Sometimes a simple maze game where the main goal is just to get out of each level can actually be entertaining, as long as the game is constructed well. My big concern with Little Labyrinths was that it was going to be too easy since you basically trace your way out of each maze with your finger. It turns out that with the right game play mode this is not only challenging but can get quite addicting. Thankfully Little Labyrinths has 6 game play modes to choose from, and in the right combination these can be rather rewarding. Just make sure that you have a “big kid’s” game to quickly switch to when someone wants to know what you’re doing.
The basics are simple: you have a who that has to find a what in a where. How you accomplish this makes all the difference in the world. You start off only being able to select the mouse, the hunk of cheese, and the inside a wall options. As for game modes you’ll start with classic, which basically lets you traverse maze after maze until you run out of time. For each run you’ll get judged as “quick” or “not-so-quick” and bonus points will be doled out accordingly. This also helps determine where the timer starts for the next run. Along the way you can collect gold, stars which earn you extra points and hourglasses that give you a bit more time.
When you earn enough money, or you decide to break down and boost your booty via IAP, you’ll be able to start unlocking additional whos (the character you play), whats (the item you’re looking for) and wheres (the location you’re playing at). Of course this is all fluff as it does not affect game play at all, but at least it gives you something to work towards and it helps shake things up a bit. More importantly is the ability to unlock additional game play modes. I would suggest freeing up Zen mode first. The lack of pickups makes it kind of dull, but you get 25 coins for each maze no matter what and it only takes a few seconds to run through a maze, so it’s a quick way to earn lots of money.
Additional modes include 3 minute mode (yep, you get three minutes to complete as many mazes as you can), speed mode which is like classic except there are no pauses between runs, torch mode which adds the bonus stress of dimming light to your obstacles, and kids mode which is basically Zen mode but less interesting and worth less money. Game Center is supported and each of the game play modes has its own leaderboard. There are also 69 achievements to earn just in case you need something else to keep you occupied. Control is simply a matter of drawing a line with your finger where you want your character to go, and you can adjust the sensitivity to your needs.
The visuals are decent enough, with each character, item and location having a distinct look. I do like the fact that a dashed line is drawn over the path that you trace so you can see everywhere you went. The sound effects are pretty good as well, with each character making its own noise as it moves through the mazes. The different items have a unique noise when they are picked up as well. Even better is that each game play mode has its own music, and there is even a separate track played during the results screen.
If you’re one of those people that can’t admit that they can enjoy a kids’ game or feels that they need more than a simple one mechanic offering, Little Labyrinths probably isn’t for you. However, if you’d like something simple that you can use to kill a few minutes here and there but isn’t solitaire, this would be a great choice for you. There’s enough variety in the game play modes to keep most people happy, and it’s designed just right to jump in and out of without ever having to worry about what you did last time you played. It’s also very kid friendly, and probably even a good game for you to play with your kids. Just be warned that you might find yourself spending more time with it in one sitting than you’d expect.
Overall Score: 8/10
App Store Link
This game was reviewed on an iPad 2 running iOS 6.0.1.