Review: The Tale of Onogoro

Virtual reality (VR) games don’t often have central characters you can connect with as, for the most part, you are that character. But every so often a developer tries just that, Polyarc’s Moss, for example, Ghost Giant or Astro Bot Rescue Mission. This connection with a virtual character, where you cooperatively work together to form a bond is key to Japanese studio Amata K.K’s work, from the brutal escape room title Last Labyrinth to the studios’ latest project; The Tale of Onogoro. This time around there’s no blood and gore, just a chained high priestess and some big ol’ monsters to fight.

The Tale of Onogoro

To begin with, The Tale of Onogoro has the feel and presence of an adventure RPG, promising and engaging story, big boss fights and some rather magical weaponry. And it does have those elements yet the package is very different, this is a puzzle experience through and through, with action elements to add some pace and drama to the proceedings.

If you like Japanese narratives then this is quintessentially traditional, you play the hero, there’s a damsel in distress and, of course, you’ve got the old friend who’s betrayed you turning into the villain of the piece. Where things take a more unusual turn is in your relationship with this heroine, Haru, a priestess who has summoned you from another realm to aid her due to the fact that she’s attached to a massive rock. Yes, queue up those outdated ball and chain jokes because that is literally one of the core mechanics in Onogoro. Haru’s actually more of a warrior priestess as she fights giant creatures called Kami but because of the betrayal, she and the Quelling Stone are now best of friends thanks to a chain around her ankle. Thus you need to pick her up and carry her everywhere.

Is this a fun mechanic? Umm, not by the end of the game as she continually moans that you’re movements are too fast and to be careful not to drop her. To begin with, though, it’s one of the main ways the videogame builds that partnership between you both, as you’re both useless without each other. You need to defeat five of these Kami to succeed and she has the knowledge to do so – and no, you can’t throw the Quelling Stone at the giant monsters sacrificing Haru. In fact, there’s no ability to throw.

The Tale of Onogoro

You’re in Haru’s world in spectral form so all of your interactions are confined to using the Celestial Weapons, two hip-mounted guns that can remotely pick up the stone as well as pull in elemental energy that can flip switches or be used to shoot enemies. The only other interaction you can have in the world is with Haru, holding hands to regain energy or to answer a question by nodding or shaking your head.

So when it comes to interactivity The Tale of Onogoro isn’t exactly dripping stuff to play with. The focus is on puzzle solving, with no exploratory deviation required. To begin with, Onogoro is a very slow starter, like trying to warm up on a cold day. Haru provides all of the background narrative, in-game rather than annoying, immersion-breaking cut scenes. This means she talks a lot, so much so that there are points where I just wanted to get on with things rather than stand there listening for another two minutes.    

The puzzle mechanics are wonderfully simple, colour-code elements with yellow acting as earth, green for wind and red for fire. You extract the magic from a corresponding stone to then shoot foes or hit a switch, that’s it in a nutshell. This isn’t playschool though, the depth comes from mixing all these up with the environment to set things on fire, carefully navigate balls through the skies and trying to keep your cool when Haru gets continually shot.


Amata K.K. has managed to fit a massive amount of puzzle variety into The Tale of Onogoro making for a pleasant, engaging puzzler. There were certainly moments where it did get a bit mundane, saved by the inclusion of those boss battles. Because of the way the Celestial Weapons work these action sequences are more like giant puzzles themselves, just with the added danger that you could die. These scenarios require even greater management of your and Haru’s positioning, because if either of you both takes too much damage then it’s over, doesn’t matter how far away from you she is.

Should that happen then the only way to heal is to grab both of her hands, slowly recharging the health meter. This is quite possibly the most annoying and engaging part of the entire videogame. It’s a powerful moment between you both, grabbing each other’s hand to save yourselves. But, and there’s always a but, trying to do this mid-battle quite often not attaching the first time and thus dying, does ruin that emotional moment.    

If you like a challenge then don’t expect a hard slog from The Tale of Onogoro. The difficulty does gradually increase yet there’s isn’t a sudden steep arc, everything is fairly self-explanatory and at no point did I get stuck, only dying a couple of times on the last boss due to that hand-holding debacle. So you should expect to complete Onogoro for the first time in around five hours without too much trouble.


What the developer has cleverly done is include some much-needed replay and speedrunner mechanics to add further value to the whole experience. In a very arcade fashion, the levels are split into chapters that are timed with a three-star score awarded at the end. Two Nexus Points are also hidden in each area for those completionists. Just enough that you might be tempted to blitz that awkward area once more.

