In memoriam, Donald Sutherland

3-Demon

aka: Monster Maze
Moby ID: 832

Description

3-Demon, commonly regarded as the very first progenitor of the 90s first-person shooters, is a surreal, wireframe-3D Pac-Man clone in which you have to move through a maze, collect points and occasionally take items which will allow you to kill enemy monsters (ghosts) instead of them killing you.

After having cleaned the level of a certain percentage of points, you have the option to move to another level immediately by pressing the down key, where the monsters are smarter and move faster.

Groups +

Screenshots

Credits (DOS version)

Programming

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 19% (based on 2 ratings)

Players

Average score: 2.9 out of 5 (based on 17 ratings with 2 reviews)

Cute.

The Good
A nice game indeed. I used to play this one quite a bit on the trusty ole' XT. It had nice graphics and cute sound, and quite a bit of gameplay - it sure as hell was a lot more fun than Pac-Man. Also, the radar in the corner is way cool.

The Bad
Yaargh! It's too damn easy!

Also, it's very, VERY repetitive (weren't they all :-))

The Bottom Line
A good Pacman clone in nice 3D. If you want to burn some time, give this one a try.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4536) · 2000

A good implementation of a challenging concept -- with great gameplay to boot!

The Good
3-Demon is the kind of game where someone describes it to you as "3-D Pac-Man!" and you don't believe them. I mean, come on: 3-D Pac-Man on a 1983 PC? Give me a break.

So you copy it from someone else, boot it up, and there it was! Simple graphics, yes, but they were implemented well and presented the feeling that you were there, in the maze, with monsters, power pills, and a helpful local-area top-down radar to give you a fighting chance.

A frequently-overlooked key gameplay concept was the ability to optionally drop down to the next level once a certain number of dots were eaten by hitting the down-arrow key. At first glance, this seemed silly--you wouldn't get the end-level bonus if you did that, so why would you do it? Because if you were in a tight situation and had no way out, you could drop down and live to fight another day. Of course, the ghosts on the next level were even faster and tougher, so this was not a decision to be made lightly. You don't know about the hesitation between fear and courage you can feel until you turn a corner while pursued by a ghost, only to see another ghost heading toward you from the far end of a corridor. Many a time have I had two percentage points less than the level's threshold, hesitated, and then gunned it toward the ghost at the far end, eating dots along the way, hoping that I would cross the percentage threshold and smack the down arrow key before the ghost smacked me!

The Bad
I could find almost nothing wrong at all with 3-Demon; it's a masterpiece for its day. About the only gripes I have are due to user error (the game trashes high scores if the disk runs out of space to hold them -- doh!) and modern technology (modern machines must be slowed down drastically to get the game to run properly). But none of these faults are the fault of the programmer, who did a fantastic job.

The Bottom Line
An early masterpiece that deserves to be recognized. An early 3-D gimmick and decent gameplay? Unheard of in 1983!

DOS · by Trixter (8954) · 2000

Discussion

Subject By Date
3D Pac-man, but a touch of Jaws and Alien Andrew Fisher (697) Mar 17, 2023
A paragraph on 3-Demon in French magazine L'Ordinateur Individuel(July-Aug. '86 issue) Andrew Fisher (697) Mar 17, 2023

Trivia

Source Code Release

The company which created this game offered the Pascal source code for a $50 contribution.

Analytics

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 832
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Tomer Gabel.

Additional contributors: Demian Katz, Patrick Bregger.

Game added February 6, 2000. Last modified January 1, 2024.