Doesn't Break-Out of Stock Flash Game Conventions
"Labyrinth Prison" is like an Arcade action thriller in the style of Pac-Man and Bomberman with a hint of a game that nobody on Newgrounds has ever heard of: "Miner 2049er", a cartridge for the Atari 400 Computer. That game's objective is to wipe clean the floor you're treading upon without getting hit by radioactive creatures. In the same vein, "Labyrinth Prison" requires you to snatch up all the valuables lining the maze without getting snared by creatures that charge you when they are horizontally or vertically aligned with you.
There are plenty of pluses to this game. The graphic style is old-school arcade, as stated, including the use of pixels even though Flash is best with vector art. The soundtrack is mischievous and, like most professionally done browser games, happens to feature royalty-free tracks from Incompletech.com. The controls are solid, although making too sharp a turn might cause you to go down the wrong passage, which can cause a few annoyances and maybe even a life-threatening zig when you wanted to zag.
Playing the game is just a situation where the enemy script is simple, only their health ratings, agility and cosmetic aspects (growls, hisses, or visual appearance) ever change. They wander around like Pac-Man's ghost squad and change their speed like the Ropes in The Legend of Zelda (aka the snakes that wander around but rush in if you're aligned horizontally or vertically). No special stationary guards or built-in traps or special AI here... just progressively stronger adversaries that warrant use of the Upgrade feature. Your rogue compatriot can acquire improved mobility and health ratings necessary to outrun and survive close encounters with the fanged kind, and she can manufacture a variety of traps laid behind her to deal damage to her opponents. While that sounds brilliant, it only postpones the inevitable, because creatures spawn again at their own starting points after sustaining enough damage from those little things. Several players will consider that a gyp, and the strategies for luring out foes from the treasure-laden corridors are limited and quickly wear thin.
It's a cute romp, but it veers toward the stereotypical Flash game where you can pick up Upgrades after each level. What made some arcade games great was the variety of opponents and traps that exist to test your quick thinking and adaptability. The simplicity of the enemy script and overuse of the Upgrade feature makes this game just that: a cute romp. Nothing memorable and even thin with the substance. This doesn't mean "Labyrinth Prison" is a bad game... with a little variation and depth, this kind of game can shine, but as it is, "decent but flawed" is the best phrase to describe it.