So…how does the game work?
Library Labyrinth is a co-operative game for between one and five players. It features multiple characters and is set in a library.
A curse has fallen on the library, and all has gone dark. Out of the corner of your eye you can see a book opening, and literary terror emerging. Perhaps it’s Dracula, perhaps it’s the Martian Robots from the War of the Worlds, or perhaps it’s a Triffid. These literary terrors are hiding in the shadows waiting for you to pass by…
The object of the game is for your team to rid the library of these terrors by calling on the skills of the famous literary characters and historical figures in the books around you. The game takes place on a grid of 25 tile, each showing a pathway between shelves. With the curse still loose in the building, the tiles rotate, changing the layout under your feet.
So, how do you defeat the terrors and save the library? With the help of famous fictional and historical characters. There will be 100 characters, mainly women, with some non-binary people. As it’s a library, everything is a book! The terrors come out of books, and the characters you have are also from books. Your characters are the books in your hands, your team, rather than you as the player, and so you may have two or three characters in your team at any one time.
Each character has a unique set of abilities which are related to who they are in fiction or in history. This might be a set of knowledge skills, such as science, coding, and logic (Ada Lovelace), or expertise skills such as magic and water craft (Circe), or courage (Harriet Tubman). The characters can only be used once — but that’s enough. These skills fall into six different categories, which also appear on the terrors. Match the symbols on the characters to the symbols on the terrors, and you can capture it.
All of the fictional characters are out of copyright, and none of the historical characters are still alive. The characters will come from all around the world, and we are working with sensitivity readers and cultural consultants on specific identities. The characters fall into one of six book categories — children’s fiction, legends, classic fiction, amazing lives, historical leaders, and science.
Once the terrors have been captured by characters with the right skills, then they need to be delivered to the right shelf. This may be easier said than done, as the curse is still moving round the board, rotating tiles or revealing new terrors. You’re also on a time limit, with every turn you take bringing you closer to the end. Can you capture enough terrors to fill all six shelves before the deck runs out? Hidden in the library are reward cards which give the players something to use, like a potion or a musical instrument, or a one-off special action. But beware, if more than six terrors are ever out in the library then you will be overwhelmed and instantly lose…
There will be spare tiles, and a grid layout provides multiple different layouts and paths through the shelves. Combined with drawing your team from so many possible characters, this gives great replay-ability.
As well as the game, we’re also looking at creating a classroom/workshop version for large groups to play. And we will be including a booklet in the game box with a few lines of information about each of the characters we feature to encourage players to seek out the stories of these incredible role models.
Can you help us?
Would you like to playtest? Or maybe you can help us spread the word? Let us know how you can help!