Arriving at a run-down manor house, a young woman named Eureka thinks she’s about to start a new job of finding lost treasures around the estate. She is, in a round-about way, but the job’s far from what she thinks she’s signed up for.
It turns out that the job advertisement Eureka responds to is simply a ruse. Arriving at the manor, Eureka meets Madame Marta and, shortly after, a strange green, glowing spirit who attaches itself to her. Hmm. It turns out the items she’s going to be searching for are actually hidden in a labyrinth deep under the manor. Oh, and it’s also filled with monsters. Thankfully, Eureka doesn’t have to go down there herself, but thanks to her spirit connection, she can see what’s happening. And so Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society begins.
Yes, it’s a slightly convoluted story, but at this point we wouldn’t expect anything less from a Nippon Ichi Software release. It takes a little while to get into the action thanks to Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society’s long-winded exposition, but once you do, this first-person dungeon crawler is easy to enjoy.
Wandering around the dungeon, uncovering useful loot and battling against the foes that exist down there is as engaging as any modern dungeon crawler. It’s packed with secrets, like walls that can be knocked down and hidden vats of mana, which you’ll need to strengthen your party. Battles are plentiful and play out in turn-based style: choose whether to attack, use a skill or an item for each member of your party.
Your run in the dungeon ends when you either meet your goal – each time, Madame Marta will give you a specific task – or die. That might be at the hands of a particularly tough enemy, or by falling off a ledge. Oh yes: you’ll have to be careful while exploring. One wrong step and you can find yourself tumbling multiple storeys down, taking fatal damage as you go.
Not all is lost when you die, thankfully. Your team can be patched up, and you’ll keep most of what you’ve picked up. However, fixing your team after getting wiped out isn’t simply a case of using a healing potion or two. You see, your party members aren’t human. They may look it, but they’re actually dolls. And so, to fix them, you’ll need spare parts to put them back together again.
Providing you have a soul – an item that you’ll acquire by playing Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society – you can make yourself a new party member from scratch at any point, too. You can have up to five dolls in a party at any one time, and in creating them you can choose from a number of fighter types, all with different weapons and skills. You’ll want to balance heavy hitters with those good at defending because when the going gets tough, Labyrinth of Galleria can be surprisingly brutal.
The systems in Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society can take some getting used to: crafting your own ‘doll’ characters is more convoluted than simply getting to know a ready-made party, for example. But this is a Nippon Ichi game, and so a deep, unusual story accompanied by some unusual mechanics is to be expected. When it comes to it, though, the gameplay at the heart of Labyrinth of Galleria is a joy to get absorbed in. While it keeps the sensibilities of classic first-person dungeon crawling intact, it never feels old-fashioned or out-dated. And so, whether you’re a dab hand at the genre or less familiar with it, we think you’ll find something to enjoy here.
Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society is available on PS4, PS5, Switch and PC.