The Labyrinth of Time

Moby ID: 2441
DOS Specs
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Description official descriptions

King Minos has commissioned a labyrinth bridging time and space which will allow Minos to rule the earth. You have been chosen to save the world by destroying the labyrinth. Many mazes and puzzles are involved.

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Credits (DOS version)

15 People

Lead Programming
Design
Art Director
Executive Producer
Producer
Associate Producer
Technical Director
Product Manager
Package Design
  • Zimmerman Crowe Design
Package Illustration
Package Art Direction
Documentation
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Quality Assurance

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 66% (based on 30 ratings)

Players

Average score: 2.8 out of 5 (based on 18 ratings with 2 reviews)

Interesting visuals, but horrible gameplay

The Good
The two major plus factors of the game are it's graphics and it's music. The game consists of static, partially animated prerendered background images. While the quality of the images doesn't reach genre highlights like Myst, they still look at least interesting. They also greatly help the overall atmosphere, which gets supported by the mystic and unintrusive background music.

The Linux port is solid and the game can be started even without a previous installation.

The Bad
Unfortunately good graphics doesn't make a good game. While it's the concept of the story that different ages and cultures of the world are mixed in one dimension, this definitely feels strange. Example: when leaving the loge of an opera you enter some strange blue and open-ended place with crystals spread everywhere. These abrupt changes of locations let the game look like the designers rendered some random scenes and placed them randomly in the game. Moreover it makes the navigation in the labyrinth difficult, as no contextual relation exists between the scenes. This will often result in confusion ("Was the Western scene or the future space ship behind that office door?"), though a good map system is integrated in the game.

Moreover a lot of the scenes don't serve any purpose, as no interaction is possible and you just run through them to get to the next place. While this definitely helps the feel of loneliness, it also makes the game feel very lifeless.

The worst part of the game are the riddles. While several of them are relatively logical, some of them are definitely not, and the results of an action are usually unforeseeable. What makes them the ultimate fun killer is the fact, that "wrong" actions like pushing a button at the wrong time can make the game unsolvable, as these actions can't be undone. As the game doesn't give clear hints that the action was wrong, you can continue playing for hours not even noticing you have an useless savegame (yes, this happened to me several times!). And as the game doesn't give any hints, you have to completely find that out yourself. Happy guessing!

The Bottom Line
The concept of the game doesn't seem to be completely mature. More often than not I felt the artists rendered impressive 3D scenes and decided to make a game out of it later. Dozens of dead-ends and frustrating puzzles completely ruined the game for me. After having to restart the game several times I found myself printing out a walkthrough and following it step-by-step.

The music of the game is excellent, but the game engine doesn't seem to be able to play music and sound effects at the same time; when something happens, the music is muted until the sound effect has finished.

Just one last comment on the interface: The game uses a strange menu system where the bottom bar can have two different modes which can be changed by right-clicking it. While the bar looks ugly and the icons are not always unambiguous, it works surprisingly fast once one gets used to it. And it's the first game I've seen where the inventory consist only of fullscreen views of the items :-)

All in all, I can't recommend this game; as Dave Schenet already mentioned, it's more of an (meanwhile outdated) 3D render demo than an actual game.

Linux · by Iggi (35375) · 2008

Beautiful presentation, both visually and musically. Too bad it isn't a game.

The Good
The best parts of this game were the graphics (high-resolution pre-rendered stills), as well as the haunting music. As you travel the Labyrinth, crossing between various time periods and areas in the past, present, and future, one has to admire the beauty in which it was presented. The landscapes and environments seem ordinary enough, but there is always a touch of surrealism. Even as the game opens, the intro sequence is impressively done, in its simplicity - a series of black and white still images (scanned photographs, actually), that turn into color as your character exits the "normal" world into the Labyrinth.

There was a very strong sense of isolation in this game, a "last man on earth" feel. All of the areas in the game, and even all of the areas depicted in the intro would, on a normal day, be bustling with activity - however, here, they're all completely empty.

The Bad
Unfortunatly, once you look past the graphics and music, there really isn't a game. Sure, there are some illogical puzzles here and there, but the main point seemed to be a proof-of-concept for detailed graphics, and digitized music.

The Bottom Line
Think of this game as being very similar to Myst. Beautiful to look at, but not much of an actual game at all. Might be worth taking a look at though, even by today's standards.

DOS · by Dave Schenet (134) · 2001

Trivia

Cover art

The cover is obviously based on the picture Another World by famous Dutch artist M. C. Escher.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #43 Worst Game of All Time

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Related Sites +

  • The Labyrinth of Time
    Wyrmkeep Entertainment's official game site where you can order the Windows remake, view the manual etc.

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 2441
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Jackie T.

Amiga CD32 added by Kabushi. Macintosh added by Iggi. Amiga added by Игги Друге. Windows, Linux added by Jeanne. iPhone added by Macs Black.

Additional contributors: Mickey Gabel, Jeanne, Patrick Bregger.

Game added September 19, 2000. Last modified February 18, 2024.