Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi from Aksys Games, Experience, and Poppy Works is a challenging and fun dungeon crawler on PS5. Learn more in our Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi review!
Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi from Aksys Games, Experience, and Poppy Works is a challenging and fun dungeon crawler on PlayStation 5. When a massive structure suddenly rises from the ground – the titular Yomi dungeon – the government sends a team to investigate. You are part of an elite group of underground explorers employed by the Cassandra Company, sent on a quest to explore the depths of the massive, monster-infested labyrinth in search of priceless resources. You’ll take on the many challenges on your path with a group of six adventurers.
Once the intro cutscene is over, you’ll be able to work on creating a main character. The first step will be to select between the different protagonist archetypes: male protagonist, female protagonist, grizzled protagonist, and young protagonist. After that, you’ll edit the main character’s full name, nickname, notes, history, job, and trinkets, as well as distribute Attribute Points. Based on your choices, you’ll steer your character down a specific character path for its eventual development during the dozens of hours you’ll spend dungeon crawling.
By selecting a background from the different options – Youngster, White-collar, Blue-collar, Athlete, Creative, and Vagabond, you’ll also decide upon the starting stats for your main character, with values automatically set for starting strength, intelligence, wisdom, constitution, speed, and luck. Next up will be the job type for your character, with the options being Tactician, Bulwark, Fighter, Sorcerer, Cleric, hunter, Fencer, and Ninja. Each job type will have different attributes as well as special abilities.
A Tactician is a versatile warrior that specializes in close-range physical attacks, with abilities such as Power Swing, which deals heavy damage to one foe, or Empty Mind, which boosts its accuracy. A Bulwark is a knight that protects the squad from physical attacks thanks to its heavy equipment, and it will have abilities like Protect Vanguard, which makes it possible to block single-target attacks on the Vanguard, or HP Up, which considerably boosts its maximum hit points. The Fighter is a martial artist that specializes in fist attacks and qi abilities, using Concentrate to increase its accuracy, or Costly Strike, which deals extra damage to a foe while also dealing damage to the Fighter itself. A Sorcerer is a magician that specializes in magic attacks and support, making the most of Pyrokinesis to deal fire damage, or Magic Barrier, which helps to reduce the chance of ailments via magic – even protecting against instakills!
Then we have the Cleric, a healer that is a must for any squad that is ready for some deep dungeon crawling, using Medi to heal an ally’s hit points, or Adroitness to increase the accuracy and evade of an ally. A Hunter is a ranger that specializes in ranged attacks, mainly using bows and arrows, with abilities like Target Legs, which reduces an enemy’s evade, or Eagle Eye, which gives it a glimpse of an enemy’s hit points. A Fencer is a modern-day samurai that can slay foes with ease, as well as dual-wield, which is why it has abilities such as Rapid Barrage, which deals 2-3 consecutive attacks against a single enemy, or Dogged Persistence, which boosts its attack when it’s low on hit points. As for the Ninja, it’s ready to quickly annihilate opponents with its Sneak Attack, which allows it to ambush a foe to pierce its defenses or help the squad with Illusion, which will boost evade for single-target attacks by 75%.
You can then pick the trinket that will affect your character’s stats. A Relay Race Sash can boost its constitution and strength, while a Kendo Towel, which is used to wrap one’s head under a kendo helmet, will boost strength and speed. As expected, a Turtle Charm will boost your character’s luck. Maybe a Jump Rope would be a good option to boost constitution? Or perhaps a palm-sized Buddha Statue to boost wisdom is the way to go. What will you choose as your trinket?
The last step will be to use the provided Attribute Points provided for your main character. Each of the stats you increase will have a direct effect on a variety of parameters. Strength will affect physical attacks and accuracy. Intelligence will affect magic attacks and max magic points. Wisdom will affect healing magic and max magic points. Constitution will affect physical defense and a character’s max hit points. Speed will affect accuracy, evade, and turn order. Luck will affect accuracy, evade, critical hits, and loot drop rates.
If you’ve played a first-person dungeon crawler before, then you’ll know what to expect from Undernauts. You’ll move around the dungeon with the left analog stick or the D-Pad as you explore each area in search of treasure… and enemies to fight. You can use the L1 and R1 buttons to strafe left and right as needed and can turn around by pressing down on the left analog stick or the D-Pad. There will be a minimap in the upper center part of the screen, and you can also check the floor’s entire map – with the squares you’ve uncovered – by pressing the Square button. You can also use the map to set an auto-travel route to quickly get from point A to point B.
Once in battle, you’ll be able to select between attacking, defending, using a skill, using an item, or retreating. Attacking will use your main weapon to deal damage to enemies. Defending will allow you to lower some of the potential damage you might receive. The skills menu will allow you to spend your MP to activate one of your powerful abilities in order to hopefully turn the tide of battle. Items must sometimes be used to heal your wounds or to provide another useful buff to a character or the group.
Pay attention to the color of an enemy’s symbol so that you can know what you’re about to get yourself into! Red ones are normal enemies that appear at specific spots in the labyrinth, rewarding you with a treasure chest when defeated. They will respawn when you exit and reenter the labyrinth. Green enemies are obstacles that you’ll have to defeat in order to progress further in the game. Blue ones are constructed enemies, created with Mon Flowers. Purple ones are dangerous since they signal a boss fight! You will also run into event enemies, which are special entities that must be defeated in order to progress through the game’s story.
