Pon Para and the Great Southern Labyrinth

by Kyle Marquis

Episode 1 of Pon Para trilogy
Bronze Age, adventure

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Number of Ratings: 4
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1-4 of 4

- Nemorah , February 2, 2024

- autumnc, January 28, 2022

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
A long, complex fantasy game with massive worldbuilding, January 31, 2021
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 2-10 hours

Having played (almost) all of Kyle Marquis's games, I can say that there are some definite trends. They tend to be very long, with complicated skill checks and intricate worldbuilding.

In particular, the worlds he constructs have certain similarities, almost like half-remembered versions of the same fever dream. The worlds tend to be man-made by ancient, superior versions of humans, who are now gone, and have bio-mechanical or magic-scifi hybrid.

I like all of his games, but I think this one works particularly well (although his Vampire the Masquerade game is, I think, his best). Years ago, a group of heroes saved the world, and two of them had you as a child. When news of a foreign army comes, you have to travel across a huge continent and a variety of locales to warn others of what is to come. In the end, you have to travel to the Great Southern Labyrinth to get aid.

I can only describe the structure of this game as 'baroque', in the sense of being almost excessively elaborate. You have statistics for personal skills, as well as statistics for things you are trained in. There are many subplots running through the game (such as the fear of the gods, a lengthy murder mystery, political intrigue, your character's backstory, control over temple worship, an artifact that possesses creatures, etc.) and 4-5 villains, each of which would work fine as a main villain. It's over the top, maybe even overwhelming at times, especially given the size of the game. The great labyrinth itself is huge, but it's only in one or two chapters.

There are a lot of ways to fail in this game, both due to bad stat checks and due to built-in-failure.

I found your two main travelling companions (who also serve as ROs) interesting and varied.

Overall, a game I'd recommend if you've liked the author's other work or if you try out the free demo and enjoy.

I received a review copy of this game.

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- mifga (Brooklyn, NY), October 26, 2020

1-4 of 4 | Return to game's main page