Hearing that a game ended up being cancelled isn’t entirely rare when it comes to titles still in development but rarely do we hear about a localization flat out getting cancelled. That ended up being the case last year with Omega Labyrinth Z where the publisher was more than ready to bring the game to fans but due to Sony’s new censorship policies, was forced to permanently halt plans for the game. While that was a sign of what has continued to be issues with Sony, it didn’t put a stop to the Omega Labyrinth series as the franchise has returned once again with Omega Labyrinth Life for the Nintendo Switch, as well as a heavily censored version with a different name for the PlayStation 4. With the Switch offering no censorship to this risque game, is this dungeon crawler worth picking up?
Belles Fleurs Academy is a spacious and prestigious school that has been around for over a hundred years with both its staff and student body being legacy members and throughout this time the beautiful flower garden in the center of the academy has never once wilted. Always in bloom and the pride and joy of the students, no outsider has had a chance to step into the school and see the garden in all its glory until a sudden transfer student by the name of Hinata Akatsuki is accepted into the academy. Once Hinata arrives at school she finds herself mysteriously lost in a strange area filled with monsters but with the help of a friendly but unknown voice she finds her way to safety and meets with a colorful cast of female students and staff.
Unfortunately this odd dungeon escapade was only the beginning of a much larger problem as one day after Hinata’s arrival does the blooming flower garden suddenly wilt away to nothing with even the pride of the grand garden, the Holy Blossom, barely hanging in there. With the rest of the girls accusing Hinata of potentially tainting the garden she must quickly find a way to save the pride and joy of Belles Fleurs Academy. Of course along the way she will quickly make friends with those around her and encounter a variety of interesting figures, including fairies who know much more about the workings of the garden than its human caretakers could have expected.
Those expecting a dramatic story of danger and the end of the world will find that Omega Labyrinth Life is far from that as it mostly features a straight-forward story with a fun cast of characters. For the most part things are kept lighthearted outside of the occasionally slightly darker turn but even then these elements of the story tend to wrap up fairly quickly to focus on the flowering life of these girls and the friendship blossoming between them. The characters that make up the core cast are endearing enough with a wide mix of personalities at play and players will have plenty of time to see what each girl is about as it doesn’t take long before most of the cast is available to take into dungeons either as a partner character or the main fighter. In fact, the blossoming of these girls’ friendships while they grow works as a great metaphor as the story revolves around a flower bed. As such, be prepared for a “laid-back” style of storytelling as any semblance of a driving narrative is kept to a minimum while the euphemisms and lewd events are kept to a maximum.
For the most part Omega Labyrinth Life is a roguelike RPG that plays in a similar manner to many other dungeon crawlers of its like. Players will delve into a dungeon in a pair of two girls, or solo in certain dungeons or if you simply prefer it that way, with only the gear they have equipped all while starting at level one every time. They then will gain levels and experience while fighting enemies using turn-based combat where enemies only move whenever the player moves or takes an attack action as well as avoiding traps as they travel through a dungeon but if they happen to be defeated then all of their items will be lost forever as every dungeon has a randomized layout that will change if you try and tackle it again.
As a base mechanic, the dungeon crawling in Omega Labyrinth Life is well handled as players will often find the difficulty of a dungeon nicely balanced as it is entirely possible to squash a dungeon if you’re well prepared but even a small mistake can lead to your doom, especially since if your partner falls in combat, the enemy that defeated them is given a significant power up making it best to try and run away to the next floor and avoid losing everything. There are even special “GPS” tags that can be applied to a player’s favorite items allowing them to be retrieved at a hefty price as a way to balance out potentially losing strong equipment and relying on a randomized drop to obtain one again. It is worth noting that while there are numerous shortcuts available to use various items without going into the menu, it may take some time to get the hang of using the shoulder buttons to pull up said shortcuts but since time doesn’t move unless the player does, a little trial and error is usually allowed.
Of course what makes Omega Labyrinth Life a game that ended up having to have two separate versions isn’t the game’s solid mechanics as a roguelike dungeon crawler, but everything else surrounding it. To put it simply, this is a game that lays its fan-service content out as blatantly as possible and isn’t afraid to pull basically any punches as lewd content is involved in nearly every mechanic in the game whether it be identifying mystery objects, to powering up a girl’s special abilities, to even the armor the girls end up wearing as weapons and shields are your standard fair while the armor sets and bonuses are bras and panties.
