There's not a lot to say about LB (Labryinth), unlike say BW. There's no wasted potential here as the LB accepts that there's no potential to become more than a maze game in the first place. Despite my many criticisms, i can't really bring myself to give a non-recommendation because it's as advertised and the issues are quite minor. For people wanting to try out a maze game, LB is a marvelous beacon for what it stands for.
Neat idea executed excellently. The node textures are top-notch, and some of the themes clearly show signs of being more than simply changing nodes (espcially true for Club and Cave). The cherry on top was the addition of theme-specific music and i greatly enjoy the soundtracks while forcing myself through the maze. However, i just can't help but notice that there's potential for more themes, perhaps some user-created ones too? I'm sure that the code in its current state is quite capable, but a little encouraging documents wouldn't hurt.
Normally, this bit doesn't deserve its own section, but.. UI/UX is pretty scuffed. Inconsistency and unnecessary glitches are the artistic style. When you walk to the edges of the maze, you fall below, looking up to see the underbelly of the maze. No congratutory message at all, which leaves the player stranded while they are wondering if they broke LB. Additionally, scrollbars everywhere, even in places that should not have scrollbars (damn you janky formspecs!). Maze reset UI (accessed via Inventory) is functional. Maze selection UI is also functional with the added banger of a piano tune, highest praise i can give to this particular UI for now.
Additionally, transitioning between maze themes apparently left the old one untouched if its not within ABM radius boundaries (especially egregious when you see the ceiling and nodes from Club while you're on maze selection). Completely breaks the immersion and the polishness LB tries to achieve.
Why is gameplay placed lower? Because for a "simple maze game", gameplay matters a lot less. Nonetheless, it is still a worthwhile topic to critique.
Similarly to Cellestial Game (very punny), BW and Sudoku; LB features a truly tried-and-tested game mechanic. Presented with a maze, find a way out. Need not any flashy elements to spice up the gameplay, if LB desires to become only a "simple maze game" without anything new. LB suffers just as much as BW in that it only implements stale ideas only used to create prototypes before true unique elements could even be realized.
LB gets a thumbs down gameplay-wise, my positive recommendation for BW notwithstanding. Regardless of how underwhelming BW's unfortunate limited gameplay is, there is something to look forward to and even more if it were tweaked a bit more to resolve some of its main issues. LB fails to innovate any original mechanics or entertaining interactivity. Bluntly put: why play LB? This gameplay issue ultimately stems from LB's attachment towards the initial dull idea of making a "simple maze game" and then never diverting from it. As it currently stands, this "simple maze game" is nothing more than a WIP prototype for something bigger (which LB is never going to be if the current trend were to continue). To demonstrate how tired this concept is, grab your favourite cereal box, game engine demo, cheap android game, minigame of a larger game or even print one out yourself. There, you already experience 95% of LB gameplay that matters.
More maze options. How about "2D" maze experience looking from top-down? How about a randomly generated end point as the goal instead of walking to the edge? How about other maze generation algorithms? There's so much more that could be made with a maze game, yet i find the implemented ideas a bit lacking.
I feel honored to receive such a thorough review, you have an enjoyable style.
So a few responses, hopefully they help you feel heard:
You caught me red-handed, this was an excuse for me to put some music into a minetest game, since I'm a composer first and foremost.
You are right that this is meant to be as simple of a maze game as possible. I used one algorithm that is known to generate truy random mazes and left it at that. No I don't plan to support more in terms of gameplay, but yes I can put together some documentation for modders to add to the game.
In terms of UI, I am still planning to redo it, in light of the desire for more themes, I'll design it to be extendable and each theme added will just be another selection (as it technically already does).
As for the deleting the world after winning stuff and the janky win mechanics.... Well minetest is mediocre and misses packets. Even in single player. So I cannot reliably change your gravity, or the win mechanics would be better. The deleting issue is directly related to processing power and this was optimized for mobile processor speeds so the world delete only takes 2 seconds max on a low-grade 2015 android phone. I.e. I could have it delete more each time but that costs 10-20% more processing power.
But all in all, I'm surprised you bothered to give it a good recommendation, as you rightfully point out it is quite boring at nearly all points.
Glad to hear feedback from the developer themself! Pleasure to read a good response, if any response at all (last time a developer responded, it was something about my mouth). For all intents and purposes, LB is quite a functional game with little polishing issues. That deserves a solid recommendation in my opinion, even if its just a maze game. In a similar vein, I would also give cellestial game a solid recommendation too even if its just automaton simulation.
As for the deleting the world after winning stuff and the janky win mechanics.... Well minetest is mediocre and misses packets. Even in single player. So I cannot reliably change your gravity, or the win mechanics would be better.
you don't really need to do all that imo. My suggestion would be to place invisible solid nodes surrounding the maze (so they wouldn't fall or phase through the wall), and when the players exits the maze area, they would be greeted with a win dialog.