Man In A Maze
Chillingo's Man in a Maze combines elements of Pac-Man and Metal Gear Solid, wrapped within a campy game show. There's a strong possibility we just blew your mind with this description, so take a few moments to gather your thoughts, then download this charming title as soon as humanly possible, because it's one of the surprise iPhone and iPad games of 2012. The saddest thing is, up until now, you probably never heard of it.
That said, Man in a Maze is actually the name of a virtual game show, and the developers did a phenomenal job tapping into decades of over-the-top hosts, pomp and circumstance. The contestant, Chuck, is an excessively cheery fellow who stands to win up to 60 different prizes so long as he figures out how to escape from a variety of challenging mazes. The easiest way to achieve this is to collect all the blue gems scattered throughout; therein lay the Pac-Man inspiration. Doing this opens the exit, where all he must do to win that cuckoo clock or steak knife set is walk on through.
Of course, it's a bit trickier than that. All of a sudden, the game throws slow-moving robots into the mix, each one having a cone of vision that Chuck must avoid at all costs; hello, Metal Gear Solid. He can take refuge behind bushes within the hedge maze, and/or power up a tennis ball, used to pulverize those droids.
The ball also proves useful for hitting switches and breaking wooden crates, the latter containing gold coins and tokens. Coins come in handy for making upgrades, where the list of power-ups includes a cloaking ability, an option to freeze enemies and lay landmines. Tokens, meanwhile, give Chuck an opportunity to spin a Price is Right-style wheel between mazes, where he stands to earn even more coins. That is, unless it lands on the coin-stealing burglar.
In short, we love this game. The mazes are a lot of fun to explore and solve in the quickest times possible, and we also couldn't help but laugh at Chuck's super wide grin and awkward dance moves. Throw in the cornball host and game show music, and you'll definitely have a smile on your face.
Taking this into account, Man in a Maze is superb regardless of which platform you play it on, and play it you most definitely should. Meanwhile, cross your fingers for even more levels, contestants, and prizes in the months ahead. Yup, it's a winner.
What's Hot: Perfectly captures the spirit of cheesy game shows, a variety of tricky mazes to navigate, 60 prizes to collect, excellent virtual controls.
What's Not: Nothing we can think of.