Maze Craze
by IDL
Partyline Ltd
Crash Issue 22, November 1985   (1985-10-24)   page(s) 34

Maze Craze is a sort of Pacman game. You know ol' Pacman, the yellow fellow who trundles around a maze eating millions upon millions of little dots and power pills. He gets followed by ghosts who are out for his blood, you know the one. If you don't then where the hell have you been for the last three years?

Maze Craze is very similar as you go along you leave a yellow trail and you have to fill the maze up by going everywhere you can (a sort of reverse Pacman if you like). Just to make life more difficult you've got to pick up a certain number of moths which are dropped around the screen. You scamper around the maze against a clock a digital display reduces your pile of points according to the distance you move. If you manage to collect the number of moths displayed on the left of the screen and return to the start point before you run out of moves, you can start a new, harder maze.

Collecting a bug or a frog gives access to one of four submazes where you have to collect some poison and kill a spider before you are returned to the main maze.

Wandering around the maze are loads of nasties (crabs and spiders) one touch from one and you'll lose one of your lives. If you feel threatened by one of the nasties then you can shoot them with one of your limited bombs. This will dispose of it for a while it'll return after a short period of time so watch out!

At the beginning of the game you can set the skill level on a scale of 0 to 9 peruse the instructions sheets, which describe the various bugs and beasties you will meet.

Control keys: A,Z,5 left; S,X,8 right; N,K,7 Up; M,L,6 down; SPACE,V fire
Joystick: Kempston
Keyboard play: choice of keys a little awkward, responsive
Use of colour: elementary
Graphics: elementary, no animation just movement
Sound: little noises
Skill levels: one
Screens: four

'I thought the age of really dire Spectrum games were over, but I was wrong. This is one of the worst games I've seen for quite some time. Not only is the plot archaic but the flickery characters and awful sound make this a real classic in the 1985 role of feeble Spectrum games. Gameplay is dull and awfully boring, after all we've seen it all before just too many tines'

'Yawn, I haven't seen a game like this since 1982 and then it wouldn't have been too hot compared to some of the goodies around then. The graphics are jerky, badly animated and generally primitive, sound is poorly used. Gameplay is infuriating, unplayable and unaddictive. I really can't see how IDL is supposed to sell a product that is out of date, badly produced and overpriced at seven quid I couldn't see anyone l know buying it. Perhaps this is IDC's version of Firebirds collection of poor games Don't Buy This.'

'Oh dear. Not a bad little game hidden away in there really, but the presentation leaves so much to be desired. All the polish and sophistication of Maziacs but a couple of years later. The routines that drive the game aren't that smart and the graphics are horrible - block moving went out ages ago. Might have gone down well as a listing in a magazine, but probably wouldn't be accepted by many publishers nowadays.'

Use of Computer55%
Getting Started45%
Addictive Qualities34%
Value for Money21%
Summary: General Rating: Three years too late.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Spectrum Issue 21, December 1985   page(s) 51

Rick: I s'pose it makes a change from painting the town red. Partyline's Maze Craze could cause a yellow fever of excitement if you've never been dazed by a maze game before. Otherwise there's little here that an awayday to Hampton Court couldn't provide.

The game is simplicity itself. And the more simple you are the more you'll enjoy it. You've got to guide your man about the maze, choosing a level of difficulty between one and nine depending on how much you like wriggling your wrist.

As the man progresses he'll excrete something yellow to colour the maze. You better be quick though 'cos one of the beastly beasties has a taste for this sort of thing (rabbits do something similar, I believe) and he'll gobble up your trail.

On leaving the yellow brick road you've to collect moths of various value whilst avoiding the statutary plonkers and munchies! The moths get reincarnated and die as quickly as interest in this game and if you catch a frog or a bug you can enter one of the four special mazes.

Here the 'ugly bug ball' continues and pretty terrifyingly for those in awe of arachnids. 'Cos here comes a spider to sit down beside yer - and only a kamikaze dive with the poison bottle can save you. The khazi isn't the first place I'd despatch this game. Little 'uns who like pulling the legs off spiders or zapping flies in the microwave might get a kick out of it. 3/10

Ross: Urrrgghhhh! 0/10

Dougie: Even if the game's a pile of old dross you've got to give it to Partyline for being brave enough to release it. 1/10

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 44, November 1985   page(s) 26

IF YOU DON'T like spiders, don't buy Maze Craze. If you're not mad about mazes, you may not love it either. If, on the other hand, your idea of bliss is to squash six-legged beasties while rushing round Hampton Court, then Maze Craze is what you've been waiting for.

The mazes are all contained on a single screen, and you must paint the whole maze yellow while collecting a set number of different butterflies. The mazes and butterflies vary from game to game, so there's none of your 'how-to-get-past-the-first-screen' nonsense here.

The butterflies hatch out of eggs laid by various creepy-crawlies which are deadly in themselves, so you'll have to be careful. There are also monstrous beetles which cat up your yellow paint. Respite comes in the form of special mazes, which you enter when running over frogs and bugs - there seem to be be at least half a dozen of those which can add to your bonus points.

The graphics are blocky and simple on a white background - a pleasant experience to the aching eyes of a hard-pressed reviewer, though hardly state-of-the-art. What the graphics lack, however, is well made up in intelligent gameplay, so that the mazes do represent a genuine if increasingly difficult challenge.

Maze Craze is a good, unpretentious game, with plenty of extra lives to enable you to play for some time, and lots of challenge. Just the right sort of refreshment after a couple of months of high-powered arcade-adventure mega-quests to keep good game-players on the straight and narrow.

Chris Bourne

Publisher: Partytime
Price: £6.95
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair, Cursor


Transcript by Chris Bourne

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