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Labyrinth of Zangetsu: Review

Labyrinth of Zangetsu caught my eye with its unique, ink-painting look. The game promised a classic dungeon crawl feeling with a fresh visual twist, and as someone who loves tweaking parties and embarking on grand quests, I was all in. However, not all that glitters is gold, and sometimes, a game can look the part without fully delivering the punch.

It’s All About the Ink

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The game sets you up in a world ruined by something called “Ink of Ruin.” It’s pretty bad stuff, corrupting everything it touches. And it’s on you to build a team and beat back the darkness. The setup felt familiar, but the twist of “Ink” gave it a hint of freshness—or so I thought.

Building My Band of Heroes

The fun begins when you’re tasked with creating a six-member squad. I love this part. Choosing names, races, classes, and giving them just enough skill points to call them your own. Walking around in first-person view and seeing smoke signals tip you off to enemy encounters, which was neat, letting me brace for battle or dodge trouble.

Combat: When Tension Meets Confusion

Fighting in Labyrinth of Zangetsu has some interesting ideas. The rule is: Don’t let your team’s health hit zero. Yet unlike other games, you can use any healing spell or item to fix that right up until they get really knocked out, then it’s time to drag them back to a temple—which costs a pretty penny and might not even work. High stakes!

But here’s where things get mixed up. You want to change your fighter’s class? Cool, but it’s a grind. Juggling stat minimums for class changes meant sending my beefed-up Samurai back to wizard school with puny stats and struggling upwards again. It gets old quickly.

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Where’s the Spice in Battle?

I shuffled my team through classes, seeking that sweet skills variety, but it was a letdown. And alignment—good or bad—locked some skills away, making things feel cookie-cutter instead of “choose your own flavor.”

Dungeons: Fast Tracks With Few Treasures

Dungeons look cool but feel shallow. Rushing through them is easy, but there’s hardly any treasure-hunt thrill. The loot? Mostly from battles that end with a mini-game of sorts—picking locks on chests that felt more like rolling dice at a casino.

The Art That Almost Saved the Day

The sumi-e ink style is brilliant, and for a while, it made everything feel special. But like a pretty picture hanging on a dull wall, it didn’t quite make up for the lack of depth elsewhere.

The Retro Dungeon Crawl… Not Quite Reborn

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Plodding through the labyrinths, queuing my team’s actions before the fight kicked off, keeping tabs on limited spell slots—it felt like stepping back into the shoes of a 90s dungeon crawler. No random enemy muggings, though, so the trek back through conquered mazes wasn’t a nightmare, just lackluster.

Of Shops and Shoguns: The Money Squeeze

The game isn’t shy about keeping the purse strings tight. The loot is meager, and fixing up your team ain’t cheap. The city’s counting on me, but the local market’s about as forgiving as a loan shark. I saved your grandma from cosmic evil last week, guy—cut me a deal on the armor?

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Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold

The difficulty? It’s fair. You need to stay on your toes without pulling out your hair. But the true gem here is that art. The game’s world is in danger of being swallowed by ink, and the devs leaned hard into that theme, making everything bathed in strokes of black and white. If only it didn’t make me a bit green when zipping through corridors at breakneck speed…

Distractions—or the Lack Thereof

Labyrinth of Zangetsu struggled to hold my full interest, though. The races felt samey. The battles, while quick, lacked punch. Choosing every party member’s action in a batch could get repetitive, unless facing a tough boss or a large mob of monsters.

A Beautiful Shell With a Familiar Core

In essence, Labyrinth of Zangetsu is a decent dungeon romp wearing a fantastically artsy coat. But the novelty of its style wears thin, leaving behind what feels increasingly like a checklist of dungeon crawler standards.


Labyrinth of Zangetsu’s splendid visuals and lore sit atop a base that sometimes feels hollow. It’s a game for the dungeon crawler enthusiast, but beyond its artistic flair, it doesn’t offer much sustenance for anyone not already hooked on the genre. With each battle and dungeon explored, I hoped the game would dip into its inkwell and draw out a deeper, more gripping experience. But in the end, it felt like running my fingers along the ridges of a well-worn path—not uncomfortable, just achingly familiar.

It’s always a bit sad to love the idea of a game more than its reality, and that’s where Labyrinth of Zangetsu leaves me—appreciating the brushstrokes but wishing the painting had drawn me deeper into its world.

My score: 6.5/10