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Microsoft Encarta is an encyclopedia program by Microsoft Corporation. Included, from Encarta 94 to Encarta 2007, with minor user-interface variations between versions, is the educational game MindMaze. (Earlier versions have a direct link in the main menu, later versions hide it behind the Ctrl-Z shortcut.)

In MindMaze, while reading Encarta, the player is transported back in time to break the curse on King Miser the First's castle. The castle consists of several floors, each floor holding 100 rooms in a 10x10 grid. To unlock a door between rooms, the player must correctly answer a multiple-choice, timed trivia question. While the exit is marked, the road leading to the exit has many twists and turns. Dead-ends are common, though retracing steps does not require answering more questions. Points are added to the player's score with each correctly answered question. Once the points reach a certain level, the next floor reached will be the king's throne room, breaking the curse, and winning the game. Answering a question wrong twice in a row will cause the question to reset, though no points are lost. There is a character in each room who will talk to you, and there are paintings on the walls that lead to Encarta articles.

Four difficulty levels of questions are included, and nine different selectable trivia categories are included, along with an "all of the above" option. Higher difficulty questions give more points when solved. Five torches are included, which will reveal the path to the next floor for a short time if used. When answering a question, an article link is next to each potential answer, letting the player research the answer.


Microsoft Encarta (Included game) Windows 3.x Encarta 1994: The answers to the questions asked after the successful conclusion of a level are used to compile a piece of nonsense like this
Microsoft Encarta (Included game) Windows 3.x Encarta 1994: A typical room. The diagram on the left shows the route, here it indicates that the player must exit via the door on the right. The red spot shows a hazard such as the ghost
Microsoft Encarta (Included game) Windows 3.x Encarta 1994: When a player logs out they are given the option to save their progress through the maze. The game's final act is to display a message like this - assuming the player is worthy
Microsoft Encarta (Included game) Windows 3.x Encarta 1994: A different room and the background to the progress chart is blue meaning that the question difficulty has been raised to four

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Alternate Titles

  • "MindMaze" -- Game included

User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

CNET Windows Aug 19, 2005 6.7 out of 10 67
Rock, Paper, Shotgun Windows Apr 04, 2017 Unscored Unscored
Lazy Game Reviews Windows Apr 03, 2014 Unscored Unscored


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Contributed to by qwertyuiop (37892) and vedder (54987)