The Tale of Onogoro really is a mixed bag of tricks, with some clever yet not too tricky puzzling in addition to the epic boss encounters to get the energy pumping. It would’ve been nice if Haru wasn’t so dependent on you, you can’t venture too far away and for someone who was a badass Kami fighting priestess, she really is demoted. I’d have liked the puzzles to have been a little more outlandish considering the setting, there are no hints and I never felt like any were required. Whilst not as striking as Last Labyrinth, The Tale of Onogoro definitely feels like Amata K.K. settling into a solid VR rhythm.   

Launch Date Confirmed for Meta Quest Exclusive The Tale of Onogoro

Japanese virtual reality (VR) developer Amata K.K. only revealed its next project, The Tale of Onogoro, last month and now the immersive adventure is just weeks away from launch. The team has confirmed that the Meta Quest exclusive will be available in mid-March.

The Tale of Onogoro

From the same team behind escape room title Last Labyrinth, The Tale of Onogoro is a fantasy world filled with traditional Japanese culture and steampunk elements. Similar to Taisho-era Japan, Amata K.K. has combined this with the invention of the steam engine as well as ancient magic called Ki.

The storyline sees you partner up with a high priestess named Haru, helping her battle giant creatures called “Kami” who go on deadly rampages. You have to quell five of these beasts on the sacred floating island, Onogoro Island, whilst locating the man behind their appearances, an ex-priest and friend of Haru’s, Masatake Arakida.

The Tale of Onogoro is going to mix together plenty of action elements when fighting the Kami, having to protect Haru who’s chained to a quelling stone that you have to manoeuvre. As a ghost-like character, you interact with Haru’s world using ancient relics called Celestial Weapons. These give you the ability to solve puzzles (of which there seem to be many), fight the Kami and make sure Haru doesn’t perish.

The Tale of Onogoro

If Last Labyrinth is anything to go by, The Tale of Onogoro will likely include some fiendish puzzles and a fairly abstract narrative to discover along the way.

The Tale of Onogoro will release for Meta Quest on 17th March 2022, retailing for $29.99 USD. For continued updates on the latest Quest 2 videogames, keep reading VRFocus.

First Gameplay Trailer Drops for Meta Quest Exclusive The Tale of Onogoro

A couple of weeks ago Japanese virtual reality (VR) developer Amata K.K. revealed its next project, an action-adventure called The Tale of Onogoro. Today, the first solid gameplay details have been unveiled, alongside a new trailer and confirmation that it’ll be a Meta Quest exclusive.


Combining Japanese culture and steampunk elements, The Tale of Onogoro sees you join Japanese high priestess Haru Kose on a journey through a fantasy world filled with puzzles and giant beings called “Kami”.

“These Kami often manifest as “Incensed Kami” and go on rampages, causing havoc in their wake. Shinto priests and priestesses are dispatched by shrines to quell each Incensed Kami that manifests, risking their lives to protect the citizens,” explains the synopsis.

“One day, it is reported that five Incensed Kami have manifested on the sacred floating island, Onogoro Island. Haru, as the High Priestess of the Grand Holy Shrine: Daijingu is dispatched to the island to see to the matter. However, the man responsible for the appearance of the five Incensed Kami on the island, Masatake Arakida, attacks Haru and steals parts of her body. He then chains her to a quelling stone and locks her away in a shrine. In a desperate attempt to summon reinforcements, Haru accidentally summons the Player to her world.”


You are a ghost-like character in Kose’s world able to interact with it by using divine ancient relics called the Celestial Weapons. With these devices, you can interact with various puzzle elements, fight the Kami and manoeuvre the quelling stone she’s attached to. Keeping Kose alive is vital as you’re both linked, so if one of you takes damage so does the other.

From the looks of it, The Tale of Onogoro is shaping up to be a much bigger VR title than Amata K.K.’s previous project, Last Labyrinth.

Coming to Meta Quest this spring, The Tale of Onogoro will retail for $29.99 USD. Check out the new trailer below and for further updates keep reading gmw3.

Team Behind Last Labyrinth Tease new VR Adventure The Tale of Onogoro

Japanese developer Amata K.K. launched its first virtual reality (VR) videogame just over two years ago, the dark surreal puzzler Last Labyrinth. Today, the studio has confirmed its next project isn’t far away, an action-adventure experience called The Tale of Onogoro.

Image credit: Amata K.K.

