The hero of the scenario, Sleepy Joe, must make his way around the maze collecting the eight keys required to open the Dark Door of Deeper Sleep and progress to the next level. Unfortunately for Joe he is not the only occupant of the maze. The pathways are strewn with Springy Things which bounce around the maze emitting a loud boinging noise. There is no fear of Joe falling asleep in this game.
Occasionally a cup of black coffee will appear at random positions around the maze. Touch the coffee and the bouncing beasties will disappear for a short time allowing Joe to collect his keys unhindered. This facility is essential as it is infuriatingly difficult to collect all of the keys within the time limit.
One slightly irritating point about the game is the fact that when a life is lost, the keys already collected are also lost, so you must start all over again with eight keys to collect. Once the key counter has reached zero it is time to make a quick dash for the door. This will then open and allow you to tackle the next, more complex, maze and it's inhabitants.
The graphics of this game are drawn using a 3-D shading effect; the floor of the maze has depth and all moving characters a shadow. This is particularly well done and drags the game out of the Pac-Man clone category. At the price of £2.50 Nightmare Maze represents excellent value for money.