by Professor Layton
reviewed on WII
Lost in The Incredible Maze!
As reviewers, we are supposed to have a built in radar that seeks out every promising upcoming game. Yet every now and then a game goes undetected until it is released and turns out to be a great find. Take Art Style: Orbient for instance, before it was released on WiiWare nobody even knew the game existed. It has been peaking at number 5 on the Popular Titles section of the Wii Shop Channel in both Canada and the United States ever since.
Following in Nintendo’s footsteps, Digital Leisure has released their debut WiiWare title, The Incredible Maze. Announced through Nintendo’s early-morning press releases last Monday, The Incredible Maze is a yet another puzzle game. Wii owners have seen puzzle games popping out of the woodwork, but this one is not your typical falling-block game. In fact, this maze game is a puzzle unto itself.
Hit and Miss
I am going to be honest; when I received this game as a review copy from Digital Leisure, I had high hopes for the game, but somewhere in my mind I thought about previous games that had the words 'amazing' or 'incredible' in them. Nine chances out of ten these games were either mediocre or far below. Unfortunately though, The Incredible Maze is certainly not an exception.
Digital Leisure tried to take the puzzle genre to new heights on WiiWare. The majority of the games from this genre either involve falling blocks, shooting blocks, or some other far-fetched idea involving blocks. The Incredible Maze takes a different approach. By taking control of a table, players attempt to navigate a ball through a maze, avoiding holes, edges, and other obstacles that have been placed along the way. I know that this sounds like a pretty good concept on paper but the developer has just executed it poorly. So poorly that on occasion you will reach a point where the game is can barely be called playable.
Now then, where does the problem arise with the game? Simple – its controls. The Incredible Maze can be played either by holding the Wii Remote vertically or using the Wii Balance Board. Though both control schemes pose a threat to both gameplay and your sanity, the latter is by far the better of the two. The former doesn’t quite give players as much precision as the latter, but since the Wii Balance Board can only be purchased via Wii Fit, which many core gamers detest, most will likely have to stick with the inaccurate Wii Remote.
It’s a Little Dark in Here
At a glance, one could easily assume that The Incredible Maze was a low-budget Nintendo 64 game – the menus, graphics, and audio are all dated. The atrocious dark-themed levels not only hurt the look of the game but also its playability. In the upper-levels, the stages get so dark that some people are likely to have trouble manipulating the ball around the obstacles.
Putting the word 'Incredible' into a title doesn't make it so. It is a shame to see that the developers took such an extremely simple concept and executed it so poorly. You will be hard pressed to find even an hour of enjoyment in the thirty levels that the game is boasting. The Incredible Maze is just another example of a shallow game that could have been made better with some extra TLC. Avoid it at all costs, even if the low price and block size seems tempting. Trust me, there are a lot better ways to spend 500 Wii Points than on this shovelware.
No Pros and Cons at this time