Labyronia RPG is an indie game developed by Labyrinthine using the RPG Maker VX Ace engine. Both the game and the engine are available for purchase on Steam. Reminiscent of the early Zelda and Final Fantasy titles, Labyronia RPG will take you on a perilous top-down adventure through lands of varied terrain. By collecting inventory and special abilities, your goal is to fight your way to the final boss and earn 6 glorious Steam achievements. So excited were the developers that on August 14, 2015 they announced a $300 (US) reward to the first player to beat the game!
The first order of business when starting a new game is to wake up. Guide the protagonist, Arres, around his home and investigate everything. Items of interest are marked with an animated gold circle. Chests and other containers are not so marked…you’ll just have to rely on cool RPG skills to figure out they’re worth a look. Before long, you’ll discover numerous tomes in which to immerse yourself in the rich lore surrounding the open world. As your adventure continues, you’ll come across towns, forests, deserts and special landmarks. Again, be sure to investigate anything that looks out of place, or seems different from usual screen fare. There’s a good chance it’s a usable item of some sort. Look closely at the picture below…can you see the special item? And no, it’s not the tent!
Let’s talk towns. As per RPG standards, these settlements contain three staples of adventuring: markers, buildings and non-player characters (NPCs). Markers can be anything from a fountain to trash dumpster…basically, a stationary item of interest. In Labyronia, a prominent town marker is the “Save Game” lamp post.
Buildings provide a service, whether it be weaponry, food or simply a place to sleep.
NPCs are the most interesting of the town staples, as they offer clues to help you advance the story line. Sometimes their assistance is direct; at other times cryptic. Either way, they’re always interesting to meet.The open world is vast, and you’ll often come across important locales other than towns. The forest maze is one of the earliest such places you’ll visit. It’s not hard to guess which of the above NPCs you’ll meet in the forest. Follow her (oops) advice carefully to survive and enhance your character during your stay here.
Speaking of survival, what RPG would be complete without combat? Enemies are easy to spot at a distance, as they meander aimlessly about…until they get within a few hex spaces of you! If an enemy moves into a hex adjacent to yours, you fight. Combat is a simple, turn-based affair; similar to the classic dungeon-crawls of old (and some new). When it’s your turn, choose one of four actions:
Attack with a weapon
Cast a spell
Use an itemWhile the mechanics are easy to use, winning a battle is another story. NPCs are quick to warn you of danger, and that you’re probably not strong enough to defeat anything yet. Just remember that there’s no hurry. Be patient and get your money’s worth. As of this writing, the game is on sale for $1.64 (US). But be warned…soon enough the sale will end, and the price goes back up to 3 bucks.
This brings us to our final point: game value. Is Labyronia RPG worth it? The answer for me is an overwhelming YES. I’ve always been a fan of RPGs, dungeon-crawls and the like. Now that the RPG Maker VX Ace engine is available to all, expect to see many of these outstanding projects soon. Who knows, perhaps you could be the next great RPG designer! In the meantime, have fun with this one.-Chris Roberts-