Maze Craze on Atari 2600
I'm going to go seriously old school here and dive back into the system that started it all and then nearly ended it all with very poor decisions one of which involved a cutesie alien. Let's leave E.T. out of this one for now though and instead focus on a game that was largely ignored by the industry, very few people actually owned and was one of the best games that Atari ever released.
Although we didn't know any better in the early 80's, video games had severe limitations on graphics and sound. This game contained only 4K of data for the entire game. It was boxy and pixelated because that was how all games were back then. There wasn't any method for them to not be that way at the time.
Because of all games' simplicity at the time, you would quickly tire of most of them because things became rather repetitive rather quickly... yet Maze Craze never suffered from this because each level was randomly designed.
The idea was simply to get out of the maze as fast as you could and this was a bit more meaningful if there were 2 people playing since there wasn't much challenge to race against the clock. Since the mazes were randomly generated, it was impossible for anyone to have prior knowledge of the various mazes. Your starting position was also random so in some instances you would actually be a lot closer to the exit than your opponent.
There were also a lot of options for types of game that would involve that you needed to capture some robbers in the maze or the robbers would actually slow you down if you made contact with them. One of the more challenging modes involved partial invisibility of the map, meaning that you couldn't even visually determine where to go next and this could even be applied to the entire screen if you wanted at which point you are just randomly pushing in every direction trying to find your way out. It's not as awesome as it sounds actually and you find yourself returning to the normal game mode frequently.
I have no idea how well this game sold, but i do recall not seeing it in very many of my friends' houses at the time. But I was very young at the time so what the hell do i know?
I just remember that out of all the Atari 2600 games that I played, this one had the highest replay value of any game other than maybe the game Adventure which was also awesome.
I still play this game every now and then today because who doesn't like mazes? You can check it out for free here if you feel like stepping into a time machine to see what we considered fun in the early 80's. Well it will probably suck since you are almost certainly using your computer alone. Check it out anyway!
Did you play this game back in the day? What did you think of it?