Maze Craze: A Game of Cops 'n Robbers (Atari 2600)

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Written by  :  Katakis | カタキス (39520)
Written on  :  Feb 09, 2012
Rating  :  2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars2.5 Stars
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A challenging maze game with lots of variation

The Good

Maze Craze is a 1-2 player game released in 1980, three years after the Atari 2600's debut. I'm not usually a fan of these type of games, as the idea of just running through a maze doesn't appeal to me. But I got into playing this game just because there was more to it than that. You play a cop who is patrolling a tough city beat, and before you are the many twisted streets and alleyways, represented as one giant maze.

Initially, the game features no enemies that will kill you if you touch them. This is ideal if you have gotten used to maze games without any obstacles, and would like to keep it that way. The challenge is spending a lot of time finding out the correct path that you must follow to reach the exit. If you are so good at mazes pressing the Select button a few times causes the game to either blank out the entire maze or sections of it. There are a few more variations, but I won't explain them in detail here. One of the variations that I am fond of is having a certain amount of robbers chasing after you. The best thing about this is if you find that one or two robbers is too easy for you, you can let about five robbers loose in the maze at once. I think that this provides more challenge than the invisible maze variation, especially as you running into dead ends means that that they are more likely to catch up to you.

Graphically, the layout of the maze is good. It provides many dead ends that players are likely to go to if they are not totally aware of their surroundings, and the way that the game generates new maze layout provides a lot of replayability. The two characters each player controls are color-coded, so that you can tell them apart.

The Bad

Those beeps can be really annoying if you run into far too many walls.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, Maze Craze is a good maze game which offers a good dose of variations. Players can choose to run around each maze, while parts or all of it are invisible, or play a game of Cops 'n' Robbers. Each game generates a random maze layout, so that you won't get bored with running through the same maze over and over again. The mazes are drawn nicely, and the character you control looks like a person.

The game should appeal to Pac-Man fans since it requires strategic thinking and the added excitement of a two-person competition. You can choose to cruise through the maze at high speeds, but this calls for the kind of accurate control which makes target-shooting and driving games so popular.