A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
This cartoon-like game doesn't attempt to deliver messages to the player (positive, negative, or otherwise). It's a straightforward action/role-playing game that has you stack small heroes on top of one another, fight enemies, and earn treasure.
Positive Role Models
Like many role-playing games (RPGs), there are several male and female characters you can choose, level up, and pair with others in the party to create a strong team of fighters. We don't get to know these protagonists, so it's difficult to ascertain whether they're good role models, but they do fight against evil monsters.
Ease of Play
The mandatory tutorial walks you through the controls. It's not difficult to pick up, but the game isn't a cakewalk either. You'll have a limited amount of time per dungeon, so it can be challenging to clear each room in time.
Violence & Scariness
There's plenty of fantasy violence, as you fight against several kinds of enemies using swords, guns, daggers and scythes to destroy enemies all around you. But there's no blood or gore shown, and the enemies simply explode into colorful gems once defeated.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents should know that Lapis x Labyrinth is an anime-inspired action role-playing game (RPG) for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. The adventure has you stacking characters on top of one another, traveling underground to fight monsters with various weapons (swords, guns, daggers), and collecting as much treasure as possible within the time limit. Fantastical beasts cry out when attacked, but there's no blood or gore shown when monsters are defeated. Instead, creatures turn into coins and gems. Otherwise, there's no inappropriate content to be found in the game.
Is It Any Good?
This action-RPG may take some time to get used to, but once you do, you'll be surprised at how much fun is included here. Lapis x Labyrinth offers a ton of depth, customization, and intense, rewarding dungeon-based combat. The plot is simple, and the gameplay may seem a bit repetitive after a while -- each stage is basically getting a quest, going into a dungeon, and trying to defeat monsters before time runs out. The treasure you collect earns you points that can be redeemed to gain new weapons, armor, items, and other extras. But the charm of the game begins to emerge after you've mastered the controls and begin to clear areas of enemies, all the while seeing your points rising on the screen. Perform enough consecutive attacks, which incur a ton of damage, and you'll unleash Fever Mode, which temporarily turns the screen into bright colors, with hundreds of gems flying around in all directions.
Much of the depth lies in the stacking system, where the characters literally stand on top of each other – akin to little kids wearing a large trench coat to appear as if they're a tall adult – to take out opponents. Depending on the members of your party, they'll each come with basic attacks and special strikes that can be unleashed at any time. What's more, the ability to swap the order of characters at will is a smart way to adapt to the threats each monster can throw at you. With more than 80 quests spread across 10 unique areas, and more than 200 maps, there's a ton of content here. The fights of Lapis X Labyrinth might start feeling like deja vu after a couple of hours, but the gratifying gameplay will keep bringing you back for one more dungeon run after another.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.