GamingReview: Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi

Review: Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi

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Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi is a dungeon crawler from Aksys Games and Poppy Works. When a dungeon mysteriously appears from the ground, the government send people to investigate. You play a corpo tasked with exploring the depths of this dungeon to find precious, presumably priceless, resources.

Gameplay

After some story cut-scene, you start the game by making your character. There are some basic archetypes to pick from, male, female, grizzled and young – after that, you can edit the name, history, job etc., but none serves many purposes beyond fleshing out the character in your mind. What will make a difference, though, is the background you select. Again, there are different options to pick from, which will impact your character’s starting stats. Finally, you must choose the job – these again have some impact as the jobs are tied to additional abilities and stats. I will say they are a unique list and not your typical, although there are some familiar archetypes here that will feel more familiar. Once you’ve set your starter stats, you’re finally ready to enter the dungeon.

Exploring is typical for a dungeon crawler, with square-by-square movement to explore rooms and complete environmental puzzles to unlock new areas. As you explore, you’ll encounter various monsters that need to be defeated (see the combat section below!) and find treasure that can help you develop. The mini-map is vital for exploration; you need to pay attention to it! It will show the squares you’ve visited, which are very helpful when you want to find your way back to camp. The map also features auto-travel routes, a timesaver when you’re deep in the dungeon and need supplies.

Treasure chests are not all they seem; often, I was surprised by an attack.

The camp has basic crafting, and the team mechanics work relatively well with the ability to boost their skills, increase defence and more for a short duration.

Turn-based Combat

Combat grows your experience, and it’s important with the volume of monster encounters in the dungeon. Being a turn-based system, you can select between defending, attacking, using items and skills, or running away. It felt a little like early Pokémon if that reference helps! You can control your team during combat scenarios, and as you face more difficult enemies, the skill will be needed to work out when to defend, heal or buff another team member for their powerful attacks. Definitely pay attention to the colour marker of the monsters you’re facing, as this will denote whether you should run or stay and fight. Purple means boss, red is normal, green unlocks new areas etc. The number of skulls is also something to consider; the more skulls, the longer the combat chain, which means if you’re not stocked up or your health is low, you might want to avoid these.

When you inevitably win (hopefully!), you’ll be rewarded with experience and sometimes items that might be useful to you. Experience, as you would expect, allows you to level up your skills and stats.

Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi is Not Perfect

Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi isn’t a perfect game, though. Often, the music had no correlation or even tonality to the environment or actions on the screen, and this disconnect made immersion difficult. Furthermore, the story feels underdeveloped and quite surface levels in places and the dungeon crawler experience, while solid, doesn’t feel new or bring anything exciting to the table. This isn’t a reason necessarily not to play it, but if the budget is tight and you’ve played dungeon crawlers before, then perhaps the money is best placed elsewhere unless you really love this genre.

SUMMARY

Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi is an interesting, if not a generic, take on the dungeon crawler experience. While it has its issues, it’s a solid experience with a refined turn-based combat system. If you’re a fan of the genre and want some unique designs, this may be a title worth checking out.

+ Smooth combat
+ Refined dungeon crawler
+ Great art
- Feels generic
- Story feels underdeveloped
- Music is at odds with gameplay

Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.

Reviewed on PlayStation 5.

James Refelian
James Refelianhttps://linktr.ee/refelian66
When I was seven years old, I tried to write a spy novel. It was terrible; in case you wondered, but I’ve always loved stories. Then I got to play video games and suddenly here were stories that could be told in so many ways, coming to life in front of my eyes. I’ve been hooked ever since and enjoy games on pretty much every platform you can imagine! (Primarily PS5, Switch and PC (Steam Deck) with a lot of retro SEGA, Sony, and Nintendo). When I’m not gaming, I’m still writing that spy novel. If you love stories too, I hope my reviews and features help you discover something new! Find me on Twitter @Refelian66. Check out 60 Second Game Reviews on YouTube. Contact me with business inquiries at jamesrefelian(at)gmail(dot)com.

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Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi is an interesting, if not a generic, take on the dungeon crawler experience. While it has its issues, it’s a solid experience with a refined turn-based combat system. If you’re a fan of the genre and want some unique designs, this may be a title worth checking out. <br><br> + Smooth combat<br> + Refined dungeon crawler <br> + Great art <br> - Feels generic <br> - Story feels underdeveloped <br> - Music is at odds with gameplay <br><br> Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. <br><br> Reviewed on PlayStation 5. <br><br> Review: Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi