A Highland Song studio Inkle releases free art adventure The Forever Labyrinth

Inkle, the studio behind the acclaimed likes of Heaven’s Vault and last year’s A Highland Song, has just surprise-released The Forever Labyrinth, a free browser-based narrative adventure spanning the entire history of art from across the world.

The Forever Labyrinth, which has been made in partnership with the Google Arts & Culture initiative, transports players to an ever-shifting maze of rooms — resembling everything from serene gardens to clifftops, forests, and cellars — as they search for their friend Professor Sheldrake, who’s lost amid its mysterious interlinking passageways.

These passageways take the form of paintings and art — «drawn from the collections of great museums who are keen to share their treasures in new and exciting ways online», as the press release puts it — scattered around each room. By collecting clues and identifying elements present within the artwork, players can learn to navigate the labyrinth and hopefully find their friend — assuming the monster ceaselessly devouring the world doesn’t get them.

Cover image for YouTube videoThe Forever Labyrinth | Official Trailer

The Forever Labyrinth launch trailer.

Inkle is calling The Forever Labyrinth a «replayable rogue-like adventure», and says a single play-through will ordinarily take around 20 minutes. However, those wanting to discover all the labyrinth’s secrets will need to play through multiple times, according to the developer — and there’s a save system in place to record your progress.

The Forever Labyrinth looks to be a pleasingly intriguing thing with plenty of Inkle’s usual charm based on my relatively brisk playtime (you can play it here), and it’s a neat way to get some art in your eyes that you might ordinarily not see. It’s also lovely to see more Inkle so soon after last year’s A Highland Song — which Eurogamer’s Chris Tapsell called a «a magical sonnet hidden beneath a game» in his four out of five review.

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