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Awards

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You Might Like

  • Easy introduction to role playing games
  • For fans of Labyrinth
  • Great for large groups

Might Not Like

  • Not much freedom to explore
  • You should know the source material to get the most out of it
  • You need to print your own templates
Find out more about our blog & how to become a member of the blogging team by clicking here

Labyrinth The Adventure Game Review

labyrinth rpg

Getting Lost

Role Playing Games, or RPGs, can often seem very intimidating from the outside. There are pages and pages of rules to digest and characters to create, not to mention the stats that go with them to keep track of. It can appear to be a lot of admin for what should be a fun experience. Of course, RPGs can be incredibly fun, freeing experiences to share with friends. In recent years there has been an influx in entry-point RPGs that simplify the mechanisms and hold your hand as you enter these new worlds. 2020’s Alice is Missing takes the awkward ‘how should I speak/should I use an accept’ worry and moves the dialogue to a text chain. You could also try 2005’s Gloom that takes a simple card game about making your family miserable for points, and adds a storytelling element. Then comes Riverhorse’s Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: The Adventure Game.

You Don't Want To Go Down There…That Way Leads Right To The Castle

Riverhorse has built a name for itself in its adaptations of movie and TV titles. They now have games based on The Hunger Games, The Terminator, My Little Pony and a whole array of games based on Jim Henson properties. This 300-page book, beautifully produced to look like the prop from the 1986 cult classic film, is somewhere between an RPG and a choose your own adventure. As ‘Goblin King/Queen’ (you will want to wear your hair big and your trousers tight ala-Bowie) one person is to take on the more tradition role of Dungeon Master and lead the other players through the titular maze in order to get to the castle.

The book does a great job of taking you through the rules and giving you little reference cards to keep nearby. It also gives you lists and lists of NPCs (non-player characters) and environment descriptions that allow you to simply roll a dice for inspiration if you don’t want to stray too far from the path. If you are completely new to RPGs then it may take a few reads to get your ahead around what the role consists of but the book really holds your hand if you need it to.

You Have No Power Over Me

Much like the film, the reason for the quest is that something has been stolen from you. The Goblin King/Queen is now holding it hostage at the centre of the Labyrinth. Each other character must come up with something that has been taken. It might be abstract like their confidence or something physical like their favourite necklace. But most importantly everyone playing needs to create a character profile. These are presented on templates that are printable from the website and are clearly labelled and easy to follow.

You will to first select your Kin. These creatures are all straight out of the film whether a goblin like Hoggle or a giant beast like Ludo and you can be as creative as you like. There is also a place to give yourself a name and even draw a little illustration. You will have to start the game with a mixture of traits and flaws. Traits might be strength or speed whereas your flaws could be you are too small or you’re a coward. These will then influence your ability to perform certain tasks as the campaign goes on. Finally, you have a space to collect objects as you go along. These can then be used at players discretion as you try and overcome different obstacles. Once you have all filled in your character sheet you are ready to adventure.

She Chose Down

The way the campaign works is you all start at the gates of the Labyrinth with the ability to explore the area and find a way in. The Goblin King/Queen will describe where you are, which can be read directly from the book or if you are feeling brave can be flourished and added to. As adventurers, you can ask anything. You can try anything you can imagine and most requests will go a skill check where two dice are rolled. Either you beat the score given by the King/Queen or you don’t. The system is simple. Once you get past the first puzzle the book will guide you to the next on. This forks off differently every game. This continues until you reach the castle or you fail and are kicked out of the Labyrinth only to have to start again. There are a wide range of puzzles and each one offers charming and interesting options. You will also meet NPCs and take them with to help you on your quest. A clever mechanism is you can go back to locations you have been before in order to try a different way out which creates a wonderfully thematic sense of going around and around in circles.

You Remind Me Of The Babe

Lovers of the film will find so much in this adaptation. It is exciting to stumble across things you recognise and to find ways to incorporate quotes from the film into your dialogue. If you don’t know the film, apart from missing out on an absolute classic, you might not appreciate the nuance here. This is a project predominantly designed for fans. However, the artwork throughout is beautiful and the writing really evokes an elaborate and vast fantasy land. If you have played RPGs before then this might be a little too simple for you and offer less of the sandbox exploration you are used to. But, if you are new to the genre and want to test the waters, then you would struggle to find a better entry point than this.

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Artwork
  • Complexity
  • Replayability
  • Player Interaction
  • Component Quality

You might like

  • Easy introduction to role playing games
  • For fans of Labyrinth
  • Great for large groups

Might not like

  • Not much freedom to explore
  • You should know the source material to get the most out of it
  • You need to print your own templates

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