Developer: Aksys Games
Platforms: PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, PC
Reviewed On: Switch
Release Date: 28/10/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
For dungeon crawlers, there are a few well-done horror ones. Most are middle of the road, or fan serviced in content. However, Aksys Games are here to change all that, with their very gruesome and dark Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi.
The story of Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi is rather interesting. A strange structure rises from below the city of Tokyo in 1979. This leads to companies taking an interest in to what this structure holds. Albeit many riches are to be found, it quickly became apparent that monsters also roamed the depths. These monsters are Yomi and the brave individuals that explore the depths are Undernauts.
One such company is the Cassandra Company, who is a tiny group, and they do not have the best reputation to hire the more elite Undernauts. Leading them to hire new Undernauts. This is where you come in as the leader of this new team. Not long after journeying in to the labyrinth, you get trapped with no means of escape from where you are. It is now up to you, the new leader of this small company, to find a way out.
The story gets better as it progresses, as the Cassandra Company finding out more and more about the situation. And there is a ton of blood.
Labyrinth Of Yomi
As you begin your adventure, you will firstly create your main character. This will be their initial job type, for example Bawler, Mage, Ninja and so on. There is stat allocation, a back story and looks. All very rudimentary but serviceable. After this, you can recruit five more characters (that you can make). They tie this process in to the story.
Then off exploring you go. The first thing you will notice is that the environments are well basic. I would say the looks of the Labyrinth itself would fit right at home with the PS2 library of games. But it drew me in, yes it not flashy but it does not need to be, when the world building and the tension is great.
As you are walking around, you will find places where you must build new items to progress or to find treasure, and so on. Early on you get access to a door and ladder (there are more to get). The door and ladder do what they say really, build a door in specific places and a ladder at a hole, allowing access to areas above or below the one you are on.
The battle system is a simple first person dungeon crawling RPG staple. You can pick, attacks or skills, items or defend. You fight until you win or the enemy wins. There are one or two slight changes that make the battle system less repetitive.
First, there is an auto battle function that will redo the last actions made by the group in a sped up battle. This is great for easy mobs. However, I have been caught off guard and used it and had party members killed.
Also, the party can change use Switch Boost and receive party wide buffs before a short cool down. One Boost will allow the use of skills for free and increases power of attacks, one increases defence. And last one when you finish a fight will drop an extra chest to be opened. This is only useful for red skulls on the map and bosses.
Each chest will have a trap on it, but depending on the overall MP of the party will make these traps inert. Only with low MP does opening chest get dangerous. If the trap goes off, not only will you lose most of the content, the party will get damaged and maybe a debuff. Not all Yomi wants to kill you. Some will want to talk or will heal you.
We have to talk about the Yomi themselves. They come in all shapes and sizes, with some really gruesome looking things, in there. There has been a lot of attention to the Yomi and it pays off.
Overall Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi is a good dungeon crawler if it clicks. There is a lot on offer and a good time to be had. If it does not click, then you might find some aspect fun, but it will lose its charm after a while.
If you like a horror feel to games, some nice designed monsters and can look past the PS2 dungeons, I feel you will have a ton of fun with this.