Amata K.K. has only teased the existence of the project at the moment, releasing a couple of title images and one of what could be the protagonist. As you can see from the above image The Tale of Onogoro looks vastly different to the confined rooms of Last Labyrinth, with an expansive vista and traditional Japanese architecture in the distance.

There’s also one other clue to the gameplay gmw3 spotted and that’s a bow. Bow’s have always been popular in VR due to their physical nature, immersing you in every shot. They can also be difficult to pull off, making or breaking any VR videogame that dares to use them. Hopefully, it’s the former with The Tale of Onogoro although it’s unclear if the viewpoint will be first or third-person.

As with any tease, there’s still so much we don’t know about The Tale of Onogoro, such as the tale itself. No other character or gameplay elements have been unveiled, just that its an action-adventure so puzzle elements might be quite minimal. In any case, considering the last VR title from Amata K.K. expect a few unusual elements to appear.

Last Labyrinth
Image credit: Amata K.K.

Last Labyrinth provided one of the more unique puzzle experiences for VR headsets in 2019, where you found yourself sitting in a wheelchair unable to move; apart from operating a laser pointer on your head. You used this to guide a girl called Katia to the various puzzle elements in each room, trying to find a way out of an unusual mansion. However, fail a puzzle and just like the Saw movie franchise you’d be met with a grim end, having to start all over.

Currently, The Tale of Onogoro is scheduled for release this spring. Exclusive to VR headsets, none have been confirmed thus far. For continued updates, keep reading gmw3.

Escape Room Last Labyrinth Confirmed for Oculus Quest, Multi-Platform Launch in November

After its recent showcase on the PlayStation VR booth during the Tokyo Game Show (TGS) 2019, Last Labyrinth will soon be coming to all major virtual reality (VR) headsets. Japanese developer Amata K.K. has announced the launch will take place in November whilst confirming an Oculus Quest version will also be released.

Last Labyrinth
Last Labyrinth – Oculus Quest Screenshot

First showcased at TGS 2016, Last Labyrinth is an escape room experience along the lines of horror films such as The Cube. You play a character with no memory of how they arrived in a strange foreboding mansion. Tied to a wheelchair with the only movement being your head, you’re not alone in the house, a mysterious girl called Katia appears from the shadows to help, the only problem is she does talk in any recognisable language.

Having to use non-verbal communication, you and Katia have to find a way out of the mansion. You can direct her around each room by pressing a button in your hand to activate a lazer pointer on your head, then nodding or shaking your head to trigger actions. Care must be taken at each step as every room is booby-trapped with deadly mechanisms which will kill both of you.

While gory in places, Last Labyrinth has been designed as a comfortable seated experience where you only have to move Katia rather than yourself.

Last Labyrinth

The development has been spearheaded by Hiromichi Takahashi, director and producer of Doko Demo Issyo (PlayStation, 1999) with other notable veterans including co-Director Tetsuya Watanabe (Puppeteer, The Last Guardian) and Lead Animator Atsuko Fukuyama (ICO, Shadow of the Colossus). Katia is voiced by Stefanie Joosten, the voice and likeness of Quiet from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (2015).

The worldwide launch will take place on 13th November 2019, supporting Oculus Rift/ Rift S, Oculus Quest, HTC Vive/Vive Pro, Windows Mixed Reality and PlayStation VR, retailing for $39.99 USD. For customers in Asian territories like Japan, Amata K.K. will be running a pre-order bonus for PlayStation customers. From 12th September they will be able to pre-order to unlock a Last Labyrinth PlayStation 4 theme.

VRFocus will continue its coverage of Last Labyrinth, reporting back with any further updates and announcements.

Last Labyrinth to Offer Special PlayStation VR Demo at Tokyo Game Show

The annual Tokyo Game Show (TGS) will return next week with Sony Interactive Entertainment Japan Asia (SIEJA) having a big presence at the event for both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR. Japanese developer Amata K.K. will be attending, showcasing its upcoming virtual reality (VR) escape room title Last Labyrinth

Last Labyrinth

It’ll be the second time the PlayStation VR version has been shown – the first during PlayStation Matsuri TOKYO 2019 in July – and possibly the last time it’ll be demoed before launch. Created as a special demo version of the title with the final launch expected by the end of the year. Just like PlayStation Matsuri, visitors attending TGS 2019 will need to book first, pre-registering on the official website, only applicable for PlayStation Plus members.

