Labyrinthine Dreams


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Labyrinthine Dreams

AliceWhen do you give up, and when do you keep trying? Sometimes it seems like a good idea to throw in the towel and save yourself the strain of a losing battle. But what if you're fighting for something incredibly important? What if it's your own life? In Labyrinthine Dreams, a free narrative puzzle from Solest Games, a very sick young woman named Beth faces this choice. Is it really so bad to give up, or is fighting worth it even when you're unlikely to win?

Labyrinthine DreamsLabyrinthine Dreams is a game about mazes—metaphorically, in that Beth's still trying to understand her life and how she got to this point, but literally too. Each level is made up of several examples of a different type of maze. Sometimes you won't be able to turn in certain direction, or you'll be on a grid where each spot has its own set of directional limitations. Sometimes you'll be able to go wherever you want, but on an invisible path or a slippy floor. At the end of each level, you'll need to run away from the monster inhabiting Beth's dreams. Like what it represents, it more than outmatches you physically, but you're a thinking person and it's an inhuman force. With a little clever thinking, you'll be able to outwit it.

Labyrinthine DreamsThough the graphics are simple, they're charming and look nicely polished. The mazes are well-designed, too. Though they may be challenging, the rules are always clear, and the different twists on your standard maze keep the experience feeling fresh. Unfortunately, if mazes aren't your thing, the gameplay here doesn't have much else to offer. Another big draw of Labyrinthine Dreams is probably its story, which is both well-written and respectful about the subject matter. It's more mellow than you usually see in game writing, which, in addition to the gameplay choices, makes it worth checking out just by virtue of its uniqueness. Some of the relationships in Beth's life could have been better fleshed out, since relationships are really what this game is all about. Perhaps more exploration scenes (which felt underused) could have helped?

Still, Labyrinthine Dreams is a quality game. Short but sweet, it won't take up too much of your day, and it's nice to see developers try something different. This is definitely one to try for anyone who enjoys a good maze, or prefers a more human-experience sort of story in their games.

WindowsWindows:
Download the free full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Not available.
Try Boot Camp or Parallels or CrossOver Games.

Walkthrough Guide


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Labyrinthine Dreams Walkthrough:

Notes:

For the most part, this is an image-based walkthrough. Solution images generally will spoil the whole thing for you, so watch out if you're not looking for that sort of thing. Reading the general hints for a level or looking at the non-solution images are probably better ideas if you'd like to figure it out for yourself a little more. Some are unmarked maps of the level (which I found helpful, since I got to look at the whole maze at once and solve it more traditionally), some have visual hints.

There are no color puzzles in this game.

Walkthrough:

  1. The Cursed Forest:

    General Hints:

    Think about the ways you can move, and the ways you can't. Might there be an easier way to conceptualize this, so you don't have to constantly re-orient yourself to Beth's perspective?

    Also, think about how you could go in a forbidden direction using your permitted movements.

    You're going in clockwise loops.

    It might be helpful to plan backwards from the exit. Where do you need to go to get there, and where do you need to go to get there?

    Maze 1:

    Maze 2:

    Maze 3:

    Maze 4:

  2. The Monster‐ First Encounter:

    General Hints:

    Pay attention to the directions. Getting the monster to a place where it can't pursue you is important. Sometimes you'll need to trap it in one place in order to manuever it to another place where it can be trapped.

    Also, note the rules for the monster's movement. It always moves horizontally first, even if that limits its future movement. Sometimes it looks impossible to trap the monster without this rule, but keeping in mind that it moves this way, you might have a possibility that you didn't consider.

    Maze 1:

    Maze 2:

  3. In the Taxi:

    General Hints:

    You CAN just drive around randomly and hope that you get to the exit, but it helps to have a plan. Remember that if you have a hard time getting to a certain square from a certain direction, the way might not be straightforward.

    Find the exit, and work backwrds from there to plan out a path you can take.

    Maze 1:

    Maze 2:

  4. The Monster‐ Second Encounter:

  5. Invisible Path in the Sky:

    General Hints:

    Sorry, you're going to need to stumble around until you find the exit.

    But observing the way the tiles are laid out can save you some work. There's always an empty space between two paths that don't connect, and, following that rule, almost every possible tile is filled in.

    Maze 1:

    Maze 2:

  6. The Monster‐ Third Encounter:

  7. Sliding Through the Void:

    General Hints:

    Working backwards is almost essential, but experimentation helps too. This is the last set of mazes for a reason-- it's definitely one of the most difficult.

    When working backwards, make sure to keep in mind that these mazes work much differently in reverse. You don't need to go in a straight line until you bump into something, you just need a place to land from a different direction.

    Maze 1:

    Maze 2:

    Maze 3:

    Maze 4:

    Maze 5:

    Maze 6:

  8. The Monster‐ Last Encounter:

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