🐳 New! Moby v2023.12.02

3D Monster Maze

aka: Tyrannosaure Rex, Tyrannosaure Rex labyrinthe en trois dimensions
Moby ID: 42927
See Also

Description official description

3D Monster Maze was one of the first computer games to use a first-person 3D perspective. After being introduced to the game by a circus crier, the player character is transferred to a randomly generated 16x16 maze and has to find the exit. There is but one difficulty: There is a Tyrannosaurus Rex hidden in the maze. As soon as the protagonist moves, the dinosaur will begin to chase him, getting more and more active the nearer he gets. The T. Rex's state is indicated in the status bar, letting the player know if he is still far away ("Rex lies in wait"), if he's approaching ("Footsteps approaching") or if the player should really get a move on ("RUN! He is behind you"). The protagonist can run quicker than the dino, but many are the adventurers that took a wrong turn or came to a dead end. The exit, of course, lies at such a dead end and is only visible from a few steps distance.

Groups +


Credits (ZX81 version)




Average score: 67% (based on 1 ratings)


Average score: 4.2 out of 5 (based on 5 ratings with 1 reviews)

If there was an early attempt at survival horror, this is it

The Good
3D Monster Maze is an excellent game from Malcolm Evans designed only for the ZX81, a year before he launched his own start-up company, New Generation Software. It was there that he continued to make more excellent games for the Spectrum. When the game is finished loading, it encourages you to press any key. That’s actually a lie because you cannot press the [Space] bar. Press [Space] and you are kicked out into Sinclair Basic. You can then see a glimpse of the program listing, but good luck trying to type that all up by yourself.

The ringmaster appears and tells you about the wonders of seeing the Tyrannosaurus Rex in all his glory. I like the way you are tricked into thinking that you are part of the circus audience. The instructions are clear to me, telling you how to control the game. Providing that you go ahead by pressing CONT, there is a thirty-second wait while the game sets the maze up and decides where to put you.

Right from the get-go, I can see why the game requires 16KB. Everything about the maze is well designed, including Rex himself. The way you can see him approaching you from a distance is impressive. When he gets close to you, he opens his mouth and eats you up, revealing sharp, pointy teeth. How they were made perfectly using the standard Basic characters is something that should be applauded.

Between the top and bottom teeth, there is more text telling you will spend the rest of eternity roaming the maze, your score, and whether you want to appeal or not. If you choose to appeal, you are also booted back to Basic. During the game, the messages displayed at the bottom of the screen are designed for fear, telling you how close Rex is. If you find the exit (basically a wall containing corrupted graphics), you go back to the start.

I can compare this game to Infocom’s Zork trilogy. Whereas Zork requires you to use your imagination to picture what each room looks like, here you can imagine the sound of your footsteps as well as Rex’s roars.

The Bad
There is nothing bad about this game.

The Bottom Line
In conclusion, 3D Monster Maze is a killer app every ZX81 owner should get. Requiring 16KB, the game is simple: run around a maze without getting busted by Rex. The graphics are impressive; and although there is no sound in the game, you can use your imagination. Two thumbs up, way up!

ZX81 · by Katakis | カタキス (43051) · 2021



  • ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment)
    • March 1991 (issue #42) - Included in the list Greatest Games of all Time in category Original Games (editorial staff choice)

Related Games

Released 1983 on TRS-80
Radical Rex
Released 1994 on SNES, Genesis, SEGA CD...
Rex Rocket
Released 2014 on Windows, 2015 on iPad, 2019 on Xbox One...
Roarr!: Jurassic Edition
Released 2018 on Nintendo Switch, Macintosh, PlayStation 4...
3D Bowling
Released 1982 on Arcadia 2001
Sultan's Maze
Released 1983 on Dragon 32/64, 1983 on Camputers Lynx, 1984 on Amstrad CPC
Inspector Gadget: Gadget's Crazy Maze
Released 2001 on PlayStation
Beyblade: Metal Masters
Released 2010 on Nintendo DS
Impossible Creatures
Released 2003 on Windows

Related Sites +

Identifiers +


Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by General Error.

ZX81 added by Kabushi.

Additional contributors: Kabushi, Pseudo_Intellectual, Jo ST, ZeTomes.

Game added October 22nd, 2009. Last modified October 8th, 2023.