Last Labyrinth will have gone full circle, originally revealed during the Tokyo Games Show (TGS) 2016. After completing a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign earlier this year Amata K.K. had planned on a Spring 2019 launch. This was then delayed to the summer before being given a Fall 2019 release window. That launch won’t purely be for PlayStation VR, with a version also coming to Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

A single-player experience, Last Labyrinth puts you in a creepy mansion with no idea what’s going on. You’re chained to a wheelchair, unable to escape, the only movement being your head and hand. Trapped with you is this girl Katia who only talks in a non-discernable language. You can guide her to solve the puzzles by pressing a button in your hand which then activates a laser pointer on your head. Any real communication between you and Katia is achieved purely through nods and shakes of the head.

Last Labyrinth

Also for the TGS 2019 event SIEJA has announced the lineup of titles it’ll be showcasing: Concrete Genie, Deemo Reborn  (Unties), Marvel’s Iron Man VR, Hatsune Miku VR (Degica Games), Sairento VR, Stumper (Thirteenth Floor Corporation)  and Throw Anything (Visual Light).

The Tokyo Game Show 2019 runs from 12th – 15th September with the first two days dedicated to business attendees and the last two days open to the public. VRFocus will continue its coverage of Last Labyrinth and when Amata K.K. announces the launch date we’ll let you know.

New Trailer and Images Released for Japanese Escape Room Experience Last Labyrinth

Earlier this week Japanese developer Amata K.K. demoed its upcoming virtual reality (VR) escape videogame Last Labyrinth for the first time during the PlayStation Matsuri TOKYO 2019 exhibition. For those interested in the multiplatform title but unable to attend, the studio has released several new images as well as a second trailer detailing more of the gameplay.

Last Labyrinth

The images are of the two main characters in Last Labyrinth, Katia, the mysterious girl who helps players solve the deadly puzzles, and Phantom, an unknown hooded figure who is more than likely the main reason you and Katia are trapped in the mansion.

As for the trailer, this features the Last Labyrinth theme song, penned by renowned videogame music composer Hiroki Kikuta and sung by Stefanie Joosten – who provided the voice and likeness for Quiet from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (2015) – the voice of Katia.

The trailer includes introductions to the main staff developing Last Labyrinth and their past work, such as Director/Game Designer Tetsuya Watanabe (Puppeteer, The Last Guardian) and Lead Animator Atsuko Fukuyama (ICO, Shadow of the Colossus). There’s plenty of gameplay footage interlaced throughout the trailer, showcasing who Katia interacts with puzzles and the various brutal rooms that stand in your way.

Last Labyrinth

Created specifically for the VR age, set to support headsets like PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift/Rift S and HTC Vive, Last Labyrinth is a videogame VRFocus has been covering since its first reveal during the Tokyo Games Show (TGS) in 2016.

A single-player experience, Last Labyrinth puts you in a creepy mansion with no idea what’s going on. You’re chained to a wheelchair, unable to escape, the only movement being your head and hand. Trapped with you is this girl Katia who only talks in a non-discernable language. You can guide her to solve the puzzles by pressing a button in your hand which then activates a laser pointer on your head. Any real communication between you and Katia is achieved purely through nods and shakes of the head.

After several delaysLast Labyrinth has been given a fall 2019 release window. When VRFocus gets a more concrete date for the launch, we’ll let you know.

First Public PlayStation VR Demo of Last Labyrinth Taking Place at PlayStation Matsuri TOKYO 2019

Amata K.K. is currently in the process of developing virtual reality (VR) escape room experience Last Labyrinth for several headsets including Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR. So far this year the title has seen a couple of delays already this year, pushing the release back towards the end of 2019. This week, the studio has confirmed the first public showcase of the PlayStation VR version will take place next week during PlayStation Matsuri TOKYO 2019 in Japan.

Last Labyrinth - Screenshot (2018)

A demo version of Last Labyrinth has been available at several other shows but this will mark the debut of the PlayStation VR version. Amata K.K. hasn’t mentioned whether this version will showcase any differences or updates to the title. While it is available for public demonstration attendees won’t simply be able to walk up and play. Like many events featuring PlayStation VR such as the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) and Gamescom in 2018, visitors will need to book first, pre-registering on the official website. Slots are also only available to PlayStation Plus members.

VRFocus has covered Last Labyrinth a number of times in the past, from its first reveal during the Tokyo Games Show (TGS) 2016, to more recently when the studio completed a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign and announced the first delay to Summer 2019, and then last month’s second delay until fall 2019.

