Maze Blaze Review thumbnail

Maze Blaze Review

A mind-warping blast 'em up

A.J. Maciejewski

Reviewed by playing a PS5 on 🤖

Maze Blaze is also available for PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch

Maze Blaze is rated Everyone 10+ by the ESRB

I love modern indies that feel like old arcade games and Maze Blaze really scratched that itch so let's suit up and start shooting.

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Maze Blaze screenshot 1
I don't look forward to going down that corridor

Get lost, hoser

The fact that Maze Blaze takes place within a series of procedurally generated mazes initially made me hesitant but upon playing it for hours, I realised that this setup is quite clever. For starters, there's an awesome visual effect where you can only see a certain distance away from you and beyond that radius, the stage collapses and zooms back into shape whenever you move around. This creates a sense of disorientation but in a highly stylized manner. Anyway, although you may think that it's easy to get lost in these mazes, sections will become closed off as soon as you collect everything from them and move on to a new part of the maze and that helps a great deal with navigation. I don't think I've ever played a game with this kind of setup but I'll tell you this, chum; I'm itching to play more! 😄 v1d30chumz 35-172-230-154

Blast them robots to bits

Besides wandering around mazes, you'll also shoot at a wide variety of robots. However, don't think that this is the sort of game where you rapidly blast foes away. Instead, the shooting is a lot more strategic as enemies will rush towards you and your rate of fire is limited so you really have to make sure that every shot counts. In fact, you'll frequently find yourself running away from enemies only to turn and pop the odd shot off in order to emerge unscathed in some encounters. To assist you, you'll also acquire items such as grenades that can harm a swarm of foes and shields that temporarily block all incoming attacks. With that being said, I kind of wish that Maze Blaze took a twin-stick approach because the shooting can be kind of clunky, especially when you encounter an onslaught of dastardly machines.

Maze Blaze screenshot 2
You drink a-tasty soup; you get a-tasty power-up

Upgrade and conquer

Another element that Maze Blaze incorporates to help you in your fight is its nifty power-up system. Essentially, you'll come across artifacts that prompt you with 2 options. At first, you won't know what either option will result in but once you experiment, you'll uncover that information for future reference. This system kind of reminded me of the coloured potions in Tobal No. 1 as I remember writing down what each of them did at each run. Anyway, altering your gun, items, and core attributes using these artifacts is satisfying stuff, especially when you can progress to the final boss because you've deployed a powerful blend of enhancements. It's great stuff for sure. 🧉

Bring a friend

With all of this in mind, Maze Blaze can actually be played cooperatively with a local friend. Now, you might be thinking; how does a maze-oriented game work in co-op? To put it frankly, it doesn't. Well, the fact that you can revive each other is awesome but whenever you drift even a little bit apart, the screen becomes super-dark and you can barely see anything around you. I don't understand why the field of vision has to be restricted so much in co-op but it's genuinely so annoying that I'd much rather play solo. 💃

My circuits are fried

Besides the underwhelming co-op mode and the impressively fun solo play, Maze Blaze doesn't really offer much content-wise. For starters, a successful run doesn't take all that long after you start to master its gameplay. Besides that, there is a randomizer and endless mode that help flesh things out but that's about all there is to it. I wish there were more modes such as fun challenges to complete.

Maze Blaze screenshot 3
Co-op will make you wonder who turned out the lights

Maze Blaze is the bee's knees. From its unconventional structure to its strategic shooting, I had a great time blasting at robots while watching the life slowly drain from their once-neon eyes. It could use a bit of a tune-up, though; as well as much more content.

  • + Simple and enjoyable arcade-like action that requires precision and strategy
  • + Flashy visuals and effects
  • + Loads of upgrades to discover
  • - Shooting could use some fine-tuning; might have been better off as a twin-stick
  • - Co-op mode is underwhelming
  • - Not all that much content to enjoy
7.0 out of 10
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