Maze Review | Personal Computer News - Everygamegoing

Personal Computer News

By Acornsoft
BBC Model B

Published in Personal Computer News #095


I must admit that from the cover of the box, Maze looked to be about as inspiring as its title: the old 3D chase format where you run along corridors which look like partitioned-off offices, meanwhile being pursued by red meanies, blue meanies, or whatever colour is left over from the micro's palette. But while Maze is in fact little more than that, it does go to show that a simple idea that is well-implemented can keep you enthralled.

The game begins with lift-doors opening and you stepping out into the first maze in a multi-level security system, each level being patrolled by robot guards. Pressing the V key gives you a bird's eye view of the maze, but only the portions of it that you've visited, so right at the start all you'd see would be the symbol for the elevator doors, one or two walls, a couple of robots buzzing about, and a green arrow representing you and pointing the way you're facing.

Your lives are indicated by three green arrows at top right of screen, and these also serve as a compass, moving round as you move your viewpoint to left or right.

As you travel and re-view the maze, it slowly gets filled in, and what you're looking for are three coloured squares, representing identity tags. These are on the floor, and the T key takes one when you come across it. With all three in your possession, you must find the irridium box (or make your way back to it if you've already passed it), and drop the tags. This opens the box to give you a key, allowing you to return to the elevator and ascend to the next floor... which is naturally even worse than the one you've just left.

This would all be fairly straightforward, were it not for the robots. They're not super-intelligent, but you have to keep a constant watch on their movement otherwise they can sneak up and blast you from behind. You also have to keep an eye on the number of bullets you have - you start with three and must replenish your stocks by passing over a power-point, represented by pentangles on the floor of the maze - again, they're not shown on the plan until you've located them.

The keyboard controls are a little clumsy, all being grouped together in a huddle - many a time I wasted a bullet when I merely wanted to check the map. You can use a joystick too, but the game is made by the speed with which you move through the maze, the warning noise you get for a robot's approach, and the all-round convincing nature of the excellent action.

Like a mini-adventure in graphics, Maze had the old heart pounding nearly as much as the fingers. Who needs Elite?

Mike Gerrard

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