Last Labyrinth looks like a promising escape room experience, with the twist that from a fixed position you then guide another character around each location to solve it and move on, one incorrect move and a grizzly end awaits both of you. Story details are fairly vague at present, with you waking to find yourself strapped to a wheelchair. A strange girl named Katia appears from the darkness to help you, with you guiding her via a laser pointer attached to your head, switched on and off via a button in your hand.

Last Labyrinth - Screenshot (2018)

Voiced by Stefanie Joosten who’s previous work includes providing the voice and likeness for Quiet from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (2015), Katia doesn’t actually talk in a comprehensible language, so the only way of communicating with her is through nods and shakes of the head.

The PlayStation Matsuri TOKYO 2019 exhibition takes place on Monday, 15th July at the Bellesalle Takadanobaba. When Amata K.K. confirms a launch date for Last Labyrinth, VRFocus will let you know.

Escape Room Title Last Labyrinth Delayed Until Fall 2019

Japanese escape room title Last Labyrinth made its debut during the Tokyo Game Show (TGS) back in 2016 and was originally due for release this Spring before being pushed back to Summer. Today, developer Amata K.K. has announced that this date is being pushed back again, with a new launch window set for Fall 2019.

Last Labyrinth

The only reason the studio has given for the delay is that the videogame needs further polish before being released. This is still only estimated, with an exact date to be revealed in the near future.

On a more positive note, the team has officially confirmed all the headsets Last Labyrinth will support. These are PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift/ Rift S, HTC Vive/ Vive Pro and Windows Mixed Reality headsets. The PlayStation VR version will support both DualShock 4 and PlayStation Move controllers.

Designed specifically for VR gaming, Last Labyrinth is an escape room experience that’s both equally comfortable to play as it is creepy. The vague story goes that you awake in an old spooky mansion, finding yourself tied to a wheelchair with minimal movement. You find that you’re not alone as a mysterious girl appears from the darkness. Called Katia she never says a word, with the only way to communicate between you pair being nods and a shake of the head.

Last Labyrinth - Screenshot (2018)

Katia does free you, instead, she’s there to interact with each room, going on your instruction to complete each one. This is achieved via a laser pointer attached to your head and a button in your hand to activate it. This isn’t a friendly escape room videogame, however, as each room is brutally booby-trapped with all manner of nasty machines that’ll kill you if a wrong move is made.

Earlier this year Amata K.K. held a successful Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign to raise ¥2,000,000 (£13,965 GBP) for Last Labyrinth. The studio also revealed that Stefanie Joosten, the voice and likeness of Quiet from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (2015) and international model, actress, voice actress and singer, will be the voice of Katia. VRFocus will continue its coverage of Last Labyrinth, reporting back when a release date is confirmed.

Last Labyrinth Completes Kickstarter Funding Goal

Japanese developer Amata K.K. launched a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign for its upcoming virtual reality (VR) escape room title Last Labyrinth in January. A few days ago the studio announced that it had successfully hit the funding goal target.

Last Labyrinth - Screenshot (2018)

As VRFocus has previously reported, Last Labyrinth has been in development for a number of years, with the Kickstarter funds to be used for marketing purposes to get the videogame noticed rather than for development costs. Aiming to raise ¥2,000,000 (£13,965 GBP), the campaign has easily achieved that, and with a couple of days still left to go even the first stretch goal might be possible.

Last Labyrinth is a VR escape room experience that’s equally creepy as it is comfortable. Players find themselves in a dark and creepy mansion, unable to move as they’re chained to a wheelchair. So to aid them in escaping and solving the puzzles is a mysterious young girl named Katia – who doesn’t speak a discernable language – who also seems to be trapped, yet given free rein to move around.

Due to the fact that players are confined to a wheelchair, the only movement available to them is via their head. There’s a laser pointer attached, activated by a handheld device, which is the only way to guide Katia through the booby-trapped rooms. While players can’t talk to Katia – she doesn’t understand – she does understand when they nod or shake their head, helping her when she gets confused.


Last Labyrinth - Screenshot (2018)

Supporting Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR and Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Last Labyrinth was due for release Spring 2019 but that has now changed. In a statement the team explained: “Up until now we’ve being [sic] working towards a Spring 2019 release for Last Labyrinth, but in order to further ensure the quality of the game, we’ve decided to change it to a Summer 2019 release. An exact date will be revealed in the near future.”

When Amata K.K. does release those final details for Last Labyrinth, VRFocus will let you know.