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 Review - Maze (Wii U eShop)

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PostReview - Maze (Wii U eShop)

Puzzlingly Perfunctory



           Some games in the eShop these days have taken a new twist on a classic formula, or add something new to a classic game that makes it all the more interesting and enjoyable. Maze is a first person maze game on the Wii U, but has Treefall Studios truly made a fun and unique puzzle game, or is it better to lose yourself in another game?


           Maze is basically a 3D first person maze game with platforming elements. The player tries to collect 10 coins and then find the exit without dying, which can take quite a while. This is where the problems of this game starts, though, as at least in this case platforming and maze elements don’t really mix well. In fact, if you’re not a fan of first person platforming (and even if you are, most likely) you’re not going to enjoy many of the 25 mazes of the game, as many of the levels are built around these mechanics. Some of the levels aren’t even maze-like in structure at all, and this is rather odd in a game titled “Maze.” All of this is rather infuriating when placed together, as the first person platforming isn’t fun, the maze elements are sometimes nonexistent, and the mix of all the elements of the game doesn’t work all that well.

           Perhaps all of this would be more fun if the game worked in a more desirable way. What we mean by this is the way the game works isn’t really something to get excited about either. You move slowly, and there’s no way to speed this up. More painful, though, is the speed of turning. There’s no option to adjust the sensitivity, and it takes a long time to do anything as a result. Even the enemies are slow most of the time, moving incredibly slowly even if they’re preventing progress. Speaking of enemies, they’re handled oddly as well. Every once in a while, randomly, there will be one. They’re not evenly distributed throughout the levels, and there’s no way to destroy them. If you touch one, or if you die in any other way (such as falling off the world, touching water, or touching spikes, for example), you see a game over screen and have to restart the stage. However, unless the level you’re on is a platforming level, there will be very few times you die. Maze is more of a time-consuming game than a hard game.


           When Maze is actually hard, though, the game quickly gets repetitive and boring. Many of the levels are designed specifically so the player can’t tell one wall from the next, and we personally didn’t find it in us to really keep track. This just lead to constant guessing of where we had and hadn’t been, which did take longer, but it was simply too much effort to keep track of each individual maze. This, in turn, led to no real sense of accomplishment on the harder mazes, and the easier mazes were far too easy to cause us to feel happy about finishing a level, unless you count the fact we were happy that we then never had to beat the maze again.

           Even the little things of Maze are mediocre at best. There are two modes besides the main story mode, a Multiplayer mode and an Arcade mode, but both seem like last minute additions and not well thought out. Multiplayer lets you compete against a friend, and Arcade has you trying to collect 20 tokens instead of 10 under a certain time limit, but neither mode adds all the much to the game. They may be very, very, very slightly fun the first few times you play them, but after that, they become just as bad as the main story mode. The graphics are some of the ugliest we’ve seen on the Wii U, and this just makes this game even less fun, since you have to depend on what your surroundings look like to figure out where you are in the maze. In fact, the bad graphics mixed with the horrendously slow turning in some way or another caused us to feel nauseous; this is something that has never happened to us in a game before.

         The music also adds nothing to the game, besides being almost annoying. We actually found it better to just turn it off and turn on a music player. Even the small story is nothing interesting, and feels like filler; this isn’t even to mention it’s filled with typos. With this lack of refining, we found it somewhat humorous that the player can choose to choose the font of the game if desired, which adds nothing to the game whatsoever. Even with just some refining, Maze might’ve been a lot better, but it truly suffers from the lack of anything one may find enjoyable.



           Stated as simply as possible, Maze just isn’t any fun to play. The entire concept of the game is faulty, and the execution is even worse. While Maze is a relatively small and cheap package, the terrible and annoying gameplay, horrible way of playing and progressing, lack of any sort of refining, lack of replayability, and a general lack of fun makes Maze a game that falls far too short of any quality to enjoy.

1.5/10

Review Copy provided by Treefall Studios.
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