Another thing to consider is the number of skulls that are displayed on an enemy’s symbol. If there’s more than one skull on display, that means you’re about to take on a consecutive battle scenario. The bad news is that you will need to give it your all and survive through several waves of enemies. The good news is that the more skulls on an enemy’s icon, the better the quality of the loot you’ll receive… if you survive! An enemy icon can have up to three skulls on it, so always check before engaging in combat!
Before I forget, I do need to mention something about treasure chests. While they’re very tempting and might contain some valuable loot, odds are that there are some traps on them! The number of potential traps on a treasure chest will depend on the MP consumption of your party members. If you didn’t use any MP in battle, then you will have a good chance of disabling the trap with a lockpicking bug. If you use a lot of MP, you might run into a needle shot trap that will reduce HP by 10% or a deadly bomb that, after exploding, will reduce HP by 50%.
Defeating enemies will reward you with experience points, Argen (AG), and maybe some useful items. Experience points will allow your characters to level up, which will allow them to improve their overall stats, as well as gain access to new abilities and improve the ones they already have access to. Use the skill points you obtain to unlock new skills or level them up so that you can dive deeper and deeper into the mine! AG is automatically gathered by the Argen Battery you’re carrying with you. Gathering AG is part of your work as an Undernaut since it’s the most valuable resource inside of the mine.
Your main character, who leads the squad, has a special switch band. Depending on which of the four switches is pressed, you can use the switch band to temporarily boost your party member’s abilities by way of the Switch Boost. Pressing the L2 and the R2 button, you can select the Switch Boost type to activate. The effects will last for one turn. Overcharge will strengthen the party member’s skills, being able to use them at a +1 level. Duracharge will increase a party member’s defense, halving all damage taken. Neurocharge will increase a party member’s luck and speed, greatly boosting the accuracy and evasion – use this opportunity to try and defeat all enemies to also gain a boost to the experience you’ll receive. Recharge will be how you reactivate the switch band so that you can boost again.
While you’ll start alone, once you return to camp, you’ll be able to register up to five additional characters to join us as the new members of your Undernauts group. For each of these new characters, you’ll have to repeat the character creation process you performed for your main character at the start of your adventure. I suggest you add at least one Cleric, one Hunter for long-range attacks, one Sorcerer to have access to powerful spells, and then find two more characters that complement your playing style.
You’ll have to edit your group so that you can select three characters to be on the Vanguard – a.k.a. the frontline – and three to be in the rear guard. Pay attention to which characters are best suited for each of the two lines so that you don’t end up sending a sorcerer to her death by placing her front and center in the Vanguard! If all of your party members are in critical condition and lose all of their hit points, you’ll automatically withdraw from battle and will be sent back to camp. When this happens, only the main character will recover, and the other party members must be healed by spending Argen before they can give the whole dungeon crawling business another go.
As you collect special Promotion Argen, you’ll be able to use it to promote your party members so that they become even more specialized in their job. Take, for example, the Fighter. If you have enough Promotion Argen, you can decide if you’ll promote one of your Fighters into a Specialist Fighter or a Comprehensive Fighter. A Specialist Fighter is truly dedicated to its role, learning master-level skills. A Comprehensive Fighter is also a valuable option since it’s a well-rounded character that can learn a variety of Vanguard skills.
Upon first entering a floor in the labyrinth, you’ll have bad lighting and poor visibility. Exploring in this situation will increase the odds of being ambushed, and you won’t be able to see the level of enemies, which immediately puts you at a great disadvantage. To light up an area, you’ll need zero-in on the special boss for the area. Defeat this special boss, and you’ll light up that section, removing ambushes and giving you a good view of enemy levels so that you can plan accordingly. Each section will have its own special boss, so be sure to search for it right away to make your life easier.
When back at camp, you can check out the Fusion Reactor. By using it, you can create items or Yomi Flowers, extract items, and even upgrade your equipment. The Fusion Reactor will require that you spend either Argen or Flower Power. Flower Power is the energy used to create Yomi Flowers, which can then be used to expand your exploration range. You could use a Yomi Flower to create a ladder to carry on or build an area where you can focus on grinding for some extra experience points and Argen. Create doors, build keys to open locked doors, create a healing flower to help you recover all of your HP as well as some MP, or use a deletion flower to erase enemies at fixed spots. Just know that there are some blocks where Yomi Flowers can’t be used to construct on!
The game features a full trophy list with a Platinum trophy for your collection. The list includes 3 Bronze trophies, 8 Silver trophies, and 8 Gold trophies. You’ll unlock trophies as you collect weapons and armor of D, C, B, A, and S rarity, defeat the many deadly bosses you’ll find as you dive deeper and deeper into Yomi, as well as for managing to escape from Yomi. This is not an easy trophy list to work on since dungeon crawling is a dangerous activity, but it’s certainly going to be an entertaining experience!
Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi is an excellent dungeon crawling experience that is a must-play on PlayStation 5. There’s a ton of content to enjoy in this one, with tight gameplay mechanics and a gorgeous art style that helps to bring everything to life. There are a ton of potential combinations for how you go about setting up your party, creating every single member to complement your gaming style as you take on a journey into the dark Yomi labyrinth. It features a very addictive gameplay loop that will keep you busy for a while as you try to get a new Platinum for your collection. Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi is out on PlayStation 5 with a $59.99 asking price, and it’s worth every penny. There’s also a PS4 version of the game available for the same price as a separate purchase.
This Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi review is based on a PlayStation 5 copy provided by Aksys Games.