Last Labyrinth is unlike pretty much any other game I know of, virtual reality or otherwise. It’s rare you find yourself strapped to a wheelchair with a laser pen on your head, after all. In fact, I can’t recall that scenario ever happening before, not even in horror escape room games like this. Unfortunately, whilst it’s creepy and it’s kooky, mysterious and spooky, and it manages to be altogether ooky, Last Labyrinth still manages to end up dull.
It starts out quite promising, depending on your perspective. You’ll find yourself stuck in your wheelchair facing a lamp but it’s not until you look and point your last pen at the light that something happens. A hand appears out of the shadows and turns it on.
This hand belongs to a little girl named Katia who isn’t restrained, able to wander around the room and interact with things for you. Look at the door, press a button to activate your laser pen and she’ll go and point at the door to ask if she should open it. Nod and she’ll open the door, then push you through it off screen.
Thanks to your whole wheelchair situation, this is the only way for you to interact in-game. Katia speaks only in a made up language, so you can only communicate by pointing with your head laser so that she strolls over to it and asks before using it. Every single time you interact with something in game, this is how you do it; by proxy. This starts to feel sluggish and grates before long, but it doesn’t become too much of a problem until you get stuck.
See, Last Labyrinth is a puzzle game, so you’ll be silently instructing Katia in solving these puzzles. Sometimes you will be changing tracks for a model train to get the train through a goal, other times you’ll be matching projections on walls or solving alternating light puzzles, and so on. Should you fail, you will die horrifically, but not before you have to watch Katia bite the bullet first. You see, this puzzle game takes place inside a mansion that is apparently owned by a psychopath who set up all kinds of almost Saw-style puzzles to torture you and/or Katia.
I’ll give one example; in the aforementioned train puzzle, Katia sets it running by pressing a big button on the floor, but just as she does this, stocks slide down and trap her there whilst the train, which has a knife attached to its roof – oh, did I not mention that? – makes its way around the tracks. If it ends up on the right track, it’ll go through the goal and she will be released, but if it finds itself on the wrong side of the tracks the knife will cut some ropes, first dropping a guillotine decapitating Katia, then doing the same thing to you in stages. The stocks drop down, lock you in, then the guillotine falls. It’s grim to say the least and is initially quite affecting, but once you’ve gotten a puzzle wrong a few times you’ll be skipping it and wishing you could skip Katia’s slow walks and pointing at things.
There are a large variety of puzzles to try and ways to die, but the puzzles can be a little hit and miss. That same train puzzle is one of the more challenging ones in the game, yet it’s trickier than others that appear later on. Others are difficult to figure out more due to a lack of information or feedback rather than the puzzle itself, as there’s rarely anything beyond the puzzle itself and maybe some indicator lights. Occasionally a puzzle will be practically impossible to figure out without dying at least once, though I managed to solve one puzzle almost by mistake. These issues aside, solving a puzzle on the first try and not dying in the inevitable fake-out sequence is satisfying and there are a good number of puzzles to work through.
There are brief cutscenes silently trying to tell the game’s story between levels, though they tend to be more confusing than informative, and there’s a masked man wandering around somewhere setting up all these traps. There’s also multiple endings but after completing the game, knowing all the puzzles, all the deaths and the slow pace won’t really entice you to replay.
If you struggle with motion sickness with VR this may well be the perfect game for you, as it involves exactly no movement in game outside of your head motion. Even when Katia moves you between rooms, the screen cuts to black so motion sickness shouldn’t be an issue at all. That is provided the gruesome, though surprisingly gore-free deaths don’t get to you.