Remember back in the days of the Nintendo Entertainment System, when The Legend of Zelda was released? Not the sweeping 3D adventure games as we know them today, but the two-dimensional mind-numbing grind fest that was the retro Zelda experience. Well if you loved those dungeon mazes, there's a game we're reviewing today that might capture your attention: Maze Craze Free by Birchwood Games.
There are no inventory systems, horses, evil sorcerers, or princesses in this slightly more puzzle-oriented game. Instead, you are placed in control of a shuffling protagonist and the main objective is to find the way out as quickly as possible. Maze Craze Free really doesn't get too much more complicated than that, but it has a bit of fun with the formula.
There are four types of game modes in total: Maze of the Day, Random Maze, Junior Maze, and Treasure Hunter. All of the mazes are randomly generated upon starting a new game, and you race against the clock in order to solve the maze in the least amount of time. One game mode that we didn't mention in the video review (below) but is actually pretty fun is Treasure Hunter. You are given a maze and while the objective remains the same, the only way you can get out of the maze is to find five treasure chests scattered across the level first. It sounds simple, but it is a much more satisfying game mode than just a run of the mill interactive maze. Rounding out the features is achievements, which helps add to the replay value but isn't associated with any system like Xbox Live or OpenXLive.
Yet while the content found in Maze Craze Free is enough to at least pique your interest, the visuals and presentation values of the game are nothing to write home about. The main menu is functional and gives easy access to all of the game modes as well as your top times per each, but man it is ugly. It's difficult to read without moving the phone closer to your face. The background image does not exactly help either, because it appears to have been stretched and thus looks really pixelated and blurry. When you get into the game itself, the graphics look like the NES version of the Legend of Zelda — just without the art or detail. In other words, it's nothing special. The controls are the last pain point with the game to get through. While the virtual joystick scheme works well enough, it is still hard to control your character especially as you turn corners. Meanwhile, the alternative tilt-based controls just don't mix well with this type of gameplay.
The Score: 3 / 5In the end, Maze Craze Free is a decent puzzle game. While I may have begun this review comparing it to Legend of Zelda, it's safe to say it does not reach the same quality. Its redeeming qualities, like the multiple game modes and achievements, make the game at least worth a download. You can't really go wrong either, because it's free in the Windows Phone Store. So if you are a puzzle fan who could probably ignore some of the game's flaws, Maze Craze Free may be a worthwhile download.
You can pick up Maze Craze Free from the Windows Phone Store right now by clicking on the tile/link below. Alternatively, you can scan the QR code below with your Windows Phone using Bing Vision.
|Maze Craze Free|
by Birchwood Solutions Limited