Amstrad Action1st May 1990
Published in Amstrad Action #56
What a predicament! Flippo's stuck in a maze high up in the outer roaches of space. He's not allowed out until he changes all the floor tiles from one colour to another. To do this, not surprisingly perhaps, he has to flip them all over. Easier said than done. To hinder his quest, energy-zapping aliens patrol the maze. Whacking great holes too are numerous, one wrong step sending poor Flippo tumbling into the void.
Maze Mania is reminiscent of Skweek. The colour-changing concept is the same as, to a certain extent, is the gameplay. The monsters move around slowly at first, but speed up in the later levels. A bonus collectable moves around each level; grabbing it gives you a surprise goody.
The game gives you have a bird's eye view of Flippo's rather large head, as the screen moves around him. The scrolling is smooth and flicker-free. And as Flippo walks along, his massive feet stride away beneath him. Very nicely animated. In fact, all the sprites are well animated but...
The game suffers graphically. The background graphics are nothing special, but acceptable. The tiles are about what you'd expect, and flip nicely. What really lets the game down are the sprites. The characters consist of white outlines, with whatever is beneath them showing though. Fine if you've got a Spectrum, but not so good on the CPC.
Sound is limited to the flipping of tiles and a few other spot effects. Although sparse, it doesn't detract seriously from the game, and at least it isn't annoying.
Maze Mania is too easy if anything. The monsters can be easily avoided by jumping over them. Collision with a beasty isn't fatal, but drains your life force. Fortunately, you have enough to last quite a few close scrapes. Mistime a jump over a hole though, and it's curtains.
All in all then, it has bad graphics, limited sound and is too easy. Still, it's not a bad game, and despite the criticisms, it has an undefined quality that keeps you coming back for more.
Just another maze game, with a few dodgy sprites to boot.
First Day Target Score
Green Screen View
P. Nice animation.
N. Undisguised Speccy graphics.
P. Effects are ok, but no tune.
Grab Factor 59%
P. Easy to get into.
N. Looks uninspiring.
Staying Power 61%
P. Rapid acceleration through levels.
N. Everything's the same.
Could have been so much better...