Locked in a labyrinth where the goal is to escape, you are trapped with a vicious Minotaur who lives within and is constantly hunting you down with unending vigor. TAURONOS is a well designed adventure influenced by Greek mythology that will have you wanting to escape the puzzles that trap you. Delve deeper into your own memories and pray to the gods that you escape and kill the beast.

Gameplay

TAURONOS plays with a top down view of the labyrinth which helps you to not get lost, especially with the limited vision from the torch light. The gameplay is relatively simple and easy to understand where you mostly just walk around and perform simple tasks to continue your way throughout the game’s levels. As you progress, you can find ways to upgrade your character’s abilities and his torch light by praying to the gods in certain areas. 

There are two main ways you can die: being beaten to death by the minotaur or by one of the many traps that lay in wait for you to trigger them. Thankfully, the game’s tutorial is very well laid out by showing you the best ways to navigate the dungeon if you look out for clues on the floor for the safest path. Hidden behind false walls lie secret passages to extra lives and easter eggs that provide bonuses to help you succeed in your escape.

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World / Level Design

TAURONOS has inspirational dungeon design that could be used by map makers for tabletop role playing games to give players a challenge. Truly embracing the Ancient Greek design with crumbling ruins, maze-like structure with paths leading to death and numerous traps, TAURONOS has a well designed level layout and while some of them get repeated, they feel well placed in the overall story.

Story / Personality

The game’s story is told through the hero’s inner monologues as they progress their way through the labyrinth. There isn’t a lot of plot here unfortunately but I was quite intrigued with the hero and how he became cursed into being stuck while being hunted by the Minotaur. Each of the game’s chapters test the hero in different ways as he makes his way through the labyrinth.

Graphics / Art Direction

The art design chosen for TAURONOS is a 16 bit pixel approach and that would be because the developers are the team known as 16 BIT NIGHTS. Visually, this game embraces its ancient history influence with lots of stone work made within the labyrinth. Restricting the player’s vision to torch light shows the feeling of exploring a tight enclosed space and conveys a strong, foreboding sense of dread.

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Music / Sound Design

TAURONOS goes with a more subtle soundtrack while moving around the labyrinth to keep things a bit more calm, however the drums pick up more and more as the Minotaur becomes more active in hunting you. This sound design makes the game feel more dynamic and it puts pressure on the player whilst providing a sense of urgency.

Final Score: 85%

TAURONOS is a unique experience that drives in the fear of being helpless in your situation while also being constantly hunted by a creature significantly more powerful than yourself. The game’s movement does feel slow but it plays an integral part in the overall appeal of the game which is successfully portrayed throughout every level of the labyrinth. TAURONOS is a great addition to any switch library, especially at its lower cost of entry. The labyrinth holds many secrets; can you discover them all and escape safely?

Thank you for checking out our TAURONOS Switch review, thank you to 16 Bit Nights for providing the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: