the stage shifts around any blocks within it – making it harder to work out the route to completion. But, the Y Button can be used to undo the last move that you make, encouraging you to experiment to uncover the solution.
As is always the case, Puzzle Adventure Blockle starts off with a relative ease to each puzzle and becomes trickier as you are met with increasingly difficult puzzles that throw in warp devices, blocks that can electrocute you, or Gorgon blocks that turn you into stone to make you become invulnerable to the dangers thrown in your direction.
With 160 stages to work your way through that constant reinvention is needed, as too are the three Missions that each puzzle has, achieving all three rewarding the player with a crown. These can push you to collect the shards that are placed on a stage or to complete it within a specific number of steps or turns. It’s not something that you necessarily need to worry about, but completionists will relish the extra challenge.
Wonder Labyrinth is certainly a wonderful place to be, and it’s hard not to appreciate the art direction as you meander along the path completing puzzles. It’s a shame that the puzzles themselves don’t carry as much character, but the real sore point is the music and sound effects that, while energetic, soon grate even in shorter sessions with the game. We can be thankful, then, that there’s an option to turn them off in the options if your TV remote isn’t close to hand.
Rotating the world to overcome challenges and stumble on solutions can often allow Puzzle Adventure Blockle to become a rewarding experience. But, when all is said and done, it is unremarkable and lacks the spark of ingenuity that it really needs to stand out against the ever-increasing competition on the Nintendo eShop.
Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Review copy provided by INTENSE