The power that the Grand Garden relies on to grow and thrive happens to be called Omega Power and of course the place it is stored is within the breasts of the girls attending the school. As such whenever the power needs to be used in some way the girls’ breasts and bodies are involved in some way. Items that are “ambiguous” are too soft to be properly identified so the must be “Sized-up” by the girls rubbing the item between their breasts until it grows solid enough for use and even when a dungeon is cleared, if a “Tit-for-Tat” petal was obtained while diving it, the girls can play Rock Paper Scissors with their breasts against a fairy for a special bonus if they win.
Strength is also often dictated by the size of a girls’ breasts as well since as a character fights in the dungeon and obtains more Omega Power, their breasts will grow in size to match. Hinata may start as a C-cup usually when entering a dungeon but will often be far larger than that by the time a dungeon is beaten as their chests can grow all the way to the impossible to imagine Z-Cup though they’ll already be bursting out of that girls clothes by then. Girls with already large chests may start stronger but also will find themselves growing at a slower rate compared to their smaller companions and there are even some traps that can reduce any characters’ breast size immensely, therefore weakening them.
Hilariously, even the traps run the gambit from being potentially deadly to comedically lewd as well. Arrows may be fired when triggered, a girl’s skirt might be flipped, causing her to lose a turn, electricity may shoot through them for damage or they’ll slip and send their bra, panties, and weaponry scattering across the room. All of this makes for a wild game and that isn’t even all of it as weaponry can be enhanced through combining various pieces of equipment together with the fairy performing an action behind a curtain to do so, and the most obvious bit of fan-service comes in the form of skill blooms. These involve the use of the touch-screen (or cursor controlled by the Joycons) to touch various locations on a girl’s body when highlighted to drive them into a frenzy that ends with the girl’s special skills being unlocked or strengthened as well as spraying liquid that covers the screen that can then be used to help water the flowers in the garden.
Now if this type of thing isn’t your fancy, or you get a bit tired of doing it frequently, then players will have the option to flat out skip most of these little mini-games in an effort to expedite the process of powering up, identifying items, or even visiting the spa where the girls’ regain health and some temporary bonuses accompanying a steamy CG scene with plentiful bounciness. These tend to give the player less bonuses however but can help save time or skip out on a potentially embarrassing situation.
Outside of the dungeon and heavy fan-service elements of the game players will also find that they have mostly free reign over the Grand Garden as they can plant flower seeds obtained from dungeons and water them with various types of water to gain special growth bonuses. When harvested these flowers provide various items as well as nectar that can be used for a number of things. Exploring the school is a simple affair but outside of talking to fellow classmates, it is also a fairly hollow one since flower growing is not nearly as complicated as it could be and the many decorations that players can place around the garden feel like an afterthought.
Visuals & Audio
While exploring the dungeons and the garden itself players will find that the character models are fairly simple as they are chibi versions of the character portraits. These portraits are thankfully nicely detailed since these are then used for any story or dialogue segments and it is fun to note that players can even poke at characters in these screens and listen to them react. The CG scenes are nicely detailed and of course feature heavy amounts of fan-service to the point that limits are being pushed here, though there is no actual nudity to be found in this game. Of course, hints at things behind the scenes and the references make plenty of sense to push things a little bit further but don’t expect anything more than some extremely heavy fan-service.
As for the enemy models, they are fairly predictable and go through some palette swapping and while the Grand Garden is a vibrant and colorful place, the various objects players can place down feel mundane and as a result most of the game feels a bit outdated when it comes to its presentation. The voice work is entirely in Japanese with English subtitles though it is worth noting that not everything is subtitled here. Various bits of dialogue when characters are fighting or touched is not translated which is unfortunate but it is nice to note that nearly every bit of dialogue is voiced here, including plenty of moans and cries of pleasure so be careful with that volume. The soundtrack is fairly standard so don’t expect too much here outside of a catchy opening theme.
There is something to be said about a developer that sticks to their values and puts out a completely unabashed fan-service heavy game like Omega Labyrinth Life. While it does have its problems with some outdated presentation during normal gameplay, often bland gardening systems, and a story that could have been a bit more involved the core dungeon crawling gameplay has plenty of fun little tweaks all framed around delivering as much fan-service as possible that players will easily find themselves sinking hours into the game at a time or tackling a short dungeon on the go if they feel like risking an errant moan or breast-rubbing appearance happening in the open.
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