The simplest video game concepts are often overlooked by developers in today's gaming world. Mega Maze has you try to escape a series of first-person labyrinths and it's actually quite addictive so let's get lost and give it a try!
Mega Maze has no story or characters and all you do is navigate through mazes in the first-person perspective. This seems incredibly boring but you'll be surprised how immersive it becomes once you start to get a knack for finding your way. For starters: the walls, floors, and ceilings are translucent thus allowing you to see the general layout of the maze beyond your immediate surroundings. That's right; some of these mazes have multiple floors to navigate through. Anyway, your ability to memorize layouts and find the most efficient paths becomes mandatory if you want to beat these suckers in as little time as possible. The mazes start off simple enough but get rather tricky and the difficulty curve is handled wonderfully. Overall, it feels very satisfying once you solve a maze in record time after giving it a few tries.
As a kid, I spent hours drawing my own mazes using graph paper. They were quite complex and had features such as keys and warps. Therefore, I was delighted when I came across these features in Mega Maze. Various coloured keys open their respective doors while warps will take you instantly to another designated spot. When you factor in stairs and pitfalls between floors, you're looking at quite a varied gameplay formula that results in some truly crazy mazes. Even with all these complexities, the gameplay ultimately remains simplistic as all you do is walk around which makes it a great game to chill out to as it's super-intuitive and easy to pick up and play.
Along with playing through the mazes that come with Mega Maze, you can craft your own mazes and challenge other players' creations online. The tool to design them is extremely easy to use. Using the stylus to select items then place them on the grid couldn't be simpler. That being said, it'll take a while to make a maze that's actually worth playing so it's a good idea to set aside a healthy chunk of time if you want to produce something enjoyable. While playing through either the main or user-generated mazes, you can climb leaderboards by finishing them as quickly as possible. As a result, there is a lot of replay value for perfectionists.
The most disappointing aspect of Mega Maze is its visuals and music. Don't get me wrong, there isn't anything particularly wrong with them but the fact that they never change means that they get stale quick. If there were different colour schemes, textures, and music tracks then that would have went a long way to help keep the experience fresh. Instead, it all ends up feeling the same.
My only other complaint is that mazes can be a bit too frustrating to solve. Some require you to think outside the box in order to work through them such as one where you have to keep a door shut so you can later use it as a skinny bridge. These kinds of challenges will appeal to gamers who want to test their ability to solve obtuse puzzles but for a game that's about mazes, they just feel out of place. It's also possible to get completely stuck in mazes and have to quit out to the menu. For example, if you have a red key and there are five red doors then you open the wrong one; you can't finish the maze unless you try it again from the start.
In the end, if the idea of navigating through first-person labyrinths appeals to you then Mega Maze is definitely a must-play game. Even with its shortcomings, there's no denying how much fun it is to wander through a maze and eventually find your way to freedom.
- + Simplistic first-person maze gameplay that's surprisingly immersive
- + Additional gameplay features add variety
- + Maze editor is very intuitive and satisfying
- - Visuals and music get stale quick with no variation whatsoever
- - Some mazes can be a bit too obtuse
- - Getting stuck is an occasional annoyance